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42 | WISH YOU WERE THERE? WORDS | John Howell Time well invested?

A mid-size show aimed just at serious investors and covering property in the UK and overseas plus a few ‘alternatives’ is an unusual event. Now in its 11th year, the Property Investor Show has adapted to our new world and its event at ExCel in April gave us yet more evidence that things are getting better in this market

enquires, many of which seem serious.” Richard Bassford, Sales Manager for Global Property Club (www., which had a foot in both camps as it sells both in the UK and overseas, was also pleasantly surprised. “Most of the people here seem more interested in UK property but quite a lot seem interested in diversifying abroad. They have all got the message about what brilliant bargains are available.” Another important feature of the

Seminar | The show was host to more than 50 seminars, most very well attended

Investor Show, has seen it all. After 25 years organising shows, he has experienced the good times and the bad and he always has an interesting take on what is going on in this industry. I caught up with him at the Property Investor Show, held at London’s ExCel on 19 and 20 April.


This is his eleventh year of Property Investor Shows.

The Property Investor Show (PIS) is always a slightly ‘different’ event. As the name suggests, it focuses on the investor rather than the leisure market. As a result, it has a feel very different from (for example) A Place in the Sun Live, which had been held the week before. Property Investor Media hold two of these shows each year, both at ExCel. The next is on 11-12 October. Traditionally, the October show has always been larger than the April show. This year, it looked like it would be

hard to judge how successful the show had been. Last year’s event was combined with the Property Business Show - an event aimed at the UK property industry rather than the investor - and so was quite a lot larger. The two shows are now being run as a separate events - a sure sign of confidence in the market. Nick was upbeat about the event - but, then, which organiser isn’t?

“This is the first day of the show and

we don’t have any numbers yet, but the attendance feels strong. We are pleased with the number of stands - up on last year’s Property Investor Show - and we are pleased that we have attracted so

ick Clark, MD of Property Investor Media and one of the team behind their Property

many people selling overseas property.” What did he feel about those selling

alternative investments? Does he think they belong within a ‘property’ show? He is happy to have them there: “We don’t go out to attract ‘alternatives’ but

“The people who come here come from all over the country. They make a big effort”

several apply to us each year and we are happy to accommodate them. Some of them have been coming for several years.” Does he see the ‘alternatives’ side of the show growing? “It might grow - you can never predict these trends - but the show will remain firmly a property show. I wouldn’t want them to take over or even to come close. I am happy with the present numbers.” Those are currently quite small, probably no more than 5% by number, but they are clearly growing. Nick had noticed a lot of informal

networking going on and he was clearly right. “Investors come just to meet each other. They will use the show to arrange a whole series of meetings by social media. Of course, they will also look around the show but, for some of them, the opportunity to network is the main attraction.” Nor was the networking limited to visiting investors. I overheard several earnest conversations between people well known in the industry. There were some 90 stands for people to see when they were not networking, split between those offering UK property,

those offering overseas property and a growing number offering so-called ‘alternative investments’. On a pure numbers basis, the stands offering UK property and services outnumbered those offering overseas property and services by about two to one, and so it felt on the day. It was equally clear that a large percentage of those offering international property were offering the US. Having said that, the exhibitors selling

overseas property were happy. Those who had been there in previous years reported that this was the busiest event for the last four or five years and, better still, that the people there had come to do business rather than just natter. The newcomers seemed equally content with the level of response they were getting. Eveline Webster (webstergv@hotmail., who was offering property in Calabria, said, “This is busier than we had expected. We have had a steady stream of

Property Investor Show is its impressive programme of seminars aimed at investors. These were as popular as ever. The programme of 50 seminars over the two days contained plenty of interest to investors looking both to the UK market and overseas.

How does Nick see the future of smaller and specialist exhibitions such as this? “They will remain important. Of course, they will change with the times but you need a place to have face to face contact between buyer and seller. There is no substitute for that and today people are more aware than ever of the need to be careful about who you are doing business with.

“Exhibitors see shows like this not only as giving credibility to their company and brand but also as a very cost effective way of finding buyers. The people who come here come from all over the country. They make a big effort. They’re not just looking for a cheap day out. They come because they want to do business and the conversion rate of leads from a show such as this is many times higher than, for example, leads off the internet.” The exhibitors seemed to agree.

PIS |MAY 2013

Clients ahoy! | Serious investors talking about spending money

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