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news EXHIBITION NEWSEXHIBITIONNEWS.CO.UK JUNE 2011 7Clarion Events has postponed the London Gift Fair after one edition. The show was launched in September 2010 in Olympia's National Hall and ran alongside Clarion's established Top Drawer product and design show in the Grand Hall.According to a statement, the show has been postponed until market conditions improve. In the meantime, Clarion has announced additional investment into its Top Drawer event including expansion into the space left vacant by Gift Fair. "London Gift Fair was launched following extensive research with exhibitors and buyers which identifi ed a gap in the marketplace for a general giftware offering in London," the Clarion statement read. "Following the launch in 2010, further analysis was carried out which again reinforced the need for the show and Clarion continued to receive fantastic support from exhibitors and buyers alike. "Given the current market conditions, we feel that while there is an industry need for London Gift Fair, in the interest of best serving the market, the right decision is to postpone the show until market conditions improve." Clarion reiterated its plans to expand Top Drawer are now being brought forward to next year. Upper Street Events has also blamed challenging market decisions for its decision to not go ahead with its Select Contemporary Art Fair launch. Due to run from 11 to 15 May at the Business Design Centre (BDC), the Select Contemporary Art Fair would have built on the success of Upper Street's London Art Fair next running in January at the BDC. "It was felt that challenging market conditions meant there was a risk the Fair might not meet the needs and expectations of exhibiting galleries and visitors," said event director Jonathan Burton, also director of the London Art Fair. "The decision has been taken to cancel the fair rather than present a potentially compromised event." Clarion Events postpones London Gift FairStanco/Opex and EAG rebrand to SO GroupThe organiser of the Best of Britain and Ireland (BoBI) travel and tourism exhibition has attributed the sale of the event to Expo Management to the demise of Visit London.Best of Britain Events MD Rob Mackenzie said the sale of BoBI became necessary to recoup losses following Visit London's fall into administration on 1 April. The agency suffered a £2m funding shortfall following the Government's Comprehensive Spending review and scrapping of the Local Development Agency. The Visit London agency has since been replaced with the London & Partners promotional body. "Unfortunately, our company has been caught up in the sudden announcement of Visit London's administration and the very substantial bad debt that this has infl icted on us has forced me to conclude that now is the correct moment to pass the organisation of BoBI to new owners," Mackenzie stated. "We're nevertheless delighted £2m Funding shortfall for Visit London following public sector cutsto be able to ensure that BoBI has a bright, secure future in the capable hands of Expo Management."Best of Britain events and Expo Management initially began as foes after the latter's travel Trade Britain launch. However, the decision to merge Travel Trade Britain into BoBI changed the relationship. BoBI runs at The NEC and is next scheduled in March 2012. Mackenzie's Visit London woes come just months after another of his organising companies, Marine Industry Events, cancelled the Liverpool Boat Show two months out from its launch event. Upper Street art fair cancelled The recently combined Stanco, Opex Group and Early Action Group (EAG) business has adopted a new name: SO Group. Group chief executive Steve Barratt told EN it wanted to take on new branding with "elasticity" that could encompass the existing companies along with any future acquisitions. Stanco/Opex and EAG announced a merger agreement in February as part of plans to create a unifi ed global exhibition services company. The deal incorporates Stanco, Opex Group, Exposystems, Excel Invision and EAG."We spent a lot of time and money researching this brand and into what we needed to deliver going forward," Barratt said. "It's not a reconfi guration of existing brands, but the launch of a new name for a company with a new vision, that does what customers require and addresses where the market is."The company has created a host of new sub-divisions using the 'SO' prefi x including SO Wired, SO Simple and SO Hire. It has also signed on marketing agency Hundred for a seven-month programme. Barratt said the fi rst phase of this was conducting global research on where the world exhibition market is.SO Group is also making structural adjustments including a board reshuffl e. David O'Beirne has also been brought on-board as commercial director. Best of Britain and Ireland show hit by public sector cuts

exhibition news news8 JUNE 2011 senior-level decision makers are willing to sponsor trade exhibitions provided the packages are tailored, a new report claims.The findings were part of a whitepaper on the value of exhibitions put together by Emap Connect. The research was based on information from a selection of C-level executives across bluechip companies. The reasons to sponsor a B2B exhibition included visibility, ROI, client capture and internal relations. Specifically, executives said exhibitions allowed them to position their company as category leaders and expose their brand successfully; gain priority access to a sector; take advantage of a show's appeal to the broader media; demonstrate business attributes; block or annoy a competitor; change their image; generate sales and spend time with customers. However, concerns remain about their effectiveness and cost, which organisers must deal with in order to winover clients. Top of the list was the "elusiveness" of ROI and lack of sufficient research into sponsorship results. Other inhibitors include building and stand staffing expenses; poor previous experience; the show's lack of a track record and not delivering the right content for visitors.Report highlights sponsorshipsbluewater bookings grow as Vos signs upCounter Terror Expo builds international might expanded conference element. "There's a lot of money being spent here in the UAE on homeland security technology, so it's a good market in which to rollout our brand," Edwards continued. The launch follows the announcement of the show's American debut in May 2012 at the Walter E Washington Convention Center.Niche Events, which ran the third annual Counter Terror Expo UK for the last time before Clarion takes over, claimed 80 per cent of its 400 exhibitors have rebooked for 2012. The result was up from 330 in 2010. The show was also double its physical size year-on-year after incorporating both the Olympia Grand and National Halls. Just under 8,000 visitors attended up from 6,987 last year. "As the show becomes more established, exhibitors are bringing more equipment to showcase," Niche Events MD Peter Jones said.New show features included a bomb disposal demonstration theatre, surveillance equipment dark room and twice the amount of free seminar content around the show floor. Bluewater Events Venue has revealed 12 consumer exhibition bookings following its launch. The list includes VOS Media's new Vitality Show Boutique, which will be held at the venue in April 2012. VOS Media MD Damian Norman hoped to attract 20,000 visitors and 100 exhibitors to its first Bluewater launch. He said the idea behind Vitality Show Boutique is to take the top 40 per cent of the exhibitors from its parent show and bring them to Bluewater for a sister event. The Vitality Show will continue to run annually at the Business Design Centre. "Following the success we had with Vitality this year, we decided given the high footfall at Bluewater that it made sense to roll out a brand extension of Vitality at that venue," added Norman.The bookings report was made at a topping out ceremony marking the final phase of the venue's construction. Bluewater venue director Rebecca Cardozo said confirmed events cover health and beauty, craft, baby and toddler and gift markets. A new BBC Haymarket Good Food Show edition will also be launched at the venue. All planned events are feature-led and aimed at giving visitors an interactive experience, she said. Work on the 5,200sqm Bluewater facility, which includes two exhibition halls and a VIP gallery area, is due to be completed in late 2011. Bluewater's launch exhibition partner Clarion Events will run the first two shows in December.the bluewater topping out ceremony (L-R): Dartford borough council leader Jeremy kite; Dartford Mayor Patrick coleman; bluewater GM Andrew Parkinson; venue director Rebecca cardozo; MP for Dartford Gareth JohnsonClarion Events is launching Counter Terror Expo in the UAE this autumn. The news comes as the UK event claimed 80 per cent of this year's exhibitors have rebooked for 2012. Counter Terror Expo Arabia will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 31 October to 3 November 2011. According to Joanna Edwards, conference director at Clarion partner Mecom Forums, the decision to launch so soon came as a result of competing shows taking place in 2012. "We wanted to get something out into the market sooner rather than later," she told EN. The event will have a smaller exhibition element than its UK counterpart, but an