Events Industry Comes Out Fighting

It was business as usual at the 26th International Confex when it returned to Earls Court this year and with visitor numbers up 5%, its positive news for the industry.

Aisles were busy, exhibitors pulled out all the stops and there was a lively optimistic feel throughout the three day show, reflective of the fact that the events market was up to the challenge of weathering the current economic climate.

There were 11,143 (subject to ABC audit) visitors to the show up from 10,649, while total attendance for Confex was 15,030 (subject to ABC audit), up from 14,807 last year.

“In the months leading up to Confex there has been a climate of fear paralysing the industry but a significant amount of business has been conducted at the show and I can see a real confidence returning to the market.” Comments Event Director for International Confex Duncan Reid.

“Over the last three years Confex has enjoyed double digit year on year growth and in the current economic climate where staying the same is moving forward, a 5% increase is a fantastic achievement. However, we have also recognised that the phenomenal growth of the show we have seen previously is something that would be difficult to achieve even in better economic circumstances.”

“There was a real feeling of exhibitors looking to maximise the potential of the show and that they were serious about doing business having brought only their best sales professionals to Confex.”

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our exhibitors for their hard work and enthusiasm. Their success and the response to Confex 09 underlines the importance of being at a show and how successful exhibiting as a medium can be.”

Confex Knowledge, the shows education programme also proved a success with keynote speaker sessions, including a lively talk and workshop by Ruby Wax and an insight into the economy from principal economic commentator for the Independent Hamish McRae. The advice centre and CV clinic were also fully booked for the entire three days and received a phenomenal 60 bookings, which is more than double the number of appointments received for 2008.

*Exhibitors at the show said:*

*Steve Lee, Marketing Manager, Bowood*

“Our best Confex and we have rebooked for next year. Good to see confidence in the market place.”

*Catherine Newhall-Caiger, Sales Director, Convention Centre Dublin*

“Steady stream of enquiries, great interest in Dublin and good to have a presence at.”

*Bill Blenkarn, etouches EMEA*

“Confex 2009 was fantastic! Recession! What recession. Taking the current market into account you guys delivered, hats off to you.”

*Fergus McGoldrick, Managing Director, Melville Data Services*

"As the new MD at Melville Data Services, I hadn't experienced just how powerful an event International Confex is. Working the stand with my staff, we secured a great number of really solid leads not only from conference organisers but also from exhibition and corporate event managers too.

First impressions count and Confex for me is at the top of the list. Melville Data Services will be back again in 2010."

*Peter Nash, MD of the Oscar Group*

“This year’s Confex exhibition was a great success for us. Over the three days’ we obtained a fantastic number of quality leads, which is a great start point for a new portfolio addition.”

*Andrew Harvey, Uniqueworld*

“All our members on the stand were very positive. The foot fall was excellent, especially day one and two. The quality of client – agency and corporate - was extremely good and whilst we know times are, and will be challenging, we came away with a lot of great new contacts as well as specific enquiries.”

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