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Record exhibitor and appointment numbers at The Meetings Show

The Meetings Show has reported its best ever exhibitor stand sales figures and the highest number of pre-scheduled appointments in its seven year history.

The show has increased overall revenue by 20 per cent year-on-year, with a major contribution coming from an 18 per cent increase in international exhibitors.

The show’s hosted buyer programme, which allows pre-qualified buyers to plan appointments with more than 750 exhibitors at the show, has seen more than 12,100 appointments made this year – which is an all-time record for the show.

The Meetings Show kicked off on Tuesday 25 June with its pre-show conference, attended by 350 hosted buyers. The half-day conference began with a keynote address from British economist, writer and public speaker, Gerard Lyons.

Lyons’ speech, titled “The major economic and financial issues for the world and the UK – and what they mean” – covered the world’s economic journey and looked at where growth would come from as well as economic threats and opportunities.

He said: “The global cake is getting bigger and becoming significantly different. We have also had a slowdown over the last year and it still remains to be seen how things will turn out, but hopefully, trade disputes between China and the US will be solved.”

Following the keynote, the conference, held at the Olympia Conference Centre, divided into separate streams for associations, agencies and corporate event planners.

Discussions included:

• Attract, Retain and Develop Talent with Sarah Wright of Event Industry Board Skills
• Disruption Creates Innovation with James Graham of Stagestruck
• GDPR – Implications of Brexit with Arvi Virdee of Smartec
• Breaking the Compliance Code with Andrew Moore, Caroline McKenzie, Mark Handforth
• What the Future Holds for Business Events with Giles Smith, deputy director for heritage, tourism and cultural diplomacy at the         Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Kerrin MacPhie of VisitBritain and Nigel Farminer, head of border security, visa and   identity policy at the Home Office.

Hosted buyer Dominique Delaporte, president and founder of French association Reformed aisbl, attended the pre-show conference for the first time. She said: “David Chapple opened the pre-show conference with energy and set the agenda for the conference. It was really interesting to hear from Gerard Lyons about the global economic ‘cake’ and attend other sessions relevant to my job, such as GDPR – Implications of Brexit.”