New lifestyle show defiant against market woes

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
The organiser of a new LifeStyle show in the South East has played down the impact of uncertain consumer conditions and declining exhibition spending on his event next year. Announced last week, the first Leisure, Luxury and Lifestyle Show will take place at Sandown Park Racecourse in Surrey on 16-17 July 2011 and is organised by Webster Partnership. Webster Partnership MD Paul Webster told EN his son James’ appointment to the company prompted the search for new show opportunities. Although focused on business-to-business exhibitions, it opted to launch a targeted consumer show for the mid- to high-end leisure sector.“We believe a consumer show in Sandown, in a targeted, affluent area, has a good chance of working well. We did a lot of research and had really good responses,” he said.Although several months away, ongoing uncertainty in consumer confidence could arguably effect the show’s success. Figures from the British Retail Consortium for August illustrated a 1 per cent rise in UK retail sales year-on-year. However, deal-driven sales remained a major contributor and big-ticket items were affected by uncertainty over job cuts and income prospects, it reported. The VAT rise to 20 per cent in January could also affect consumer spending.  Webster claimed the boutique show will be tailored to the mid- and top-end of the retail market, which was holding up well. Retail sector research was encouraging and he pointed out CBI was still forecasting 1 per cent growth in consumer spending in 2011, up from 0.9 this year.  The launch of the LifeStyle show also comes in the face of steadily declining exhibition spending in the UK and abroad. According to a recent report into the exhibition market conducted by Vivid Interface, the number of UK companies exhibiting dropped 9.2 per cent, while organisers booked an average of 8.5 per cent less space in 2009 compared to 2008. Webster acknowledged times were tougher and the industry was under pressure, but was adamant live meetings continued to hold an important role.“It’s always a concern, but if you think you have an idea, you go for it,” he said. “There’s always a place for face-to-face. People were very worried when virtual exhibitions came onto the scene for example, but nothing happened.“I am confident about the exhibition industry’s future.”The LifeStyle show will also focus on a wide range of lifestyle areas such as travel, fashion, food and wine, gadgets, cars, health and beauty, home entertainment and fitness. Confirmed exhibitors include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group, Chelsea Football Club’s Football in the Community, Foxhills Hotel and resort, Clay Salon and Spa, Visit Surrey and Sandown itself. The key to running a consumer show in today’s climate is to ensure visitors are entertained, Webster said.“Consumer shows have to be an attraction, not just an exhibition,” he said. “It’s got to be something that the public wants to see.”  Features of the LifeStyle show which should help include the Chelsea Football Foundation’s decision to run kid’s training sessions in an enclosed outdoor space, as well as interactive elements on stands from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful group and Clay Salon and Spa. Webster was also considering using a 270m long champagne bar and running a dedicated home entertainment space.
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 2017 LIVE

Most read Stories

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

The countdown timer has run out. After weeks of companies submitting award entries and sweating over it, there is just one thing left to do before the big night: Announce the shortlist.
RDS launches RDS Venue brand

RDS launches RDS Venue brand

Philanthropic organisation the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has announced that RDS Venue will be launched as a separate visual identity from the main RDS brand.
EN Awards People Finalists revealed

EN Awards People Finalists revealed

The first group of the highly anticipated shortlist for the EN Awards has been announced, including Best Newcomer and Best Event Director categories.

Latest Features

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

In our monthly Alternative Venues feature, EN pays a visit to Stamford Bridge.
Breaking barriers

Breaking barriers

The London Muslim Lifestyle Show is bringing Muslim businesses to the world stage, despite the occasional far-right protest.
My Working Life by David Chalmers

My Working Life by David Chalmers

The senior marketing director, Europe, at Cvent discusses how he got into the industry, his inspirational children and why he’s called The Doctor.

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.