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Welcomewww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 5EditorialPublishing Director Liz AgostiniManaging Editor Nadia Cameron Deputy Editor Antony Reeve-CrookStaff Writer Domenic DonatantoniodigitalOnline Editor Sarah O'DonnellAdvertising Manager Jamie LininSubScriptionSCirculation Executive Tim Pardingtonproduction & dESign Production Manager Luke SpaldingDesigner Sarah GarlandProduction Assistant Julia Ball contact uSSubscriptions 020 8971 8268Editorial 020 8971 8292Sales 020 8971 8265 Production 020 8971 8272Published by Mash Media 4th Floor, Sterling House6-10 St George's Road London SW19 4DPTel: +44 (0)20 8971 82821 year's subscription cost is UK £95+VAT p/a Europe £112+VAT ROW £130+VAT.Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publishers.Printed by Pensord Press Ltd. nother edition of Exhibition News, and another step forward in the Earls Court redevelopment process. This time, we're reporting on Hammersmith and Fulham Council's approval of the first stage of Capital and Counties plans for the site, which will see the Seagrave Road car park converted into housing. This site's redevelopment will include homes to potentially relocate Earls Court residents from the rest of the 77-acre opportunity area should the larger site plans be approved. The council's stamp of approval brings the larger Earls Court site's rejuvenation and demolition of the exhibition halls a step closer, but it by no means signifies the end of the battle. It's still unclear as to whether CapCo's bigger plans will make it off the drawing board, and as we've previously reported, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has several concerns with the first draft of the site's masterplan. Residents also continue to rail against the development.However, there is a clear interest in this site's redevelopment across several councils and judging by the GLA's efforts to help CapCo overcome shortfalls in its masterplan application, we can expect further movement on this very shortly. A potential dark horse threatening to upset CapCo's plans is Chelsea Football Club, which used the February council meeting to call for a halt to any masterplan approval while it sorts out its own plans. The club has previously expressed an interest in building a new stadium, with leisure, conference and exhibition facilities, on the site. Its inability however to prevent the go-ahead on Seagrave Road is a sign that further efforts will be fruitless, unless it hops into bed with CapCo somehow. While we all wait to find out what future Earls Court Exhibition Centre has - if any - work on Olympia's refurbishment continues unabated. In this issue, we include a special report on the new-look West Hall, plans for Olympia 2 and how the venue plans to celebrate 125 years in business. The combination of the old and the new is a pervading theme throughout this month's edition. Our main feature for example, tackles virtual events and how these are being used as a complementary opportunity to physical events. As a former technology industry journalist, I was initially surprised by the reluctance to embrace technology in exhibitions. You can't escape technology's influence now. Nor should you. There are a host of innovations, from mobile apps to virtual event platforms, which give your customers new ways of interacting with their customers and that can add to your value proposition.There are clearly still challenges with connectivity on the show floor itself, but the constructive approach taken by the cross-industry Wi-Fi Working Group is a great example of how we can work together to make technology something that helps us, not hinders us. On a final note, we're just a few weeks away from Exhibition News' sixth annual Awards on 29 March. Alongside this month's main edition, we've compiled a special supplement dedicated to the finalists of this year's 20 people and company awards categories. There are several incredible achievements mentioned here. I look forward to celebrating these industry superstars with all of you come 29 March. If you haven't already got your tickets, get online and secure them at: exhibitionnews.co.uk/awards or call our events team: 0208 971 8282. There is clear council interest in Earls Court's redevelopmentNADIA CAMERON MANAGING EDITORncameron@mashmedia.netTAkING THE NExT STEP FORWARDa

NEWSCompanies House has formally recognised the exhibition industry in a move that could lead to an increase in government support and recognition.The UK exhibition industry has been formally recognised under '82.301 Activities of exhibition and fair organisers' by Companies House. This recognition complements the classifi cation of convention and conference organisers as 82.20 (convention and trade show organisers) and 82.30/2 (activities of conference organisers). Prior to this, organisers had to fi le under 'other business activities'. The new-found category is specifi c to Companies House, as the Offi ce of National Statistics and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs department have used the full Standard Industrial Classifi cation (SIC) codes for the last fi ve years.Nonetheless the development has been well received. "The implementation of the new SIC code is welcome news," said MD of specialist trade show organiser Accession Exhibitions and Publishing EXHIBITION INDUSTRY GAINS NEW RECOGNITION"A lot can happen in the industry in fi ve years, especially during the current economic situation and it's a shame we lacked this important classifi cation," Romain continued. "Now we can join the ranks of industries like advertising instead of being categorised in a 'catch all' category."Romain's view is echoed by the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), which claims the implementation of the 82.301 SIC category will help the industry on many levels. "The new code allows us to be recognised as a distinct economic activity, which is a big win in itself," said AEO deputy MD Jim Curry. "It is great news for the industry as we will be able to easily access key performance data on our contribution to the economy as well as benchmark against other sectors from ONS." Curry underscored the fact the new code was introduced in 2007 as a requirement of European legislation, but that it was also needed to refl ect the growing importance of the service industry to the national economy in light of declining manufacturing categories. "The data from Companies House will undoubtedly enhance our ability to assess the profi le of our industry and its contribution," Curry said. The AEO is working on a number of projects that demand "hard facts and uniformity with other sectors". "The new code ticks both boxes and in turn will fi lter down throughout the industry," added Curry. Exhibition News Awards fi nalists chosenExhibition News is delighted to reveal the fi nalists of our 20 people and company awards categories for 2012. This year, we present 10 company and 10 individual awards recognising the achievements of organisers, venues and suppliers in the past year. Whether it's launching, running, marketing, selling or maintaining a show, each of our fi nalists has demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of our industry and therefore deserves to be recognised by their peers. Competition across all of these categories was incredibly fi erce and refl ected the diversity and signifi cant achievements across our industry. Those shortlisted as fi nalists should be proud of reaching this stage, as many others didn't.Detailed profi les of each of our fi nalists can be found in Exhibition News' special Finalists Supplement, included with this issue. You'll also fi nd our list of esteemed industry judges, who will choose the winners of each of our 20 categories this year. The sixth annual Exhibition News Awards will be held at the West Hall, 6 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukOlympia on Thursday 29 March. We are also pleased to announce Stewart Francis as this year's stand-up performer and host for the evening. Tickets are still available for this year's awards ceremony, so don't miss this opportunity to join your exhibition industry colleagues and peers for one of the biggest nights of the year. Call the Exhibition News events team on 0208 971 8282 or visit our website for further details including discounts for association members: exhibitionnews.co.uk/awardsHIC is not going to fall off and it is not in isolation. The NEC has been haemorrhaging money for a long time but has absorbed it. Harrogate has been here a lot longer- Harrogate International Centre boss Angus Houston comments on the venue's fi nancial position and its exhibition future after reports of further fi nancial losses this year and the announcement that it will outsource more jobs in a bid to cut internal costs.and organiser of the Landlord and Lettings Shows Oliver Romain."It is vital for our industry to be recognised for its contribution to the economy. Without our own industry classifi cation through the SIC codes, it is very diffi cult for statisticians to assess our contribution. It has long been a source of frustration over the years that despite the government agreeing to the revised SIC code in early 2007, it has taken fi ve years for them to be used by Companies House. 29 March 2012 | Awards dinner agenda | Company and People awards AWARDSEXHIBITIONOLYMPIA, LONDONThe finalisTs 2012 We profile this year's best and brightest