‘More visitors, more hotel groups, more global destinations’ confirms Steve Knight, the Show’s DirectorThe Meetings Show 2016 was further proof that this exhibition has won a prime place on the annual calendar of the global MICE sector. Steve Knight, the Show’s Director, told ITCM at the show in Olympia London, that the number of exhibitors, at 650, was a new high - and that at over 3,000 the number of pre-registrations was a new record figure.
It soon became very clear during a walk round the Grand Hall Olympia that the Meetings Show had become much more global in its scope. ‘There are 75 new exhibitors’, confirmed Steve, ‘and many new countries making an appearance.’
There were now, for example, stands for Argentina, Boston, Greece, Hong Kong, Hamburg, and Australia .
Emphasis was also placed on opportunities for networking, with a very welcome Lounge Bar and Exhibitors Networking Lounge. A large number of people were also very appreciative of the comfortable seats and large tv screen that were provided by Wales so that visitors could watch the live showing of the Wales v. England football match at the EUFA finals.
The exhibition organisers, Centaur, had realised that this match would be a big attraction and could be a distraction from attendance at the exhibition, but by agreeing to facilities for people to watch it at the show, those interested were kept in the hall and so were not lost to the exhibitors.
Steve Knight also pointed out that more global hotel groups were choosing to exhibit. They included Hyatt, Kempinski, Maritim and Marriott.
The networking approach and the sharing of knowhow and experience were major characteristics of The Meetings Show 2016. An interesting feature was the Destination Showcase. A series of sessions during each day were allocated to groups of destinations that took turns to present their MICE facilities and attractions. The audience was then given an opportunity to join in question and answer follow-ups. One session, for example, comprised presentations from Dubai, the Faroe Islands and Italy, whilst another featured the UK cities of Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton and Aberdeen.
During the Show’s education programme, attendees benefited from presentations by senior executives who had worked with notable enterprises such as Aston Martin, Eurostar and Sainsbury’s.
The Meetings Show 2017 is scheduled to be held over three days from June 13 – June 15th at Olympia.