Jonny Sullens, portfolio director for International Confex, has said he is ‘disappointed’ Centaur Exhibitions ‘piggybacked’ on Confex to launch a rival UK events trade show.
The new venture, The Meetings Show UK, was unveiled yesterday during day one of Confex, taking place at ExCeL London (March 6-8), with information being distributed by the organiser.
Sullens said he has spoken to Centaur and expressed his disappointment. “It’s disappointing that a show tries to piggyback on Confex,” he said. “It’s tough when you’ve worked really hard all year for someone to do that without putting in anything at all.”
He added: “The question is, is there enough space in the market? We’re trying to get one big show for our industry instead of lots of disparate events. We saw the launch of the UK Venue Show last month, which wasn’t very well supported. I question the need to try and stretch people’s budgets further in this environment.”
The Meetings Show UK will be held at Olympia London from 9-11 July 2013 and aims to attract 1,000 fully hosted senior buyers, including 750 from Europe. It follows a move away from West London for Confex, which has this year relocated to Docklands venue ExCeL.
Sullens said: “Olympia is a great venue, but it wasn’t right for us. We’ve already seen one show over there [UK Venue Show] and it wasn’t a success. On the whole, visitor feedback about ExCeL has been really positive. People like the campus feel of the show; it’s easy to navigate and everyone can stay on one site.”
Pictured: Jonny Sullens