Glasgow organisers have predicted a key renewable energy conference will start to grow attendance numbers again after relocating from its home in Aberdeen.
Planners behind the All-Energy 2015 exhibition and conference revealed half of the available space has already been reserved or booked by exhibitors nine months ahead of the 15th annual event in May.
Jonathan Heastie, Event Director for Reed Exhibitions said the event is “tracking ahead of last year so is set to be bigger than 2014”.
Figures released earlier this year revealed that attendance at the 2014 event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) had slumped to 6,875 delegates.
This was down from an estimated 7,600 in 2013 and a peak of more than 8,300 in 2012 when the show attracted 580 exhibitors.
Reed dealt a blow earlier this year to the north-east renewable energy industry when it announced it was moving the event from Aberdeen, where it had been established 14 years ago, to Glasgow.
Barney Crockett, convener of enterprise, strategic planning and infrastructure at Aberdeen City Council said that while it was a “major disappointment and a shock” that the event had relocated from its home in the Granite City, he predicted it would return due to exhibitor demand when the new AECC is built in 2017.
“It came through loud and clear from exhibitors that they would prefer to be staying in Aberdeen and I think that pressure will come through to the organisers,” he said.
“It may well return to Aberdeen once we open the new centre.”
Glasgow City Council has pledged to make the event the centrepiece of its first themed “green year”.
The 15th All-Energy event in Glasgow is expected to attract 7,000 delegates, providing an economic boost of around £5million to the city, the council said.
“Naturally it was a wrench leaving Aberdeen after so many years of successful growth, but the time was deemed right for a change of venue to ensure that we continue to connect the UK supply chain who participate in All-Energy to new contacts from both national and international trading locations,” Heastie said.
“Our post-event survey of both exhibitors and visitors has shown that a high proportion from north and south of the Border are enthusiastic about the move to Glasgow” he added.
The organisers added that Glasgow had also pledged to help grow attendance and participation from local policy makers, academia, research and industry.
Releasing some “fascinating facts and figures” from its post-show survey, Reeds confirmed that All-Energy 2014 had attracted more than 450 exhibiting companies from 48 countries.
“Networking is vital for both visitors and exhibitors and satisfaction levels for our Giant Networking Evening were high – this is something we will be continuing in Glasgow with a most exciting venue for the first show there,” Heastie said.
The UK’s largest renewable exhibition and conference will be held Wednesday 6 – Thursday 7 May 2015 at the SECC.