October, 2011

Confec Green 2011

Having been to numerous forums where suppliers (i.e. venues and companies who supply to the industry) and buyers (i.e. those who buy into the venues etc) meet together to create new contacts. I was pleasantly surprised with the format for this forum.

For once, I was sat at the table and suppliers had to move to come and see me rather than the other way round.

It was a relatively small group of both suppliers and buyers but that meant you were able to get to know more of the attendees and people mixed equally rather than gathering into little groups as is often the case with these events.

The attendees spent around a day and half at the 5 star Andaz Hotel in London, situated right next to Liverpool St Station.

After what seemed to be a relatively short day we were whisked away to the newly opened 5 star Corinthia London Hotel. What a fantastic hotel! Having made the quick show-round before dinner I was extremely impressed with the quality of everything from the entrance hallway to the suites and the two different restaurants the hotel offered.

The Corinthia London Hotel has every right to make its claim on being the flagship of the group. It should also make claim to being one of the best five star hotels in London at the moment.

The Andaz Hotel is another lovely five star hotel but has a completely different feel and style to it. A mix of old and new, traditional and modern, it really is a bit of everything. With the different buildings that have been collaborated over the years I’m not sure if it’s a little bit like a maze, although after a while you do get your bearings.

One of its’ little secret’s (although not for too much longer) is the Masonic Temple that was discovered after years of being hidden. A wonderful space for small events that really want to show off.

Both the Corinthia Hotel and Andaz Hotel have their own quirky features and would certainly cater for many different events for any kind of client.

Back to Confec Green, I certainly found the event to be useful with some really valuable contacts and would definitely consider attending the next event.

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Square Meal 2011

Predominantly focused on venues and services for the hospitality industry, Square Meal takes place in September every year at Old Billingsgate Market.

As far as Expos go, Square Meal is most definitely one of the best.

For starters, it only lasts for two days (most large Expos last for at least three). This means the people exhibiting aren’t stood on their feet for three days running and so don’t lose the enthusiasm of their product.

It is housed in a building that’s not too big, not too small and easily located.

In previous years Square Meal has been predominantly focused on London venues and services. This year was different. There were more venues from outside the London boundaries. This makes quite a difference to the people that come to the show. It means that not only will you get to see some fantastic venues and event options from London but also fantastic venues and services from around the country.

Despite the fact that Square Meal is housed in a venue that can’t offer space to expand, it actually makes it a bonus feature.

You can get around the show in two hours, an afternoon or a full day making it as accessible as you need it to be.

One small thing that I would suggest to anyone organising these events is to provide a full show guide offering contact details for all the exhibitors attending the show. It just means that should you not manage to get around as a visitor, you still have access to the contact details should you need them. Also as an exhibitor paying quite a lot of money to attend, I would expect clients to be able to contact them from either the website or the show guide should they not be able to on the day of the event.

However, having said that, it’s only a small issue and as my favourite Expo, I will most definitely be attending again next year!

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