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Total attendance at International Confex 2005 was down by seven per cent – the third drop in successive years.
The latest figures released by the independent Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) shows attendance down to 11,319 from its peak of 14,826 in 2001 – a drop of 23 per cent. The number of stands was also down to 416 from 559 in 2002 while the size of the show is also shrinking – down to 7,163 square metres from 9,358 in 2002, a reduction of 23 per cent in overall stand space in just three years.
The news comes hard on the heels of event director Jessica Blue's decision to leave Confex after six years with the show to take up a position with Advanstar Communications.
Before leaving Blue said: "Our exhibitors wanted to see more association and corporate buyers, so for 2005 our marketing campaign focused on delivering more of these. Confex 2005 attracted 1,561 association visitors which is almost double the number that attended in 2004 (a 97 per cent increase). Corporate visitors also increased to 1,374 - a five per cent increase on 2004 figures. Visitor attendance, not including exhibiting personnel, was down by 4 per cent."
CMPi, the organiser of International Confex, has denied rumours that International Confex is up for sale and that Reed Travel Exhibitions had been approached as a possible purchaser.
Nigel Main, communication director, said: "There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that Confex is up for sale. And Reed has certainly not been approached. It is still a highly profitable show."
Ben Greenish, group director of the Travel, Conferences and Meetings Group at CMPi, said: "International Confex 2005 was a very successful event and Jessica has left the show in a strong position. We are currently interviewing both internal and external candidates for the position and will be appointing a new event director in due course."

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