The 2015 Event Production Show has reported a record exhibitor re-book and visitor numbers 22% higher than in 2014.
Initial figures suggest that visitor numbers increased, and are set to be more than 22% higher than the previous year.
Co-located with International Confex for the first time, the Event Production Show was held at Olympia, London from 18-19 February.
More than 4,500 events professionals were in attendance and benefitted from a packed programme of speakers and seminars, a full supplier exhibition and ample networking opportunities.
“Feedback from the show has been exceptional,” said event director Liz Agostini. “With queues forming throughout both days, there was a constant sense of anticipation and discovery as visitors met with exhibitors, listened to high-profile panellists in the Access Sessions and networked with new contacts.
“These preliminary figures only serve to endorse this and we will be very excited to see the return of so many familiar faces to the 2016 Show, as well as welcome new companies, including several that were so impressed when visiting this year, they immediately booked to become an exhibitor.”
One of the most popular themes for the 2015 Show was networking, with dedicated events hosted by the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) and the National Organisation of Women In Events (NOWIE) to encourage the industry to make new connections, find new event spaces and collaborate on new projects.
“Our inaugural speed networking event was very enthusiastically welcomed, proving there is a real need to create opportunities of this kind to enable landowners, venues and event organisers to meet,” said NOEA CEO Susan Tanner. “The Event Production Show provided the perfect setting as it brought together people that otherwise might have been difficult to contact. We will definitely host it again at next year’s show.”
NOWIE’s chair Zac Fox also confirmed that the show was a success for the organisation. “The Event Production Show was a prime location for NOWIE’s get-together as those who hadn’t heard of us were able to pop along in an informal setting,” she said. “Women from across the events industry were able to catch up and discuss future projects, which made for a huge success.
On the main stage, the inaugural Fest Factor competition, which promised to unite aspiring festival organisers with industry experts, was a clear highlight. Judge Ben Robinson of Kendal Calling said: “Our industry is built on innovation and new ideas which come from people with enthusiasm and vision. Fest Factor provided a platform for these ideas to come through, which was great to see.”
The Fest Factor, NOWIE and NOEA speed networking events are all set to return next year, alongside the Access Sessions.
“The events and competitions we introduced this year have proven so popular that we have an excellent base from which to develop key content,” Agostini said. “Couple this with how well the co-location with International Confex was received, with many exhibitors commenting on how the two Shows provided a greater audience from complementary sectors such as hospitality and conferences yet still managed to retain their own identities, means we have the makings of a superb Show for 2016.”
The Event Production Show will return in 2016 to Olympia on 2–3 March.