A group of out-of-pocket exhibitors have stepped in to revive a show in Newcastle after the organiser failed to return their deposits.
Bizotunity, owned by David Woods, was due to host an exhibition at the Sports Direct Arena (pictured) on 22 March. The Bizotunity B2B North East 2012 event was advertised with 153 exhibitors. But the firm pulled the plug on the event, with many firms only discovering the cancellation on the day.
The postponement comes after Business Exhibitions UK (BEUK), a business also registered to Mr David Woods, cancelled business-to-business shows in Sheffield and Bournemouth.
But now business networking association Network North has stumped up the remainder of the deposit, about £1,000, paid by Mr Woods to now hold the exhibition at the Newcastle venue on 24 May.
All the exhibitors owed money by Bizotunity will be allowed to exhibit for free.
“We’ve tried to come in and save the day,” said Network North partner Marc Gordon. “We think that we will give 40 spaces to exhibitors who had already paid, and we hope to find another 40.”
The event will be run together with Sodexo Prestige, which runs conferences and events at the stadium, and Back Consulting.
Bizotunity is registered at 14 Polypin Yard, Norwich, Norfolk, with Mr David Woods listed as company secretary. BEUK is also registered at that address with Mr David Woods as company secretary. EN was unable to reach Woods for comment.
BEUK was due to hold the North of England Business to Business Exhibition at the Sheffield Megacentre in November, and the South Coast Business to Business Exhibition at Carrington House Hotel in Bournemouth on 1 March. Both were subsequently cancelled.
Owner of innov8 Conference Services James Caldwell called in trading standards officers after being left £290 out of pocket by BEUK. Caldwell’s only contact with BEUK was a notification on 1 February that the planned Sheffield Megacentre, where innov8 was due to exhibit, had been cancelled. Norfolk Trading Standards officers then visited BEUK and Bizotunity’s registered address but received no reply.
Last summer, EN reported BEUK, organiser of the unsuccessful South of England Business to Business Exhibition 2011, had been dissolved. According to Companies House, Business Events UK was dissolved on 5 July 2011, five days after the show.
Business Events UK was registered at the address now being used on exhibitor stand material by Bizotunity.
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