The annual Service Management Expo (SME) happened for the 30th time last month, back in London after a number of years in Birmingham. The Facilities Show, with which SME is now co-located, celebrated its 15th birthday and the new venue, the ExCeL London centre, welcomed its 20 millionth visitor – all at the same time.
Impressive though these numbers are, it is not really what this event is all about. SME is for service-minded people to discover what is new, explore ways to improve their business and… And what?
I sneaked out of the office to visit the show on its second day, and try to answer that question. Unlike a couple of my fellow Coggers, my ticket was not inspected en-route to the ExCeL on the DLR and I arrived in plenty of time. It was my first visit to the ExCeL and I have to say it is huuuge! Perhaps not by world conference centre standards, but it certainly seemed massive when you are trying to find a coffee.
SME itself forms only a tiny part of UBM’s Protection & Management event, but was easily found with its own entrance and distinctive turquoise colour scheme (which we liked!) The number of exhibitors was disappointing though, and even those with a presence were not overwhelmed by visitors - “steady” is the word that a number of people used when I asked how it was going.