Under Starter's Orders
by Annie Byrne
The Exhibition News Race Day and accompanying Question Time debate returns to Sandown Park Racecourse for the fourth straight year. For this event, EN and invited guests will tackle the critical debate on whether UK trade shows are cheapening their product by giving away so much free content. The discussion on 17 September will challenge whether this is a successful business model or a lack of confidence in visitor acquisition and how this can damage the industry in the long-term.In keeping with the theme of the EN Question Time session, organisers can apply for a complimentary ticket, all we ask is that a £10 donation is made to the Events for Namuwongo charity. This will be organised when your ticket(s) are confirmed. The debate will be chaired by EN editor Jamie Wallis and will be followed by lunch and an afternoon of racing and networking.The day will include some top betting forecasts from a resident tipster, so good luck when you go and place your hard-earned cash on the horses.Panellists include Paul MacDonald who has almost two decades of experience in the exhibition industry. He spent nearly five years as a portfolio director at Centaur Communications, where he oversaw the marketing and creative portfolio.Under his leadership, he helped grow Marketing Week Live into a market leading B2B event. MacDonald was previously an event director at FreshRM, a joint venture business between Reed Exhibitions UK and Montgomery.There, he oversaw IFE (International Food & Drink Event), which attracted 1,500 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees and Speciality & Fine Food Fair. Other highlights included a five year stint as group sales event manager at UBM, looking after the International Fire Security Exhibition Conference. Under the leadership of Paul Thandi he was responsible for more than 500 hundred global accounts and 11 international sales agents.Panellist Simon Walton will also offer his expertise on the day. A creative director at Silverstream TV, Walton had an extensive career in TV, working for both BBC and ITV.He cut his teeth as a producer and reporter for TV-am. In recent times, he has worked as an executive producer for Optomen Television, which made Police, Camera, Action.Another guest on the panel will be Upper Street Events MD Paul Byrom. He joined the firm in 2003 as head of marketing. He was promoted to MD in 2006 and took the company through a demerger in 2009. EN editor Jamie Wallis said ahead of the 2014 race day: “I am thoroughly looking forward to the Exhibition News Race Day and chairing this year’s Question Time. “In my brief time in this industry, I have quickly become aware that many of you are not backward when it comes to being forward, so I am looking to an excellent debate that is full of different viewpoints from the exhibition industry. The EN team and I, as well as all of us at Mash Media, look forward to seeing you on the day.”Tickets for the race day are priced at £199 for a single ticket or £159 for a single ticket for Event Suppliers and Services Association and Association of Event Venue members. In addition, £10 from all tickets purchased will be donated to Events for Namuwongo.For more information, visit www.exhibitionnews.co.uk, or call Duncan Siegle on 0208 971 8282.
This article first appeared in the September 2014 issue of Exhibition News.