The Taste Kitchen was popular, many seminars were full, and entertainment was running hot throughout the two days of the co-located Australian Business Events Expo and Sydney’s Event Showcase which concluded yesterday. But was the foot traffic enough to satisfy the people paying the bills – the exhibitors?

micenet AUSTRALIA has no doubt visitors found the event to be worthwhile. On the exhibitor side we found a mixed reaction to the two-day expo.

Managing director of Advanced Staging Productions, Alex Yazbeck, a first-time exhibitor said he found the event at this point in time quite valuable.

“If 20 per cent of the leads made here convert into sales I’ll definitely been returning next year,” he said.

“I was expecting to see smaller-scale buyers but I’ve been approached with a whole plethora of event types, from conferences and festivals to weddings. For me it’s been an amazing experience thus far.”

Wrest Point Tasmania’s Alfred Merse, who exhibited alongside Business Events Tasmania, said at the end of day two he was quite surprised by the lack of visitors.

“I’m aware the organisers put a lot of time and effort into building up the show and putting in extra features like the kitchen demonstrations, celebrity chefs and overall entertainment program. So the organisers certainly tried very hard to attract more people to attend, but maybe it’s a reflection of the general environment at the moment,” he said.

“Talking to other exhibitors, the general feeling is that the market is a bit flat and people aren’t spending money at the moment. Having said all that, it is still very important to be involved in trade shows like this because the industry is really built on relationships so we as exhibitors need to be here to build those relationships. When the economic environment improves, we’ll expect business to eventually flow.”

A full report on ABEE and Sydney’s Event Showcase will be in the October edition of micenet AUSTRALIA magazine.