The 2016 London Christmas Party Show took place on 4-5 May at central London event venue 8 Northumberland Avenue. The fifth show in Story Events’ seasonal-themed exhibition series saw 620 qualified event buyers and 62 exhibitors take part over its one-and-a-half-day run.
Split again into an Event Agent’s Evening and Corporate Buyer’s Day format, the event registered a dramatic 24% increase in visitor interactions from the last event, increasing from 5,006 to 6,631 interactions.
Story Events uses NFC reader technology to track the number of interactions that take place during the exhibition between their visitors and exhibitors; this also acts as an easy way for visitors to share contact details with the exhibitors.
Show Director Sarah Kay comments: “The purpose of our shows has always been to put venues and suppliers in front of qualified event buyers and creating an environment and opportunity for real business conversations to take place. For us a key aim has always been to focus on excellent visitor quality rather than just quantity. This year 95% of visitors through the door engaged with our exhibitors, highlighting that this is a business-focused event where visitors come with genuine briefs.”
The Event Agents’ Evening took place on 4 May from 5pm-9pm and welcomed more than 200 top event agents from companies such as Banks Sadler, Grass Roots, Zibrant, Smart Live, CLIVE (formally Concerto Live), MASK, Wonderland Events, Evolve Events, Image Events and Vivid Event Group, to name a few.
The evening is designed to have an informal, party-style atmosphere, making it easy to network and build relationships in the industry.
The Corporate Buyers Day followed on 5 May from 8.30am–6.30pm and saw a 7.5% increase in corporate buyers compared to the 2015 London Christmas Party Show. It welcomed a mixture of top corporate buyers from a number of industries, such as American Express, Barclay’s, BBC, Britvic, Deloitte, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Sainsbury’s, Swarovski, Unilever, Vodafone and many more.
The day also included a full seminar programme, discussing topics from how to engage senior managers with your event ideas to top tips on event planning and how best to integrate social media into events.
Venue Search London presented two seminars on ‘Best Kept Secret Venues – 10 of London’s Hidden Gems’, where they featured a number of unique event spaces such as ETC County Hall, as well as new and exciting venues including Clerkenwell London and a number of new spaces in the Tate Modern, to name a few.
Corporate buyer Kate Hallett from Winshaw, who attended the seminar, remarked: “The seminar was really informative; a great variety of venues that I will definitely consider for future events.”
There were also a number of new additions to the event this year, designed with visitor and exhibitor retention in mind. This included the Gold, Silver and Bronze visitor system, which rewards visitor loyalty. The Gold visitors were attendees who had attended the last two events, Silver were those who had attended at least one previous event and Bronze were first-time attendees.
The different tiers equated to different perks, with Gold receiving access to the new Gold VIP Lounge, an exclusive cocktail, a Gold visitor bag and reserved front-row seating in the seminars.
Another new addition at the show was the Exhibitor Awards. These were designed to encourage exhibitors to engage with marketing the event before and during the exhibition. The top prize, the ‘Exhibitor Marketing Award’, measured by how many visitor sign-ups came direct from exhibitors, was awarded to Belgraves – A Thompson Hotel.
Other awards included ‘Favourite Stand’ and ‘Favourite Newcomer’ – voted by the visitors – ‘Highest Visitor Tap-Ins’ – measured by how many NFC reader interactions each exhibitor had – and ‘Show Legend’ – awarded to the exhibitor who had done something noteworthy during the event.
The next event in the Story Events Exhibition Series will be the London Summer Event Show, to take place in early 2017. Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.