The end of an era, though when I first started work in the industry it was Photography at Work at Wembley Conference Centre.
Be interesting to see if anything replaces it, since big exhibitions used to be the only place you could research a large number of products easily in one place, now the internet & relatively easy international shipping you can source stuff fromm anywhere on the planet from your home.
Entirely understandable, extremely expensive for exhibitors, with added on costs, hotels etc. and the return?? A number of 'expected' people pulled out, really a case of first to bite the bullet. End of an era but the signs were there for a while.
Can't say I am too upset....my past memories were typical of most industry exhibition experiences..hot, stuffy, over crowded and outrageously expensive, particularly any drinks one might choose to imbibe!! Gave them up years ago!
Loads of equipment geeks all crammed into a relatively small space with carrier bags stuffed full of brochures that will probably be thrown away pretty soon after they get home...hmmm, great!!
How much more relaxing is it to identify what you may be interested in and spend some time in more relaxed surroundings, one to one ..like a good dealer?
And if it's seminars you want, there are loads of companies putting these on, although better value is probably a good college course.
I don't like to be critical of the organisers, because they have a damned near impossible task every year, but the hard fact is that in 24 years of exhibiting there not once have we been contacted outside the usual post show 'Thank you, let us know if you want to book again' letter with a view to selling us space, so like all business that haven't pulled their finger out on the marketing and sales front, it has dwindled away: Those who have been every year over the last ten years will have seen the spaces at the bottom of the halls gently increasing year on year, and its a fair bet that one or more of the major players decided they weren't going to rebook for 2014 which tipped the balance, but I don't think you will find it will be long before there are at least two events aimed at replacing Focus announced....
It was well known in the trade that SWPP were looking at becoming involved with, or even taking over, Focus late last year - I am not in the know enough to find out what fell down, but their announcement was online within minutes of the Focus press release.
Later the same day another event/marketing company based in Eastbourne circulated the trade calling a meeting in London later this month to examine the possibility of setting something similar up.
It's early days: A couple of my colleagues on Bigger Picture Roadshows have suggested we develop our small one day events into something larger, targetting only the serious professionals rather than all and sundry.
Yes indeed.... and the NEC have kindly changed the halls so the ghost of Focus is well and truly laid to rest. Many of the usual suspects are already on the floorplan, together with various demo areas, live stage and wild flower garden. The latest version I have seen included a Pro and Exhibitors lounge. Very few album companies as yet though, and Canon havent appeared, but there are a number of substantial stands remaining.
However... I understand - and the organisers have confirmed in conversation with them - that Ticketmaster have been lined up to handle the tickets, so it's going to cost booking fees at least it seems. That part of the master plan has yet to be announced, and the organisers are keeping very quiet about their plans, despite the rates for exhibiting space being comparable with the old show.
The event announced for 3 weeks later in London seems to have been quietly swept under the carpet - haven't heard anything about that one for weeks now.