A ray of sunshine

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
There’s no doubt the recession affected every industry in one way or another. But luxury markets, such as property investment, were among the hardest hit. It was with this looming backdrop that former Brooklands Group MD, Andy Bridge, took over the overseas property exhibition A Place in the Sun Live under newly formed company, APITS.Following the collapse of Brooklands Group in December 2008, Bridge and his former FD instituted a management buyout of A Place in the Sun Live in partnership with the TV show’s production company, Freeform Productions. The sale included two events – Spring at Earls Court and an Autumn show at The NEC – along with plans for sister UK editions including Manchester. “From the point of view of the consumer, nothing has changed. We were able to go through the transition period from Brooklands to APITS without missing an exhibition,” Bridge told EN. “It’s the same brand, same Channel 4 licence, on-air support, deals in place with the TV celebrities and we were fortunate enough to secure the same venue tenancies.” Reality check However, the size and content of A Place in the Sun Live has undergone significant upheaval in the past two years to reflect reduced numbers of prospective overseas property buyers. Total hall space decreased by up to one-third, while visitors dropped from highs of 21,000 in 2006 to 4,100 in 2010. Bridge claimed up to 75 per cent of overseas property agents had exited the market.“Over the last 24 months, people’s appetite for overseas properties has diminished,” he said. “As a result, our show has had to change in line with that. The yield has reduced in line with lower exhibitor budgets.” Under Brooklands, A Place in the Sun retained a large lifestyle element aimed at entertaining visitors and increasing dwell times. These features have given way to in-depth seminars.“The fact that we have a smaller, information hungry audience means seminars with in-depth content are of more interest than entertainment features such as a casino,” Bridge said.“Our new strategy is to engage the buyer and give them deeper, focused overseas information because people are more cautious but generally more committed to buying overseas.”APITS introduced bespoke country ‘villages’ for France, Portugal and Spain with extended full-day seminar programmes. A new Florida pavilion will be rolled out in 2011. The organiser also continues to run a broad seminar theatre providing buyer advice and insight into destinations such as Turkey, Cyprus and Italy. A push in early 2009 to garner traffic from the co-located Ideal Home Show has also been consciously abandoned in order to knuckle down on relevant visitors. “We initially wanted volume of visitors, but our exhibitor surveys showed that while we got a extra 3,500 visitors through from the Ideal Home Show, those closest to the open shutter between the two shows were the least satisfied,” Bridge said. “Our exhibitor clients just aren’t set-up to deal with lots of people wanting goodies – they only bring two staff to the show instead of six and have 1,000 instead of 2,000 giveaways.”Money matters To help keep costs down, APITS instituted new marketing alliance partnerships with non-competitive media, as well as moved more advertising online.“We still do a high-profile print campaign, but we are better attuned to where our visitors are coming from primarily, and we have affiliate partnerships as a result,” Bridge said. In addition, the organiser’s starting plan is not based on revenue, but a forecast of visitors.“We know how many visitors we need per square metre for exhibitors to feel satisfied,” he explained. “Having 4,000 people could be fine, as long as we don’t sell stands expecting 6,000.” The first 2011 A Place in the Sun Live will be held at Earls Court from 11 to 13 March and is expected to get 7,000 visitors. Bridge anticipated revenue will be up 10 per cent year-on-year at Earls Court and The NEC this October.Overseas exhibitors also continue to return to the show, prompted by the rare opportunity to meet prospective buyers face-to-face, he said.“Some exhibitors do print and online advertising, but there’s no real interaction with people,” Bridge said. “With our event, they’re part of a trusted brand, have TV celebrities who are endorsing the idea of buying overseas, plus an event that creates an air of confidence and moves a buyer’s plans forward.”
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

AEV publishes Size and Scale Index of Events

The Size and Scale Index of Events (SASiE) has published its latest report analysing the data collected over 2015 from the participating venues and organisers.

SMG Europe appointed operator of AECC

Aberdeen City Council has appointed venue operator SMG Europe to manage the existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) ahead of the move to its new purpose-built home in 2019.

Major changes for London Boat Show 2018

British Marine Boat Shows, organiser of the London Boat Show, has unveiled plans for some significant changes to the event for 2018, including two all-new shows within the wider event.

Elsewhere on EN

StocExpo Europe celebrates successful 2017 edition  

StocExpo Europe celebrates successful 2017 edition  

StocExpo Europe, the international event for the tank terminal industry, is celebrating an eight per cent rise in visitors following its 2017 Rotterdam edition.
Making Pharmaceuticals to move to Ricoh Arena

Making Pharmaceuticals to move to Ricoh Arena

Pharmaceutical exhibition and conference Making Pharmaceuticals is moving to the Ricoh Arena this month, and is set to be the largest event of its kind to date.
Somerset House opens up its largest event space  

Somerset House opens up its largest event space  

Somerset House has announced it will be throwing the doors open to its largest and most exclusive indoor space this autumn, previously used for exhibitions such as Valentino: Master of Couture and Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

CONFEX LIVE

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.

Latest News

StocExpo Europe celebrates successful 2017 edition  

StocExpo Europe celebrates successful 2017 edition  

StocExpo Europe, the international event for the tank terminal industry, is celebrating an eight per cent rise in visitors following its 2017 Rotterdam edition.
Making Pharmaceuticals to move to Ricoh Arena

Making Pharmaceuticals to move to Ricoh Arena

Pharmaceutical exhibition and conference Making Pharmaceuticals is moving to the Ricoh Arena this month, and is set to be the largest event of its kind to date.
Somerset House opens up its largest event space  

Somerset House opens up its largest event space  

Somerset House has announced it will be throwing the doors open to its largest and most exclusive indoor space this autumn, previously used for exhibitions such as Valentino: Master of Couture and Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

Latest Galleries

EN Awards 2017

EN Awards 2017

The best of the exhibition industry were out in force on 30 March at ExCeL London for the 11th annual EN Awards.
Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

The 2017 Natural & Organic Products Europe celebrated its 21st edition earlier this month (2-3 April) as well as attracting its biggest attendance yet to ExCeL London.
EN Awards 2017 Winners

EN Awards 2017 Winners

The EN Awards are over for another year. While achievements were recognised and awards were won, we managed to catch a glimpse of the moments the winners won their awards on the night of 30 March at ExCeL London. Let’s all have a look.

Latest Opinions

I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Happy to help

Happy to help

Customer service can make or break a show, warns Media 10 event director Nathan Garnett.
Smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors

James Moffat, head of event websites at LiveBuzz, shines a light on the smoke and mirrors surrounding SEO for websites.