World Travel Market 2004 exhibitors will be allowed to bring indigenous food to their stands at London’s ExCeL – without facing a venue surcharge…
World Travel Market 2004 exhibitors will be allowed to bring indigenous food to their stands at London’s ExCeL – without facing a venue surcharge. The global event, which is expected to have191 participating countries, is to be held at London’s ExCeL between Monday 8-Thursday 11 November.
The decision will be welcomed by many exhibitors who had expressed concern at the cost of offering regional food specialities and refreshments to visitors that could not be offered through the normal catering outlets.
Fiona Jeffery, Group Exhibition Director said: “We are delighted that our discussions with ExCeL have been so positive and that exhibitors will be able to personalise their stand catering with items that typify their own national or regional cuisine.
“We appreciate the goodwill that ExCeL has offered to find a constructive solution and also to work to find improvements that will save exhibitors other stand catering costs.”
Said ExCeL Chief Executive, Jamie Buchan: “Compass still retain their exclusivity for stand hospitality. However, this new arrangement applies as long as the produce is indigenous, is provided free to exhibitors and is a relevant part of the promotion of the exhibiting country at World Travel Market.
“For all other stand catering items, ExCeL is introducing the ExCeL Whistle Stop Convenience Store, a first in the industry. The ExCeL service is a revolutionary concept and we are confident that this new initiative will be welcomed by our organisers and exhibitors. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our customer service and the experience for our guests, which raise the standards for the exhibitions sector.
Exhibitors will also be able to order and pay online for basic items, such as mineral water, orange juice, sandwiches and milk at the better value prices you would find in an ordinary grocery store. These can be collected by the exhibitor from a retail outlet in the Central Boulevard or, for a small supplementary fee, be delivered to their stand. The stand hospitality service, which offers a more extensive menu, remains the same.
“The issue of stand catering had been raised by exhibitors in both independent research and in discussions with individual exhibitors and meetings with industry organisations, such as ANTOR”, said Ms. Jeffery. “But it was important to find a solution that assisted all exhibitors equally, providing them with a fair and balanced system that met their needs while at the same time, while complying with health and safety regulations.
“Part of the success of World Travel Market has been our continued willingness to listen to exhibitors and visitors about what they need to improve their participation and also to lessen the burden of cost.
“Our ultimate priority is to offer exemplary customer service and these stand catering services are another example of how we have not only listened but also taken prompt action.”
Organisers agreed a three-year price freeze last year that means all exhibitors – old or new – are paying 2002 prices until 2005. Exhibitors say that this has helped them to plan ahead more easily.
In addition, a new consultancy service has been introduced this year for exhibitors to help them reduce personnel travel costs and to maximise their business effectiveness at the event.
Serge Moes, ANTOE chairman responded positively to the news. He said: ANTOR is absolutely delighted that this long-standing issue has finally been resolved.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.