The second Fleet Management Live attracted 16% more visitors to the NEC, Birmingham with a number of new exhibitors, features and seminar content.
More than 1,200 fleet professionals attended the annual event on October 19-20, which featured more than 100 exhibitors (52 of which were first-time participants), and saw the industry come together to network and share best practice.
“We saw a huge 30% growth in floor space as more exhibitors supported the show or expanded their stands to display even more products and services this year,” said Chris Lester, events director at Fleet News. “It was great to see Fleet Management Live becoming a launch pad for so many new vehicles and products, such as the Audi A5 and Q2, Honda Civic and Land Rover Discovery.”
Members of fleet representative body ACFO attended an on-site briefing, while local SMEs joined the fleet breakfast briefing, which was jointly-hosted with the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.
Finance, procurement and HR managers benefited from tailored sessions hosted by HR Grapevine, and those new to fleet management attended the Breakfast for Beginners session, run by the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM).
Fleet News’ columnist Nigel Trotman, who was on hand at the Fleet News Hub to offer advice to fleet managers, was enthusiastic about the 2016 event.
He said: “Fleet Management Live again provided a great learning and sharing opportunity for both those new to fleet and the more experienced. There was something for just about everyone, including new products and services and some really fascinating glimpses of the future. I met some very committed fleet managers and hopefully helped them with some of their challenges.”
Cricketing legend Graham Gooch also shared his leadership tips with attendees on the Fleet News Hub.
The event attracted some of the UK’s leading fleet decision-makers from a variety of background, including retail, utilities and public sector. Jerry Ward, manager - legal operations at John Lewis Partnership, said: “It was well worth the visit as the show provided a good cross section of events and exhibitors.”
Stewart Lightbody, head of fleet services at Anglian Water, said: “The opportunity to meet existing and future suppliers under one roof should never be underestimated. A day spent at Fleet Management Live is as productive as a week full of travelling and hosting meetings across our various offices. Next year, I plan to send my team to the event over the two days to truly understand the diverse and inspiring industry we work in as there is a really big world out there where things don’t stand still for a second.”
Eric Bristow, fleet manager – service division at Hobart UK, found the legislative content helpful. He said: “Fleet Management Live is a great forum for meeting new suppliers and getting up to speed on changing legislation. There is a lot happening at the moment with the Government reviewing salary sacrifice schemes and the tax treatment of ultra-low emission vehicles.”
The exhibitors also found the breadth of the event conducive to doing business. Simon Wheeler, UK fleet and business marketing manager, explained why FCA Group supported the event: “It was a good opportunity for us to showcase our new product across our five FCA brands: Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Fiat Professional ranges. In particular, our All New Fiat Tipo Elite and Alfa Romeo Giulia Tecnica, both geared for business use, were really well-received across a broad spectrum of prospects that visited us on the stand.”
Jonathan Reynolds, head of fleet at Infiniti UK, a second-time exhibitor, was pleased with the level of sales leads. He said: “Fleet Management Live gave Infiniti a great opportunity to showcase the latest model line-up and technology within the range. Attendance over the two days was excellent, without being packed, keeping our fleet team busy meeting both existing and new contacts. It is a vital part of Infiniti’s programme to be seen at these industry events and Fleet Management Live continues to work well for us.”
Malcom Maycock, of exhibitor the Licence Bureau, commented on the high calibre of the audience. “A large proportion proved to be high quality leads and were there to actively seek new business relationships, not simply to browse,” he said.
Following the success of this year’s event, Fleet Management Live will return to the NEC on October 4-5, 2017.
Lester said: “With more vehicles and larger stands at this year’s event, we are now planning to create even stronger features and partnerships for the 2017 event to grow the audience in line with the exhibitor base. We have some exciting new features now in development to discuss with exhibiting companies for next year.”