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Questions raised over event

By Paul Sanderson

Questions are being asked in the recycling industry as to whether there is room for another large exhibition following the launch of the Stoneleigh Live event.

Due to take part in March 2005, the exhibition is being set-up as a rival to the well-established Recycling and Waste Management and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management shows.

But in a series of calls to key figures across the industry undertaken by MRW, none of those questioned were convinced that the show would offer them anything more than those already in the marketplace.

The marketing manager at a recycling machinery manufacturer said: We would be nervous about visiting a show in its first year where we arent sure about visitor numbers when we have an already stretched marketing budget.

Stoneleigh Live may struggle to compete with both RWM and CIWM in terms of exhibitors and visitors, while the investment required in staging a large show could prove prohibitive.

RWM exhibition director Steve Crowhurst said: Exhibitors want guaranteed results for their investment and that means quality and quantity of visitors. RWM2004 achieved over 5,600 visitors and over 300 exhibitor stands, now the leading event for the recycling and waste management sector.

He added that over £200,000 was invested in marketing and visitor promotion alone for RWM.

For visitors to give up their valuable time, they need to be guaranteed a high quality venue, with good transport links and most importantly a wide range of exhibiting companies.

To organise a successful exhibition you need significant levels of staff, resources and expertise. For example, this industry has a poor record over health and safety. To get it wrong at an exhibition could spell disaster, he said.

Stoneleigh Live currently has just over 10 exhibitors signed up. This compares to RWM2005, which hopes to exceed last years exhibitor numbers when it takes place in September 2005. It already has a majority of the exhibitors who were at the show last year signed up.

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