The highly successful expowest exhibitions - the region’s most important series of trade shows for the tourism, catering and hospitality sector – are under new ownership following a deal completed this week.
Hale Events, based in Axbridge, Somerset, have acquired the expowest brand and shows from Truro-based Exhibitions South West, which established the events more than 30 years ago with a fledgling show in the Ponsmere Hotel, Perranporth, in 1980.
Since then, the events have grown into the biggest of their kind in the South West, each year firing the starting gun on preparations for the coming season and acquiring the status as a barometer for confidence in the sector. Expowest Cornwall is a major annual fixture at the Royal Cornwall Showground and expowest Westcountry, first staged in the mid-1990s as expodevon, takes place each year at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter.
The private sale, for an undisclosed sum, marks the start of a well-earned retirement for Exhibitions Southwest directors Peter Sugden and wife Barbara.
It also provides the opportunity for expowest to continue to go from strength to strength as part of the Hale Events portfolio. This includes the ‘Giving and Living’ exhibition at Westpoint, ‘The Source’ food and drink trade show in partnership with Taste of the West, also at Westpoint, and the Food and Drink Trade Show at Cheltenham, again in partnership with Taste of the West.
Peter Sugden said Exhibitions South West had thought long and hard after being approached about a possible sale of expowest.He added: “We have really enjoyed running the business and we are proud that expowest never missed a show in Cornwall in more than 30 years. There is of course a huge emotional attachment to the expowest brand and events which the company has developed, but for the business, and for us personally, we decided it was the right time.
“Attendance at the exhibitions over more than three decades has been extraordinary and our thanks go out to all our exhibitors and the trade in general for their support and to all our staff who have worked hard to make expowest such an intrinsic part of the tourism, catering and hospitality industry in the South West.
“We are delighted that Hale Events are taking over, bringing with them an in-depth knowledge and track record of organising successful events in the region, and we are confident that expowest will continue to grow and prosper under their ownership.”
Next year’s expowest events are already attracting strong bookings and will take place at:
expowest Westcountry - 6th-7th February 2013 at Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter
expowest Cornwall - 5th-6th-7th March 2013 at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
Mike Anderson, Project Manager and Director of Hale Events adds: “We wish Peter and Barbara every happiness in their retirement. We are really excited about adding these successful events to our growing family of food and drink trade shows. We will be working extremely hard to provide food and drink buyers from the South West, and the exhibiting companies, with events that meet their needs. We will be listening to and engaging with everyone involved, ensuring their success for next year and for the future.”