Our new venue and flexible meetings formats didn’t just affect our education exporters and buyers. The StudyWorld exhibitor experience, with stands all around the meetings spaces, was also very different.
We talked to several exhibitors to find out what they thought of the move to the QEII Centre, the flexible meetings schedules which mean many more people are walking round the business floors, and other innovations.
What did exhibitors think of the QEII Centre?
Andrew Hjort, running a stand for English UK North, said: “The venue’s good and that’s given more of a boost to it. The view is great too. The participants seem enthusiastic and one floor is good.”
Henry Tolley, head of business development at Trinity College London, loved the venue. “It’s a great location with stunning views. On Monday, coming in for the seminars and seeing the views from the fifth and sixth floor was great and great for the agents. It’s incredible – you’re here in Westminster with Westminster Abbey as a backdrop when you are selling the UK.
“The room was so open, and we were all on one floor – it felt like a breath of fresh air, and it was very light. He added: “You notice the difference in the feel of it – people were much more relaxed and not rushing up and down three flights of stairs.”
Harsha Shivdasani, operations manager of Hosts International, also loved the venue. “There was the Houses of Parliament and everything else going on so it was quite nice coming to the event. I think we really thought the location was right for the event and it was a very good choice – well done English UK for finding it!”
What about the more flexible meetings structure and specialist villages?
“We have had lots of drop-ins and it’s bringing us new customers. I’ve wandered around and met people between meetings and around meetings. It’s very, very positive,” said Henry.
What about business?
“We have had more quality leads out of this conference than any other. People had time to talk. I caught up with all our centres and all the people I wanted to talk to.
Everyone was talking about how the summer had gone. The big guns were there. It’s the right time to catch people,” said Henry.
Harsha added: “We use the event and our presence to touch base once a year with all the industry leaders in the EFL industry who are partners and clients, as opposed to touting for new business.
We felt it was a wider net of UK schools and colleges and universities as opposed to London based. Hosts International is based in 20 UK cities so it was nice to have people from different parts of the UK. It was certainly more representative.”
What about the future?
“We’re very happy with it – keep it the same for next year. For us when main routes filled up by the coffee stalls and entrances we felt more included and intimate. We got a lot out of it and enjoyed it,” said Harsha.
Register your place at this major trade event for UK education before Monday 5 March to benefit from early bird prices. Or perhaps you really want to raise your profile among industry leaders?