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Make the right choice for your eventWith over 40 years experience with AV & IT equipment, we are perfectly placed to guide and deliver the best solution for any sized event.t: 01344 456 600 e: an extra element to your Exhibition News discount Save up to 50% Quote EN NEWS 1Dempsey 2810 ENGAGE, ENTERTAIN &INTERACTevent, tradeshow, exhibition and marketing campaigns with NomadiXdiscountContact Derek Dempsey 0845 050 THE MESSAGE TO THEMWearable, digital overhead screensILLUMINATE YOUR MESSAGERoaming hand held projectors for small or giant projectionsNomadix half page.indd 116/07/2011 08:55:05

the State of the contractor marketIn this special research report, en investigates the perception of the Uk's shell and electrics contractors in light of increased consolidation, margin squeeze and changing organiser 23he merger of Stanco/Opex Group and Early Action Group in February is arguably the biggest story of 2011. An alliance of two of the top three largest shell and electrics contractors to the UK exhibition industry raised immediate questions about the viability of the rest of the companies sitting underneath them. It also triggered debate about the impact a combined and rebranded SO Group would have against market leader Melville Exhibition and Event Services. Finally, the merger posed a game-changing question: What influence will the new duopoly have on contractor pricing, services, quality and innovation within the exhibition market and how organisers choose their suppliers?Given the significant repositioning at the top, Exhibition News was keen to look at the health of the contractor market today and how far consolidation can go. After all, mergers aren't new to the market - the alliance of Opex Group and Stanco created its own waves back in 2007.We also wanted to gauge how smaller brands are being perceived by organisers and felt it was important to detail how organisers choose which contractor to work with and where things could change and improve.In a bid to find answers, EN partnered with newly-formed research company Zing Insights to take a comprehensive look at the state of the UK contractors market today and the impact of the latest consolidation activity. For the purpose of this research, Zing focused on contractors providing shell and electrics services. Many of the players on this list also provide carpet, registration, security, floral, furniture, signage, lifting, logistics, show layout planning, feature design, innovation, AV, exhibitor portals, visual aids, CRM and research services. The contractor list drawn up included 12 brands: SO Group, Stanco, Opex and the Early Action Group, Melville, The Index Group, Hire, Showlite, Dimension 8, Anchor Exhibitions, Joe Manby and Moyne Exhibitions. The research was undertaken in Ttwo stages. In the first instance, Zing conducted in-depth interviews with organisers of both trade and consumer exhibitions to gain an impartial and detailed perspective on the relationship between organiser and supplier. Those participating in the first qualitative research stage included operation managers, MD, CEOs and chairmen at organisations contracting shell and electrics across multiple events as well as single events. The qualitative responses were used to inform a quantitative survey of a broader base of organisers to gauge their perceptions of the contractors they maintain relationships with. The second phase is based on 150 exhibition organiser responses. Sixty-three per cent of individuals that participated run up to five events, while 37 per cent run more than six. On average, these events covered 7,800sqm gross.Notably, 51 per cent of respondents ran only B2B exhibitions, 11 per cent consumer-only and 38 per cent did both.