Centaur Exhibitions is to launch a major hosted buyer led show for the UK meetings industry at London’s Olympia, 9-11 July 2013. Paul Kennedy, MBE, is the show’s strategic advisor.
The event, titled The Meetings Show UK, will be a three-day event and accommodate 1,000 fully hosted senior buyers, including 750 from Europe and beyond.
The event will also be supported by a major professional education programme and a series of networking events. UK destinations will be offered the opportunity to host buyers via a series of familiarisation trips.
Centaur MD Andrew Evans takes the leap of faith with the launch “after months of careful research”. He says: “It is clear the buyer and exhibitor communities would welcome a fully hosted buyer show in London, organised by a senior team of experienced meeting professionals.”
Former Reed Travel Exhibitions group director Paul Kennedy, MBE, tells EN: “The reality is contemporary meetings shows need a quality hosted buyer programme to meet the needs of the market. The investment Centaur is putting in is quite substantial and the company is committed to expansion.”
Kennedy underlines the event will be directed and managed by meeting industry professionals. “We are assembling an Advisory Board of leading industry professionals and already have support from eminent practitioners.”
Kennedy and Evans expect to unveil the new show director soon and to finalise proposals to appoint hosted buyer coordinators.
Commenting on the launch, on the day that International Confex opens in London, Christian Mutschlechner, director of the Vienna Convention Bureau, says: “At last, a major event for the UK to be run by a highly knowledgeable management team; we will be there.”
GM of the Barbican Centre, Anthony Hyde adds: “This is just perfect for London and the UK and we will be exhibiting.”
Patrick Delaney, MD of Ovation Global DMC also welcomed the initiative. “Centaur are to deliver just what the market needs, a large gathering of qualified UK and international hosted buyers with significant budgets who know exactly which suppliers they want to see ahead of the event.”
Carole Mckeller, executive director europe of Helms Briscoe, says: “Helms Briscoe will be at the show in force. We know the hosted buyer community will be delivered and that the quality of the buyers will attract the range of exhibitors a company like ours needs to see.”
Anna Golden, commercial director of Earls Court and Olympia, says the venue, which used to host International Confex until this year, is “delighted to actively support and host The Meetings Show in our new redeveloped West Hall at Olympia. The show’s commitment to attracting a qualified hosted buyer community is very good news indeed for the UK meetings industry. The Meetings Show is confident of attracting another 3,000-plus UK buyers across the corporate, association, agency and public sectors.”
Evans notes: “Our intention is to work very closely with industry associations and key organisations in order to deliver a show and high level educational programme that is on-target and entirely relevant to the meetings industry. With the investment and resources we have committed to the show, plus the deep industry knowledge of the team, we will create a highly effective and successful meetings industry marketplace.”
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