Targeting the market

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February this year saw the unexpected move of UBM’s Protection & Management Series to Excel, after 16 “successful” years at The NEC. While UBM claims the decision followed a 12-month period of research with stakeholders resulting in “overwhelming support for a move to London”, Clarion Events held their own research to suggest the opposite. Within 24 hours of UBM announcing their show move to London, Clarion Events launched its new installer and channel facing event, Security Live, will be held next year at The NEC. “We are very keen to stress our show is new and much more focused on the installer and distributor industry,” Clarion’s managing director Tim Porter told EN. “We have been able to take over the security industry’s traditional May show dates and NEC location, but we are in no way replacing UBM’s IFSEC.” UBM’s Protection & Management Series includes IFSEC International, FIREX International, Safety & Health Expo and Facilities Expo, and has moved from its previous show dates to a month later, on 17-19 June 2014. “The move to London is a natural progression for the series as the markets we serve become increasingly international,” said UBM Live managing director Simon Parker. “We are very excited at the prospect of a move to Excel which will enable us to continue to grow these events by taking advantage of both the benefits of a London location and the ability to attract new visitor sectors.” The move has been backed by members of the industry. Simon Everest, head of the Security Directorate in the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation said: “I am delighted to see that UBM is relocating to London, taking on board feedback from their customers. A move to London offers UK businesses an exciting global stage to develop export opportunities.” Porter agrees that “London is a great location which delivers an audience of high end corporate, government, policing and security sector visitors,” but benefits its Counter Terror Expo in April more. “Everyone we have spoken to agrees that The NEC is the best location for a show aimed at the domestic and commercial security installer and integrator community,” he said. Porter said Security Live is a “does what it says on the tin” show as it is for the smaller businesses and effectively a niche event. He added: “In our surveys and demographics analysis, we have seen that the UK security installer community is spread across the entire country. It has shown that 80 per cent of the market is within three hours drive time of The NEC, compared to 45 per cent living within three hours of Excel.” However UBM’s Parker said that by moving to London, the event will be closer to the greatest concentrations of core audience groups. “On IFSEC for example, this showed us that whilst we attracted 30 per cent of end-users already, London and the South East is where the end-users are clustered and so we would have a lot more opportunity by bringing the event closer to them,” he said. He said the research suggests UBM will retain its core audiences, and has the potential to increase audience numbers by almost 11 per cent. “Interestingly, what this move has also done is to enable us to re-engage with lapsed exhibitors many of whom are re-energised by the prospect of a London-based event.” While Parker claims the show has secured participation from almost all of its key exhibitors for 2014, Clarion is focusing on lower exhibitor prices. The organiser claims the security industry has seen the ‘installer-fitted’ security market become increasingly commoditised over the last five to 10 years, putting pressure on margins and marketing budgets. “Clarion Events have recognised this new reality by creating a pricing structure for Security Live which offers lower stand costs and higher ROI to exhibitors than previous shows in the sector,” said Porter. Parker said with 45,000 potential buyers, partners and distributors together, the ROI potential is huge. “We bring together the entire industry within security, fire, facilities and health and safety, and not just from within the UK,” he said. The shows scheduled within a month of each other have created speculation as to which show to attend. Porter said that Clarion is aiming for its show to offer continuity of venue and dateline. “Every May for the past 16 years the UK security industry has come together at The NEC to meet and do business, and in 2014 we are delighted that Security Live will be maintaining that long-standing tradition,” he said. While it sounds like there is room for both shows, there are bound to be a few shots across the bows in the battle for visitors. This was first published in the May edition of EN. Any comments? Email exhibtionews@mashmedia.net
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