30th November 2006

The Top Ten key events of 2006

As always it was another busy 12 months for the UK exhibition industry. Here we present the 10 key events of the year, some serious others less so, that kept us talking in 2006, many of which will still be around in 2007

1 EIA established – A pan-industry body that will lobby government and spread the good news about exhibitions to a wider audience. Long overdue although some observers point to previous attempts to do the same thing that met with limited success

2 EVA joins AEV – With the venues now under the AEV it now leaves only BECA outside the EIA family

3 Morris resigns – Andrew Morris left his post as NEC group chief executive after 18 months in the job. Step forward Paul Thandi who ended the speculation and got the go-ahead. He immediately reviewed the admin charge, another case of big firms having to listen to their customers

4 AEO conference – Taking place over only one day won many plaudits as did the theme of looking to the future

5 London Motor Show – A much-praised return to the capital for an old favourite. Excel was a fine venue and the organisers are looking forward to building on the good start.

6 London Book Fair – A wake up call for organisers everywhere who may have underestimated ‘exhibitor power’

7 The Big Survey – Simon Burton and Sarah Farrugia’s exhaustive survey revealed some excellent news about the work we do

8 Different events – A number of organisers ran successful events that differ remarkably from the traditional exhibition model, a breath of fresh air…but…

9 …Events v exhibitions – a growing number of organisers are calling their shows ‘events’. A good idea or is it dangerous to lose the term ‘exhibition’ totally?

10 Melville Christmas Party – Still to come but the welcome annual do will doubtless be a fitting end to the year

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