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ARBS 2012 was always going to be big. From the morning exhibitor bookings opened, there was a flood of bookings and jostling for prime stand locations. We got in quick with the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and obtained some more space – which was also rapidly snapped up by local and international exhibitors. “More than ever, it was really a challenge to match supply with demand,” said Sue Falcke, ARBS exhibition manager.
The lead up to the show was typically hectic, and Monday 7 May saw a huge crowd congregating on the concourse at MCEC from 8am onwards, ahead of the 10am exhibition opening. Venue staff were concerned by the number of people milling around and blocking other events access. A nice problem for ARBS organisers and exhibitors to have – and one which was well managed by all concerned.
The crowd surged in at 10am and rapidly spread out across the exhibition floor, many visitors having mapped out their path through the exhibition while waiting outside. The rest of the day saw steady visitor numbers and many smiling faces on exhibitor stands.
As is traditional, Tuesday saw bumper crowds, but a surprise for all was the high number of Wednesday visitors, which almost matched Monday’s numbers and set a record for day three attendance.
What we smashed:
• More exhibitors than at any previous show, with more than 270 national and international exhibitors on the floor
• Overall attendance exceeded previous Melbourne records
• Seminar attendee numbers were up 25% on the previous best
• Day three visitor numbers were the best ever, rivalling day one over all years
What people said...
“It was extremely successful from many viewpoints […] we have now obtained a number of new co-operative links with industry and Government agencies including one from New Zealand.” – Steve Smith, TAFE NSW
“Congratulations on pulling together a great event. We enjoyed it thoroughly, and I know a lot of our team attended different parts of the exhibition and seminars. Thanks for your support and assistance with our presentation and with media engagement.” – Kriston Symons, AECOM
“Congratulations and thank you for a fantastic ARBS exhibition. I thought exceeding the result from 2010 would be hard but I can say that we have had our best ARBS yet” - Kevin Marr, Carel Australia
"Congratulations on a very successful exhibition. We found it to be very positive and met a lot of people and had a good time doing it." - John Sweeney, Active Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
“First, to you and your team, I thought you did a brilliant job at preparing for and organising the show. Everyone has said already. Thanks for making our job easier and for running such a professional event.” – Glenn Douglas, AIRAH
“The Awards night was certainly another high point... Shane was a great MC.” -- Awards dinner attendee
“I still haven't stopped raving about the three days of the event with my colleagues...!” – Attendee at exhibition, seminars and awards dinner
“That guy [Shane Jacobsen, MC of the ARBS 2012 Awards dinner] could read the phone book and make it funny!” – International guest at awards dinner