Hot in the City

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Square Meal takes place from September 22-23 at Old Billingsgate, London. But why should you visit? Stand Out asks Graham Hill, show director, what’s hot at this year’s Venue and Events…

What can visitors expect to see at Square Meal 2010? What’s different from last year?

The most striking new feature at this year’s show will be new alfresco area on The Terrace. We’ve teamed up with Ten By Fifteen Structures, which will be erecting a lovely open riverside marquee, which we’ll embellish with a white picket fence and some fun outdoor furniture. Integral to this progression is the London Speaker Bureau, which will be holding its annual client drinks party in the marquee on the Wednesday evening, which will attract some additional buyers through the show, as well as a few familiar faces from the corporate speaking circuit.

What new exhibitors will be at the show?

We’re delighted to be welcoming so many new exhibitors in 2010, these include

The Event Doctors, which are setting up an events surgery for bespoke event advice; new caterer Vacherin will be concocting “chemical canapés” on the Chemical Centre’s stand; Harbour and Jones Events is launching the newly refurbished 41 Portland Place; iPilot will be on The Terrace and giving visitors free six-minute simulated flights; carnivores paradise JW Steakhouse will be carving up its outstanding US-style steaks; and many, many more.

In your opinion, is the recession still affecting the events industry?

The corporate sector is certainly more buoyant this year than last, though it’s certainly not out of the woods yet. However, with public sector spending being cut, the market is turning its attentions back to the corporates, and not least the City, as the banks return to profit.

Educational content is paramount. What seminar topics will you be covering?

We are broadening the scope of the seminar programme this year. While we will maintain popular seminars that cover new venues, new restaurants, Christmas parties and the hospitality calendar, they will be less frequent, allowing us to add talks on topics such as social media and the 2012 Olympics, as well as giving us time to invite specialist speakers to cover areas such as new technology in the event industry.

In no more than 20 words why should people visit Square Meal Venues and Events?

Over the last six years, the show has grown and developed in response to reader and visitor feedback, so we are able to provide exactly what event organisers and PAs want. The compact layout and City location also means there’s no need to take much time out of the office. Guests also have the opportunity to pick up tips from the Square Meal events team in our free seminar programme, attend the Fizz For Events sessions or take part in the famous Canapé Cup, all very original features that you cannot access anywhere else.