Best of Britain and Ireland disappointed with consumer draw
by Annie Byrne
Despite seeing growth for its trade exhibition, the organiser behind Best of Britain and Ireland consumer show at London Olympia drew almost four thousand fewer visitors than the previous year.The event organiser sent a letter of apology to exhibitors following the disappointing visitor turn-out.Angie Watson, event director for Best of Britain and Ireland, says the organiser is actively looking in to the reasons behind the attendance drop.“We were very disappointed. Attendance was lower than we wanted it to be,” she says, adding that they will meet with a steering group at the end of April to discuss possible courses of action. “We are trying to do the best for the industry,” she says.The 2009 consumer show brought 9,237 visitors on a Saturday and Sunday. Only 5,296 visitors attended this year’s consumer show, which took place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 March. The respective second days saw similar numbers, but the first day of the 2010 show had disappointing attendance.In contrast, the Best of Britain and Ireland Travel Trade Forum, running from 17 to 18 March, announced a 25 per cent increase in size from last year and a five per cent increase in attendance, drawing more than 2600 visitors.Previously named the British Travel Trade Fair, the event moved from Birmingham to London two years ago, changed its name and added two consumer-oriented days.