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A fifth of Meetings Show hosted buyers are 'semi-hosted'

Around 20 per cent of the hosted buyers at this week's trade show can book just four appointments per day

Pictured: The Meetings Show 2016 opened on Tuesday

A fifth of all hosted buyers attending The Meetings Show this week have taken up the option of being semi-hosted.

The semi-hosted buyers must be based in the greater London area and are obliged to make just four appointments per day with exhibitors, half of those who are fully-hosted by organisers.

Show organiser Centaur Live’s data revealed that with a week to go before the show, 20 per cent of the 900 approved meetings and event buyers had taken the semi-hosted option. Overall, 57 per cent of the show’s hosted buyers are from the UK.

Event director Steve Knight said: “If you are fully-hosted you have to do eight appointments per day, and those semi-hosted have to book four per day and I think that’s reasonable. The semi-hosted option is created to for those buyers who are not able to take the full offer.

I did not want the show to be full of semi-hosted buyers because want people to stay longer.”

The show has moved into the Grand Hall at London’s Olympia for the first time this year, and Knight says it has grown by around 15 per cent on the 2015 edition, meeting expectations.

A new home also meant a new date, due to availability, and while anecdotally some event agencies have said June is too busy to spare staff to attend, Knight said attendees were happy with the switch from July.

“Last year an agency told me they didn’t know if they would send as many people as last year because of the change to June, but they have sent two more than last year. There are some who don’t like it and some who prefer it. I think the show will stay where it is for now. Some people are pleased with the move because it is the last show before the summer.”

This week’s show has attracted new exhibitors such as hotel giants Hyatt and Marriott, alongside new destinations, including Sheffield.

Knight added: “I have wanted to come into Olympia Grand for some time. We needed to be given time to grow though. I don’t think it looks like the same place, it has a completely different atmosphere. There is a real positive vibe about it.”

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