United Business Media, owners of the show which runs alongside Firex International, the Facilities Show and Safety & Health Expo, says no official decision has been made but a spokesperson confirmed the company is consulting widely with major exhibitors and partners to gauge interest in the idea.
The move would mark a return to London for the show which moved to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham in 1993.
Even if UBM hasn’t confirmed the move, the consultations it has been holding with exhibitors has certainly raised expectations in the industry that IFSEC could be moved – and for reasons that exhibitors would support.
One senior industry source told SecurityNewsDesk that soundings have been on-going for the past 12 to 18 months and that a major driver to move the show to London is pressure from exhibitors.
He told us, “The show is still working, but its time at Birmingham is life-expired. International visitors want to be in London and it’s so competitive in the market at present that UBM need to do something…
“Overseas visitors have never liked the NEC and we’re finding that some of them are now staying in London and making day trips to the NEC. That means they’re leaving early and aren’t staying for social and networking opportunities in the evenings.
“London now has a venue with the capacity to host IFSEC’s co-located shows including Firex International, along with a variety of available and reasonably priced hotel accommodation plus good transport links – including London City Airport, next door to ExCeL. European visitors would even have the opportunity of making a day trip to IFSEC, using Eurostar.”
Ironically, one person who would welcome the move to ExCeL London would be David Pegler, who became the venue’s chief executive this month. In 1991, as Blenheim Exhibitions Group director, he took over responsibility for IFSEC when it was still in London and moved it to Birmingham two years later.