13 May 2022
“It’s now become the place to be for the industry; nothing quite matches it,” begins a very proud Laura, and rightly so. Ten years on, CPC is now the largest gathering for the pharmacy profession in the UK and a double AEO award winner (tradeshow under 2,000sqm category). Originally planned as a £500,000 event, its sales revenue now sits at a healthy £1.7 million, and attracting around 3,000 visitors per year – around half the entire available audience.
Launched as a ‘blocker’ to a potential rival, the event chose ExCeL primarily due to geographical factors. “We knew we had to be close to London because of the close proximity to so many skilled health care trusts and professionals,” recalls Laura. “For example, we knew they’d be a large delegation from nearby Barts Health NHS Trust that can easily travel to ExCeL…and now even easier with the forthcoming Elizabeth line.
“Our expectations were exceeded right from the very first show and it was clear that this sector had been starved of a platform to meet, network and share vital medical information. These professionals don’t necessarily have desks and are often out in the field treating patients so don’t have those natural touch points. CPC offered that without the need to tag along with your doctor!”
Since the first show in 2012, its reputation has grown and grown with word-of-mouth now arguably its biggest marketing tool. “We see our audience asking their suppliers why aren’t they there, which really counts for a lot.”
Aside from location, the other key success factor is consistency says Laura. “Consistency is key but also that comes from the venue. People come to expect a certain standard and familiarity, but at the same time you can’t get complacent. We have to also remind our exhibitors not to get complacent too! We also offer much greater flexibility compared to other events they might exhibit at where rules can be very strict. At CPC and ExCeL, you also don’t lose sight of your customers as from the stands to the seminars, there’s always interaction and touch points.”
And so what about the next 10 years? “Our plan is continued growth through consistency but perhaps not as fast as the previous decade. Around 25% of our exhibitors are new so it’s about keeping these and expanding where possible. We’ve also seen over the past few years that more companies are moving into the health care sector – mainly due to the pandemic – which has contributed to that growth.”
Laura Shapiro is Group Event Director at CloseStill Media. Founded in 2008, the organisation now runs more than 70 events in the UK and international markets including the US, Germany, France, Spain and Singapore. They are one of the world’s fastest-growing exhibition businesses, running best of class events in the learning, medical & healthcare, technology and veterinary sectors. In the last 10 years they have won more than 50 major industry awards, including the coveted ‘Best Business Exhibition’ seven times.
To find out more about CPC click here