Frustrated exhibitors to the South of England Business to Business Expo are clanging for refunds after fewer than 50 visitors attended the one-day show.
According to exhibitors, organiser BE UK promised up to 1,000 attendees to the event, which took place 30 June at the City Cruise Terminal in Southampton.
The Southern Daily Echo reports some stands were left without power or furniture, exhibitors did not receive the promised broadband connection and the postcode given for the show was for an area more than a mile away.
According to the organiser’s website, average sales received or expected based on previous exhibitor experience is £12,200, “representing a massive 3200 per cent return on the price of the average stand”. However, several of this year’s exhibitors told EN they haven’t seen any return on their stand costs, which could run up to £600.
“There were no signs at all,” said exhibitor Neil Macintosh, business development consultant for Oakley Services. “The exhibitors’ document was done on the photocopier and the ink was running out.
“There were a number of seminars, and our guy had five people sitting there listening to him.”
Another exhibitor, Premier CleaningSolutions owner David Carson, labelled the show “a bit of a disaster”.
“I noticed 15 or 20 people walking through who weren’t exhibitors,” he said.
Exhibitors have not been able to contact the organisers since the show. EN has not received a response to requests for comment.
BE UK runs several other exhibitions including the Second East Midlands Business to Business Exhibition 2011 (Derby, 25 October), the North of England Business to Business Exhibition 2011 (Sheffield, 24 November) and the SouthCoast Business to Business Exhibition 2012 (Bournemouth, 1 March 2012).
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