West side story

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Olympia London wants to become “the UK’s busiest major event venue”, Nigel Nathan, group managing director of the venue and neighbouring Earls Court has revealed. The declaration - and challenge to Excel London among others - comes following a well-documented period of change at the venue, with the planned disposal of Earls Court and the incorporation of some of its shows to a W14 postcode. Media 10’s Ideal Home Show and Reed’s London Book Fair are among the trade and consumer shows moving from Earls Court to Olympia in 2015. Clarion Events also announced the move of its Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show. International Confex moved to Olympia from Excel London this year. The show had previously been held at Earls Court before moving to Excel in 2012. “Historically, we’ve been compared with Excel as ‘Earls Court and Olympia London’. In future, it will be just Olympia London, which is exciting, finally putting the venue by itself in the premier league, exactly what we’ve been working and building towards,” Nathan told EN. “Our vision is for Olympia to become the UK’s busiest major event venue, which figures and growth support. The key differentiators of Olympia and Excel are location and heritage. Being in west London gives us a competitive advantage. We know that organisers have stayed with us and transferred shows to Olympia because they like the central location and are familiar with the area.” In 2013 the venue celebrated 125 years with £30 million worth of investment and the launch of Olympia West to further pitch it against its big east London rival. A recent coup was the return to Olympia of the London Wine Fair organised by Brintex after 13 years at Excel. “Excel is a new venue that is excellent at what it does, but it can’t offer the central location or heritage,” added Nathan. “That alters the sorts of events you attract and the events that flourish there. We’ve had shows return to Olympia from Excel and perform stronger – the Wine Fair increased its visitor numbers by 11 per cent on its return to Olympia London. There’s a similar trend with Toy Fair and Confex, both came back to Olympia to great acclaim.” Nathan said that launch shows Clinical and Cosmetic Reconstructive Expo, which debuted at Olympia National and The Commercial UAV Show, which launches in Olympia Central this November, demonstrate that the venue’s flexible spaces attract and accommodate small to medium-sized shows with growth potential. “In terms of content, we have a high quota of trade and consumer events in luxury, investment and property sectors, including the first Mipim real estate show, which debuts in London at Olympia, arriving from Cannes. These are economically strong growth sectors and therefore represent a strong and stable component of our calendar,” said Nathan. In all, 178 shows are either contracted or shortly to be confirmed for Olympia in 2015, a 30 per cent increase from 2014. In all, 80 per cent of exhibitions from Earls Court have moved to Olympia London. “We can take more shows,” said halls director Gillian Kiamil. “We can have up to five events in a week. But we can’t always fit everyone in.” The venue has recently won planning permission for the next phase for Olympia London. The new developments would include the creation of a new boutique hotel providing direct links to the Olympia’s exhibition and conference facilities. The venue is also considering the replacement of the existing Olympia Grand entrance and improvements to Olympia Way. In the last 12 months, Olympia has introduced new signage in a neutral grey, completed the new floor and entrance to the National Hall new entrance to Olympia Central and Olympia Conference Centre and completed a new floor and entrance to the National Hall. In addition, it has restored the canopy of Olympia Central to its original copper colouring with the support of English Heritage, invested in a new production kitchen and two refurbished and rebranded outlets at Olympia Central: Slice and Central Kitchen. In response, Excel London executive director Jeremy Rees said the venue in 2014 will host nearly 100 exhibitions compared to just over 60 last year. “The events at the venue last year attracted 3.6 million visitors, delivered an economic impact of £2.9 billion and was directly responsible for attracting a quarter of all of London’s inbound business tourism,” he said. “Our vision is to be The Home of World Leading Events. This demands that we have the very best physical infrastructure that is flexible, modern, technologically advanced and suited to today’s exhibition, congress and corporate markets. The key differentiators for Excel that I am most proud of are the quality of shows that we host and the quality of staff at the venue. Both are world class and will allow us to innovate and drive further value for London, our customers and of course our owners ADNEC.” Meanwhile at The NEC, for the financial year 2014/15, it has 138 exhibitions planned, with an average show size of 16,500sqm. This adds up to a total of 17.3 million square metres used for exhibitions. In addition, it expects to have 2.1 million visitors and an additional 391 conferences and live events.  Clearly the battle for venue supremacy in the UK has begun. Olympia London –venue spaces Olympia Grand â—‹ Grade II-listedâ—‹ Largest venue at 14,355sqm   â—‹ Maximum Capacity: 10,000 Olympia Nationalâ—‹ Second largest venue at 8,730sqm â—‹ Maximum Capacity: 4,800 Olympia Centralâ—‹ Set over two floors and ideal for launch eventsâ—‹ Largest combined venue at 8,929sqm â—‹ Level One links in with Olympia West and National – aimed at events that can grow into the venue’s larger spaces Olympia Westâ—‹ Two levels of space that can be used independently or as oneâ—‹ 7,688sqm â—‹ Links to Olympia Grand and Central halls Olympia Conference Centreâ—‹ Purpose-built conference facility with auditorium, reception, exhibition area and breakout rooms on one level This was first published in the July issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.

Movers & Shakers 26/04/17

People moves at Blitz|GES, Gallowglass, Mojo Barriers and more.

Multiplay launches event hardware rental arm  

Mutiplay, organiser of events such as MineCon, Insomnia and BRICKLIVE, has announced the launch of Multiplay Rentals, its new event hardware rental arm.

Elsewhere on EN

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

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

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

Latest Galleries

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.
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.

Latest Opinions

Apps – what are they good for?

Apps – what are they good for?

Exhibition apps are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, says Reftech’s Simon Clayton.
Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
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.