LAPADA chief executive John Newgas has revealed that a membership survey shows now is the time to review the association’s fairs programme. Mr Newgas had already set out changes in May after LAPADA and fair organisers Centrex failed to reach agreement on the future of the association’s January fair, spelling an end to the event at the NEC in Birmingham.
Even though Mr Newgas confirmed that this autumn’s fair at London’s Commonwealth Institute would go ahead, he saw the changes as an opportunity to “reinvent and rethink what we are doing”.
The results of his membership survey have underlined that this is what members want. “This means re-thinking both the location and timing of future fairs,” he explains in the association’s latest newsletter. “It means that we have an opportunity to build a stronger LAPADA fair, hopefully with lower exhibitor costs, and with the possibility of a wider range of locations.”
With the NEC no longer available and a question mark over the future of the Commonwealth Institute, which has been on the market for most of this year, a location change was likely anyway.
Whatever changes are made, however, Mr Newgas assures members that they will be “high quality fairs which reflect the prestige of the association”.