In this latest article, we will be looking at five of the best exhibitions in the events calendar. Now, of course, this is purely subjective, but I think you’ll agree that all of the shows we’ve selected are impressive in some way. Over the years, we’ve worked on hundreds, from London’s Boat Show to the Birmingham Spring Fair.

There’s nothing quite like walking the halls of an exhibition on opening morning. There’s always a buzz in the air and you’re almost certain to find inspiration in something; be it a funky exhibition stand, a demo of a groundbreaking new product that’s soon to hit the market or a Q&A with the season’s hottest designer.

As experts, it’s our job to know what events are taking place and what those events have to offer. When we’re not working at a show for a client, we try to take the time to explore other exhibitions.  it’s always worthwhile.

Olympia Beauty

Grand Hall, Olympia, London 30 September – 1 October 2018

If you’re not familiar, you won’t be surprised to learn this show is ALL about beauty; it really is the Mecca for the industry. It has been running for an impressive 14 years – a huge testament to its success and popularity.

Every autumn, beauty professionals, students and trainees from all over the globe, flock to this coveted destination. Last year, almost 20,000 people attended – now that’s a number not to mess with.

The industry’s biggest brands, from NYX Cosmetics and Dermalogica UK to Lash Perfect and 3D Lipo, will be taking centre stage and the latest beauty offerings will be showcased in all their glory. Covering makeup, skin care, hair products, holistic therapies and more, this is the place where new trends are treatments are launched.

Think of this exhibition as more of an ‘experience’. Yes, there will be hundreds of stands, but in addition, there will be competitions, seminars, and even boot camps. We’ve worked at this show before (many times) and there’s always a great feeling in the air as you navigate your way around – a sense of being part of something exciting before the masses learn the secret.

Business Travel Show

Olympia, London 20-21 February 2019

The next Business Travel Show isn’t until next year but believe me, it will be worth the wait – it always is. It’s officially Europe’s largest exhibition for travel professionals but that title doesn’t do it justice. See it as an opportunity to glimpse into the future and witness first hand how far the boundaries of luxury travel are being pushed.

There, you will find, thousands of corporate travel buyers from across the continent looking to do business with hundreds of the industry’s top suppliers.

This year’s show was particularly insightful. The space was buzzing with new innovations and exciting product launches. Robots and virtual reality met with old-fashioned one-on-one conversations to create the perfect event.

As always, there was a stellar line of speakers from global brands including American Express Global, ABTA, Bloomberg and Expedia. Visitors gathered eagerly to find out what the world of travel has in store for us and they were not disappointed. The sky is quite literally the limit.

A quirky feature of this show and I do hope they will be offering this next year, is the Poken – a virtual business card that allows all visitors to swap information with suppliers, speakers and other buyers.

And if that isn’t enough for you, there’s likely to be wine tasting. Say no more.

Facilities Show

ExCel, London, 19-21 June 2018

Professionals from across the globe will be descending in London this summer, looking to identify new suppliers and source the latest innovative solutions for their business. They’ll also have the opportunity to network with like-minded peers as they discuss the industry’s hottest topics.

It’s not the most fascinating of subject matters, I’ll give you that, but this show does have a lot to offer and it’s definitely worth a visit.

Firstly, it’s the largest facilities management event IN THE WORLD. That’s something to shout about.

It also attracts really interesting and inspiring speakers. Last year, Dame Kelly Holmes and Professor, Brian Cox took to the stage. This year, they are welcoming Ruby Wax OBE, who will be discussing the all-important topic of mental health, and English rugby legend, Sir Clive Woodward. The seminars, which are always packed out, will be held in a new theatre space for added viewing pleasure.

Add to this a really slick venue, impressive visitor list and sports bar for networking, and you’ve got yourself a really good afternoon out of the office.

Lux Live

ExCel, London, 14-15 November 2018

This is the lighting event. No others compare. The show’s slogan is ‘lighting is changing’ and that’s an understatement. A walk around this exhibition and you will soon realise how fast technologies are advancing and how exciting this is for the planet and everyone on it.

Look out for the world’s biggest and most influential lighting brands including Samsung and Philips who will be using the platform to unveil their latest innovations set to rock the world. Be the first to witness new products, new technologies and new ideas.

We’re all familiar with Wi-Fi, but did you know about Li-Fi and its ground-breaking capabilities? If you attend his show, don’t leave without visiting the Li-Fi zone. Here you can learn all about how visible light from LED lighting can generate wireless connectivity. It’s creating a lot of excitement in technology circles at the moment and it’s not hard to see why. This breakthrough development could transform lighting into a backbone for information and free up congestion on traditional Wi-Fi networks.

It’s a very visual show; a party for the eyes if you will so expect to see lots of cool demos. It’s also known for its impressive list of guest speakers – over 100 experts will be taking to the nine theatre-style stages to impart their wisdom. If you want a good seat, make sure to arrive early because these presentations are very popular.


The Meetings Show

Olympia, London, 27-28 June 2018

Last but not least, this show really attracts the numbers. It’s the place to be for event, meeting and conference planners.

The halls are literally flooded (over 700 suppliers attended last year) with representatives from Europe’s finest hotels, venues and technology providers, all looking to mingle and do business. If you have been tasked with organising an event, from a corporate Christmas party to an overseas seminar, it’s a ‘must’. You won’t ever be able to achieve the same level of research and networking sitting at your desk. This industry is all about face-to-face interaction and that’s exactly what you’ll get. And even if you don’t find a new supplier, you’ll certainly leave with lots of inspiration. This one’s free to attend so you have nothing to lose.

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