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This month everyone at Lime Venue Portfolio is getting very excited about exhibitions. And rightly so, June kicked off with one of the best international campaigns to take place within the events industry; Global Exhibitions Day or #GED18. The campaign was on the 6th June and bought together the global exhibitions industry to celebrate this extraordinary part of the events marketplace.

Back within these shores, the exhibition industry continues to be dynamic and incredibly agile; our own interest comes from a growing move by many exhibition organisers to choose a venue that is a little more unusual, and we’re excited about a new raft of exhibitions taking place in stadia, historic venues and attractions.

With such excitement abound within the world of exhibitions, we felt we needed to harness some high-powered wisdom, so this month we spoke to none other than Nicola Macdonald, Editor of EN magazine, the ‘grand old lady’ of exhibition titles, and one of the first publications to serve the industry.

Nicola has only recently taken on the responsibility of guiding this epic magazine, and we wanted to know how it feels to be taking on such an icon? She said, “It feels great! I've loved getting to know the world of exhibitions over the past few years and being Editor has allowed me to get out and about even more, meeting people, attending events and covering the topics that really matter to the industry, which is what it's all about!”

One of the stories Nicola has recently been getting into is Global Exhibitions Day (#GED18), and we wanted to find out how big a deal it is? “Since GED launched in 2016 it's become clear that it has the potential to be huge for the industry, and it's amazing how much it has grown already. Sometimes we can all work inside our own little bubbles, and focus too much on the short term, so it's great to get a macro view of the global industry and recognise the massive impact it has,” added Nicola.

Hear, hear! So how did EN celebrate the event? “Along with covering the event online and supporting the Global Exhibitions Day Awards, which were launched last year by UFI and our sister mag Exhibition World, we had a little video up our sleeves…” That little video is well worth a watch here, and explains just why so many people are getting behind the campaign.

But, while we celebrate #GED18, we also thought it worth reflecting on the industry over the last ten years, what progress has it made, what challenges has it come through? Nicola gave us a decent perspective, “Obviously 2008 was a tough time for many industries and exhibitions weren’t exempt from that. When marketing budgets were stripped back it was more important than ever to convince exhibitors and visitors of the value of exhibitions, and I think it’s a testament to the power of the industry that it was able to ride out that storm. In terms of progress, I think that’s always going to be most visible on the tech side of things, whether it’s in how businesses are operating behind the scenes or in how visitors and exhibitors are experiencing a show onsite.”

And looking forward? Nicola had a few thoughts on some immediate industry agenda items, “More recently, GDPR and Brexit have obviously been making headlines, and have been widely anticipated and discussed, but I think it’ll still be a while before we can have an accurate idea of their true impact on exhibitions. What we do know is that this is a robust industry, but also one that is very adaptable, and entrepreneurial; things will change, but it’s amazing how quickly this industry adapts to the change.” 

Well put Nicola. At Lime Venue Portfolio, we’re 100% behind looking at new ways to do things, maybe that’s why we like working with exhibition organisers so much!

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