Reid opens Confex with renewed optimism

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Show director Duncan Reid opened International Confex 2010 at Earls Court, London predicting a "similar attendance" to last year's total of 14,000 visitors. This was, he said, "despite the hardest 12 months" of his five years in charge of the show.In the run up to the show, a surge in bookings in January and February and a first-time hosted buyers programme were grounds for "renewed optimism", said Reid, for both the show and the wider events industry.He acknowledged, however, that the total number of stand personnel was likely to be fewer than 2009 given the redundancies that had swept the industry in the past year.Reid presented an ambitious seminar programme and an emphasis on celebrity, with Martin Bell delivering the first keynote and Sir Bob Geldof at the show.The international element was represented this year by 50 countries, said Reid, who predicted a return to buying in the outbound market.Reid and his marketing team have widened the net this year, "concentrating more on the PA market and extending the first day's opening hours till 7pm", he said.
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