International Confex, Europe`s leading annual forum for the meetings, events and corporate hospitality industry has proved that it really is an international event. On-site statistics indicate a massive 26 percent increase in overseas visitors on the 2001 show to 504 (400 in 2001).
On-site exhibitor stand rebookings were also at a record high this year, with over 70 percent of stand space for the 2003 event already booked -underlining that exhibitors were extremely pleased with the 2002 show and were very keen to return.
event director, Paula Lorimer stated, “Exhibitors have told us time and time again how impressed they were with the quality of buyers at this year`s show. We are very pleased to hear this, as our focus, moving forward is to attract quality as opposed to quantity. Having said that, we were very pleased with the level of visitor numbers in the current climate.
“The number of visitors who pre-registered for the show was actually much higher than those pre-registered for last year so we think the small downturn in numbers may have been due to the exhibition being held in the half term break. This was due to the positioning of Easter and the long term dates on other shows within Earls Court`s calendar. We will be back in our regular end of February slot at Earls Court for 2003 and 2004.
“We are extremely pleased with the number of overseas visitors this year and our plans for a hosted buyer program for 2003 will ensure that the number of quality overseas buyers increases for next year too.”
The National Museums of Scotland, hospitality & events manager, Carolyn Wildy said “The quality of buyers to visit Confex was very impressive. Our events team from the National Museums of Scotland spoke to a number of organisers from high-profile companies from the City, and we secured a provisional booking from one major conference agency. We will definitely be at Confex 2003 and support the rescheduling of the dates so as to avoid the school holiday.”
Wembley (London) Limited, director of sales and marketing, Peter Tudor was impressed by the look of Confex this year and commented “It was very well dressed with some very nice `touches` creating an excellent ambience, relaxed yet business like.”
Onsite statistics indicate that the total visitor number was at 8583. Exhibitor personnel were also recorded and they accounted for 5476 attendees, bringing the total attendance at International Confex 2002 to 14,059, maintaining our position as the market leader in this industry.
It was evident that the show was bigger this year as exhibitors were taking up much more stand space; 520 main stand holders with 594 stands and over 1,300 exhibiting companies was represented across the four different sectors.
Over 70 different countries exhibited at the show and the international focus was again reinforced by the many ambassadors and dignitaries that attended the opening of the show. The opening was conducted by Michael Hirst, Chairman of the Business Tourism Partnership, a cross-industry and UK government group, and Tony Winterbottom who represented the Mayor of London and is the Chairman of the London Tourism Action Group which was set up by the Mayor after the September 11 disaster.
Links of London sponsored the International Confex stand awards. The winner of the Grand Prix for best stand in the show went to the Dubai Department of Tourism.
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International Confex 2003