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Mice Net : August 2009
news dual shows hit a high in sydney Despite some concerns that traffic was slow, organisers of ABee and rsVp are claiming a resounding success. image courtesy of oneill photographics n this the first year that the two events were co-located, the Australian Business Events Expo (ABEE) and RSVP had a total of 6693 visitors attending both shows, with 3165 attending ABEE and 5181 attending RSVP. Obviously, some attended both. Matt Walton, MD of ETF which owns the shows, said visitors embraced the co-location principle, moving easily from one show to the next, delivering a bonus audience for exhibitors in both exhibitions. “We are delighted with the result given the industry downturn we are all experiencing,” he said. ETF said visitors hailed from key MICE buying sectors including small to medium enterprises, corporate end users and in house meeting planners, industry associations, the not for profit sector, government and non government organisations, professional conference organisers, event management companies, and business and incentive travel organisations. ABEE Exhibitor Donna Kessler of Tourism Portfolio said ABEE was a terrific show and generated solid interest for her company this year. “There was a genuine interest in all of our products, but I did feel numbers were down from previous years,” she said. “I thought the international and national hosted buyers should have had group appointments with new and nominated product, as is the case at EIBTM and IMEX. But the twin-show format worked very well. It created a business buzz at ABEE and a more relaxed space at RSVP.” Show visitor Andi Mether of Zest Events said from an event producer’s point of view it was good to be able to go to both ABEE and RSVP at the same time to see what’s on offer, catch up with suppliers, reacquaint herself with existing products, and see what was new in the market. “It was a really good decision by the organisers of the two shows to I 10 mice.net work together and hold the exhibitions simultaneously. Thumbs up for that,” she said. “I thought RSVP was more colourful and vibrant but that’s not surprising since it’s more of a party planning expo. “I do have to say ‘thumbs down’ to the organisers of ABEE for not making sure their registration confirmations fit on one page. I saw so many people with two pages printed out - what a waste of paper - and when I left the exhibition there was nowhere to recycle my badge. “In these times when environment and climate change is being promoted it would be good for our own industry to take positive action - this includes the exhibitors too. How many brochures are printed and then thrown away. Come on guys - get innovative, reuse, reduce and recycle!” Marketing director of Doltone House, Carmela Signorelli, was positive about her company’s involvement. “As a result of participating we acquired many qualified corporate leads. The target audience was specific and aimed at appealing to our clients,” she said. According to ETF, a major factor in the success of ABEE was the hosted buyer program which was managed and delivered by Business Events Sydney and Qantas. Exhibitor feedback was enthusiastic about the value the hosted program brings to the show. Forty five hosted buyers from Australia, UK, Asia, NZ and USA were hand picked, qualified and flown in to attend and participate in scheduled meetings with exhibitors during the exhibition. Another key factor was the way the industry networked with their industry colleagues. The ABEE network-by-twilight function held at the Bayside Lounge in the Sydney Convention Centre on Wednesday, July 22 was well attended by hosted buyers, exhibitors