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BVE London spawns Manchester show

Kevin Hilton 23 February 2011

The organisers of Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) announced a new spin-off show in Manchester even before last week’s exhibition in London had ended, writes Kevin Hilton. BVE North will run in parallel with the established Media Festival at the Manchester Central venue from 16th to 17th November. BVE (this year’s show pictured) has built up a strong audio contingent in recent years and the organisers, EMAP Networks, are hoping to replicate this with the new show, albeit on a smaller scale. Event manager Charlotte Bowskill says the exhibition will have shell scheme booths rather than the larger stands seen in London, with approximately 60 exhibitors, as opposed to the 240-plus in London. "The majority of visitors to BVE are from the south or are international," says Bowskill, "but our research shows that visitors and exhibitors are behind a show in Manchester. Many companies are opening offices there or plan to. MediaCityUK at Salford Quays is interested in what we’re doing." Bowskill does not think BVE North will dilute the original show, with a survey showing people would attend either the show in London or both that and the one in Manchester. So far no audio companies have booked space but Bowskill says there is interest from exhibitors already involved with BVE in London. BVE North and the Media Festival take place just over two weeks after the Radio Academy Festival, held at the Lowry Centre in Salford Quays. For two years the Academy has hosted the Radio Fair, intended as a replacement for the defunct SBES exhibition. Exhibitors were not happy after last year’s show and a spokeswoman for the Radio Academy said no decision had been taken on whether the Radio Fair would take place this year. According to Charlotte Bowskill the early signs are looking good for BVE North. "Manchester is on the up," she says. 

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