London, Day 2 After the Terrorist Attack

JERRY KALLMAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
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London –  As London Transport struggles to get as much of the Underground system back in operation a day after the series of bombings shut down the entire network, most Londoners seemed determined to get back on the job. That includes picking up where disrupted exhibition activities are concerned. Alastair Gornall, CEO of Reed Exhibitions, said today that “Londoners are a resilient lot who are (sadly) used to bombings but an incident like this will  have a short-term impact on the exhibition business. I think that most people will get back into their normal stride after a few weeks or months.” The head of the U.K.’s largest exhibition organizer feels that the biggest problem will be from international visitors who may back out.  “Campaigns/actions that instill additional ‘confidence’ in the minds of our customers will be vital,” he said. His concluding philosophical observation was that “Life/business needs to go on. Sadly, incidents like this could happen in any city of the world.”

Trevor Foley, Group Chief Executive of the Association of Exhibition Organizers (AEO) with headquarters in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, outside of London, said he was frustrated in his efforts yesterday (Thursday) in contacting members most affected by the bombings.  “I didn’t manage to speak with a single venue,” he said.  But  today’s  news from venues is that they intend to carry on as normal, he says.  “However, concerns about  visitor numbers are filtering through from organizers.” He added that while people have been advised to stay out of London, most people are already trying to make their way to work. Foley says he will have more to report by early next week.

Reach Alastair Gornall at 011 44 208910 7910 or alastair.gornall@reedexpo.co.uk; Trevor Foley at 011 44 1442 873331 or foley@aeo.org.uk

Stay tuned to Trade Show Executive for an update…..