This week Events Northern Ltd had a whirlwind trip down to London for International Confex 2012. Confex is an essential day out for anyone who organises events and this year took place between the 6th and 8th March, at ExCel, London. We visited the show on Wednesday and had a very productive visit. Although we stayed for the full day the exhibition passed by only too quickly for our liking – too many people to speak to in too little time!
As always it was useful to meet up with current clients, venues and suppliers. It was great to catch up on recent and future planned developments at the Barbican. We were also really pleased to see Visit Manchester and Liverpool Convention Bureau out in force with some of our favourite Northern venues represented.
In some cases I matched faces to contacts I had only ever spoken to previously via phone or email so it was great to say “hello” in person! In particular it was great to finally meet Banks from the Active Network and Adam from Hospitality and Events North.
It is really important to us to be up to date with new developments, products and innovations in the event industry. We feel that these are exciting times for this fast moving sector and we need to ensure we can advise our clients on the best value and most exciting technologies to suit their requirements. Confex is always a great way to get up to speed with the latest products and to have live demonstrations and question companies about their newest offerings. The use of social media, touch screen technology, ipads and mobile phones apps were all very apparent at the show to reflect the way conferences and events have developed even over the last few years. We particularly enjoyed all of the interactive touch products on show from Smart AV which included single-touch to multi-touch, screens, walls, tables, PC’s and tablets.
Another product we loved was the newly launched Rollerwall. This product can be used to create a marketing space or backdrop wherever you need it. Unlike a traditional pop up exhibition stand it is ready to use instantly and will bend and adapt to fit the space available. It can be used as a room divider or can be retracted and hidden away in one solid pillar. The graphics zip-in and are easily changeable. Visuals can be different on each side of the rollerwall giving two stands in one. Alternatively one side can be kept free of graphics completely so that it can be used as a projection screen.
One of our forthcoming conferences requires translation services so it was great to discuss different options such as whisper translation systems and translation booths with the AV Department Ltd.
Sadly many of the exhibitors commented to me that the show was a lot quieter than in previous years, which could be a relection on the tough economic climate. It will be very interesting therefore to find out the final total attendance figures over the three days of the exhibition. For Events Northern Ltd though the trip to Confex was very worthwhile and productive.