Sparq web banner
Confex Banner

Trading Places

By April 17, 2018Features

Tradeshow season is in full swing with heavyweight event, The Meetings Show coming up, plus two brand new shows for the events calendar in Manchester.

Pride of Manchester
There’s a new name to jot down in your tradeshow diary – the much anticipated #UVMEXPO. No prizes for guessing in which city Unique Venues of Manchester (UVM) is hosting its first events industry gathering in on 5th June, as the marketing company brings together the best, brightest and most interesting offerings from the North West city.

Not just for Manchester-based event organisers, planners from across the UK will be able to rub shoulders and network with representatives from some of the most distinctive and unusual venues in the area, including hotels and restaurants, as well as suppliers.

Providing inspiration, promotion and ideas for event profs, as well as local insight, the all-new expo is all about being original and, as well as showcasing the city and it’s alternative event spaces, will feature a programme of eye-catching activities and entertainment. A gin tasting masterclass is just one of the highlights awaiting attendees, as well as a range of presentations and talks from guest speakers.

Mathew Jayne, Director at UVM, said of the decision to launch #UVMEXPO: “Manchester has not hosted a conference and event industry exhibition for a while, as a city region and major business tourism destination, having an event like this is important to maintain and build relationships.”

Free for conference and event organisers and bookers, the show itself will be hosted, rather aptly, in Pier Eight, a flexible function room, restaurant and bar at The Lowry, the iconic and, dare we say it, unique gallery and theatre space situated on the quayside in MediaCity UK.

For more information, visit

All on Show
Back in the capital, Olympia London is once again the setting for The Meetings Show, from 27th to 28th June. Now in its sixth year, the biggest event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry is taking a fresh approach by offering a new, streamlined two-day format.

Providing event planners with networking, meeting and educational opportunities, as well as the chance to meet more than 700 individual exhibitors, including venues, hotels, destinations and technology suppliers, the 2018 programme is set to be jam-packed with an array of innovative events, activities, talks and sessions.

Following on from a strong showing in 2017, when The Meetings Show was visited by over 4,800 delegates and 1,870 industry buyers, there are set to be plenty of national and international brands and businesses to watch out for this year, including an exhibitor list featuring prominent northern names such as Alton Towers Conference Hall, ConferenceLeeds and VisitYork4Meetings, and Liverpool Convention Bureau.

Last year the tradeshow featured around 70 hours of free educational content delivered by industry experts, and there’s plenty more where that came from as, in addition to two days’ worth of keynote speeches and panel debates there will also be a brand new half-day pre-show conference on 26th June. Over the course of the show, on-trend and relevant topics will include how to increase engagement at events, wellness in the workplace, tech innovations, contract negotiations, and the Year of the Woman.

Furthermore, as the only UK event for the meetings industry with a hosted buyer programme, there are a slew of exclusive networking and education opportunities, including the show’s hosted buyer welcome reception. An invite-only event at London’s Science Museum, buyers will get a chance to experience the museum’s Wonderlab, where they can get hands-on with scientific phenomena and experiments, as well as receive a sneak-preview of its new dedicated conference and events space, Illuminate. Several associations will also be holding their own annual meetings during the show, including the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) and the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA).

For more information, visit

Look to the Future
Manchester is in the thick of the events action this summer, and will show off its Northern Powerhouse credentials by staging a second brand new tradeshow, the International Confex spin-off, Confex Future Focus.

The new addition to Mash Media’s portfolio will launch with two days of events from 4th to 5th July, joining International Confex, The Event Production Show, office* and The Festival and Outdoor Events Show on the company’s roster.

Taking place at Manchester’s award-winning events venue, Victoria Warehouse, Confex Future Focus will provide the same type of inspirational content as its London-based sister show and give the events industry in the north of England a platform by offering planners of national and international events and those seeking new business ventures the chance to meet venues, destinations, event tech companies, suppliers and buyers.

Ideal for businesses wishing to expand in reach, the show has already attracted big brands such as Adidas, BBC, Brother UK, The Co-op, Kellogg’s, and Rolls-Royce. The new event will also be co-locating with PA Live Manchester, with PA Live the new brand name of the dedicated event for executive assistants, secretaries and personal assistants, which was previously known as office*. It will be promoted to PAs in North West as a chance to learn, network and gain new skills.

For more information, visit