Like many other sectors, the venues and events industry has had a tough few years. But things seem to be picking up, if the latest International Confex exhibition is anything to go by.
Over 12,000 people attended the event when it took place from March 1st to the 3rd at London venue Earls Court.
A wide variety of companies, ranging from venues right through stand design companies, took part in the expo, which is aimed at those in the events industry.
Venues.org.uk's Paul Sung, Brantley Graham, Mohammed Ali and Andy Hannigan were also at the exhibition, where they enjoyed a busy few days.
"The event proved to be a fantastic success and the team were rushed off their feet dealing with enquiries from venues looking to list on the site," said Mr Sung, business development director for Tarsus online media.
"Almost from the time the bell went at 10am and the visitors came in, right to the end, we were always busy," added Mr Graham, sales manager at Venues.org.uk.
The team were always on hand to fill people in on what the website offers.
Mr Sung said: "The growing reputation of Venues.org.uk led to an unprecedented amount of visitors to the stand over the three days and we were delighted, as a team, to demonstrate the powerful lead generation and search engine optimisation that the site can offer."
The four individuals rarely had a break and this was particularly the case on the first and second day. It was only on day three that the group had a chance to explore any of the rest of the large-scale event.
"On the third day it had quietened down a bit and that gave us the opportunity to go around to other stands and soak up the atmosphere," said Mr Graham.
On their way around the event, they encountered many impressive stands, although it was difficult to choose the best.
"There were so many excellent stands in their own unique way," he added. "I went on the Accor stand and that was very big and pretty, while Park Plaza's was also eye-catching.
"Melville's stand was also impressive – it had a superb stand. The company is well renowned for its excellent stand design and build and that was clear in its display," he added.
As well as a wide variety of stands, there was also a range of talks and seminars.
Michelle Crouch, managing director of the Source Marketing Group, addressed the issue of helping to improve event registrations, while Petra Clayton, managing director of Custard Communications, looked at how venues could make use of digital PR.
At the Business Skills and Personal Development Theatre, seminars looked at issues surrounding VAT, while there were also a number of talks on the logistics of organising events.
The team missed most of the seminars because the Venues.org.uk stand was so busy, but Mr Graham did manage to attend an Association of Event Organisations (AEO) event, which was held in Confex's "very attractive" floating bar.
"There was a large water sector and in the middle was a floating restaurant and bar area. We had a lunch there and that was held by the AEO and there were some talks, which were interesting," he said.
Events like Confex play a key role in helping Venues.org.uk promote itself offline, according to the team.
"It gives us a chance to be seen and for people to find out about Venues.org.uk offline. We've got fantastic results in Google but it's great to be able to be physically exhibit and to be seen by potential clients," they added.
Representatives from Venues.org.uk have already met a major hotel chain off the back of Confex and are in positive talks with other venues.
"We look forward, over the coming months, to adding a significant number of new clients to venues, based on the prospects received at Confex," added Mr Sung.