8th September 2011
Exhibitions recently created a new category specifically for those of you looking to find event venues. The venues can host anything from small meetings to large trade or consumer exhibitions.
John Hooke-Tappin, Exhibitions Business Development Manager, explained the reason behind adding the category: 'Exhibitions is the leading online resource for all those involved in the exhibition and event sector. The site is currently the only place online where you will find a diary of forthcoming UK exhibitions alongside a directory of recommended and experienced exhibition and event suppliers. The new category listing some excellent UK event venues really complements the site and brings us one step closer to being the ultimate resource for the exhibitions industry.'
And it seems we are not the only ones focusing on UK venues at the moment. In July it was announced that Ocean Media Group is to launch a new trade exhibition specifically for the event sector, called the UK Venue Show. Taking place on the 1st and 2nd February at Olympia, London, the new show will run in tandem with its sister exhibition, the Event Production Show and has already drawn the support of the Association of Event Venues.
The UK Venue Show will provide a professional hosted buyers programme for pre-selected and approved budget holders of events, becoming a focal point for the decision makers in the live event sector.
Tanya Cohen, UK Venue Show Event Director, commented: “Running alongside the Event Production Show, staying in central London and capitalising on the increasing strength of the UK domestic market means we have an excellent USP – quite simply to give people exactly what they want and have been asking for. We anticipate over 250 exhibitors and 5,000 visitors over two days in year one – with lots of exciting plans still to be announced”.
Exhibitor, Robin Parker from Church House Conference Centre said: “I am delighted that we have the opportunity to support and exhibit at the UK Venue Show. For Church House Conference Centre the show has come at the perfect time as we look to develop new markets for the venue.”
Many venues across the UK are investing in expansion plans as exhibition organisers look to strengthen their portfolios with new events. Venues bringing new space on-board in the next 12-36 months include Harrogate International Centre, The International Centre in Telford, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, ACC Liverpool, the Royal Norfolk Society and many more.
According to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) Head of Event Design, Karen Wood, the venue is on course to be finished by 2013. The £85 million expansion will include a new 2,000 sq m multi-purpose main hall and Karen is hopeful about the new business the expansion will draw in:
“With work on the new space well underway we anticipate a steady stream of qualified new business enquiries for a much enlarged EICC.”
London has by no means been left behind, with many venues undergoing refurbishment ahead of the London Olympics in 2012. Notably, ExCel London recently underwent an extension to increase their event space by 50%, taking it to just under 100,000 m2. The development reinforces ExCel London as a world class venue that continues to attract major events from around the world.
With so much investment into venues around the UK and the creation of new events on the up, it does seem that the event and exhibition industry is ready to leave the economic downturn firmly behind.