The two-day Soccerex European Forum 2011 at Manchester Central attracted 1,400 delegates and a 25 per cent increase in exhibitors.
Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie told EN the Manchester Forum made “a significant amount of money”, while the broader Soccerex portfolio was now worth £30m. The European Forum, which ran 30-31 March, attracted 68 exhibitors and was supported by stand contractor Moynes.
“The Manchester show represents great growth on last year’s first edition and we anticipate this will keep going in years three and four,” Revie said.
Ex-Manchester United and City footballer Denis Law officially opened the Forum on 30 March. Law was one of a long list of football celebrities present including Ossie Ardilles, Kolo Toure, John Barnes, Bryan Robson and Carlos Alberto Torres. Revie’s own stand-out performance was Bryan Robson, who flew in from Thailand for the exhibition just weeks after an operation for throat cancer.
Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein welcomed visitors to the show and said the Manchester Forum was worth “hundreds of thousands of pounds in economic impact” to the city.
“The legacy around sports investment will become an increasingly important topic,” he added.
Manchester Central’s deputy chief executive Paula Lorimer claimed the Soccerex Forum showed off the flexibility of the venue and hailed it as another step towards the venue’s projected £60m economic impact to the city this year.
Vice-president of Soccerex Global Partners Locktons insurers Stephen Akers first visited Soccerex in 1996 when Duncan Revie launched the event at Wembley Conference Centre. That show was opened by Sir Stanley Mathews and attracted “at best 100 delegates”, said Akers.
Soccerex has taken place in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Akers claimed theForum offered the industry access to the latest products and information and pointed out demand for specialist insurance products for football players and theirclubs had never been higher.
The last two Soccerex Global Conventions were bids won by Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro as part of their World Cup build ups. Rio now has the Global Convention until 2013, although Revie told EN the European Forum could move to Russia before 2013 if Manchester agreed to an early move.
Manchester Central recently completed the final phase in its £30m redevelopment.
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