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CITY PROFILEIssue 2 | 2012 www.68exhibition-world.netConference and Events Centre or Alexandra Palace," she says."There is also an abundance of hotels in London with many offering events space including Novotel London West, Hilton London Metropole and the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge." But it's the country's history in running events, that Halliwell believes will continue to draw exhibition business to London."The UK is the world leader in creating and running events globally with the events sector having so much maturity from 150 years of running and delivering events and exhibitions on every scale," she says."Because we are a small island, we are driven by necessity to geoclone events around the world. This global positioning means that we create and extol best practice and innovation to the rest of the world. The UK's organisers are arguably the most prolifi c international players, with events spanning the globe."Regeneration on a grand scale has taken place throughout London ahead of the Games. The city is currently undergoing more than £11bn of improvement projects such as the regeneration of London's East End and the enhancement of its transport infrastructure. The city will also offer 100,000 hotel rooms for visitors to the event.The residual effect of the Games will last beyond 2012 with major events already lined up on the London sporting calendar, such as the ITU World Championship Series Triathlon Grand Final and a brand new two-day fi xture for London, Festival of Cycling - the fi rst major event to be staged in the Olympic Park following the Olympic Games. With planning, London can use this opportunity to regain its position as a leader for international events, and not get left on the starting blocks. in London. But there are other venues, for example the Fieras in Italy, who also do their own wine shows. We are investigating how we could bring that content across."James agrees with some of the remarks made on the potential loss of Earls Court to London's exhibition industry, made by David Pegler."Pegler is right in some ways. We think UK exhibition venues are operating at 30 per cent capacity overall. We wouldn't claim our research is scientifi c, but it's based on what we regard as our competitors in the exhibition landscape."However James does feel that Earls Court may yet be keenly missed by the exhibition community."People still associate [events] with West London venues," she says. "I think that cities take about 20 years to move gravitational centres. A lot of visitors still say 'West is best'".LONDON'S BIGGEST RIVALUSEFUL CONTACTSEXCEL LONDON t: +44 (0)20 7069 5000f: +44 (0)20 7069 AND PARTNERSt: +44 (0)20 7234 5800f: +44 (0) 20 7378 LONDONEARLS COURT/OLYMPIA t: +44 (0)20 7385 1200f: +44 (0)20 7370 VISIT BRITAINt: +44 (0)20 7578 1000f: +44 (0) 207578 1011BUSINESS DESIGN CENTREt: +44 (0)20 7288 6225f : +44 (0)207288 NEC is the biggest exhibition space in the UK, with 186,000sqm located over a total of 247 hectares.Situated just over 80 minutes away by train from the capital, the venue's MD Kathryn James says the venue can compare and contrast with what London has to offer. The NEC includes UBM Live's IFSEC security show among its top international events. It also hosts the Crufts international dog show and accompanying exhibition, which last year had 2.25 million visitors, of which 10 per cent were international. James says she sees growing business for the venue coming from international franchises."We have seen a lot of UK organisers franchising out their shows. But we are looking to see how the reverse would work. For example the International Wine Fair is embedded 34mThe number of people who visit London every yearImage courtesy of London 2012