The organisers of Sexpo UK, the sexual health and lifestyle exhibition which took place at London’s Olympia from the 13th to the 15th of November, have said that the inaugural show attracted just under 10,000 visitors. Variations on estimated attendance have been attributed to difficult trading conditions due to the external events of the weekend, which may have contributed to over 20% of the presold tickets not being activated.
The organisers, Carnal Creative, say that despite this, Sexpo UK received positive praise from participants, press and public, with its entertainment line-up and seminars proving incredibly popular. Exhibitor Jed Phoenix of London said in its blog: “For a first event, Sexpo 2015 ticked a lot of boxes. There was a good footfall and visitors seemed to be engaged with both the stands and the stage entertainment,” while Cara Sutra wrote in her report that Sexpo UK was: “An enjoyable event, well managed and organised”. The Metro newspaper approached the show with an ‘OMG these things actually exist LOL’ attitude, headlining its review ‘14 things you won’t believe I saw at Sexpo this weekend’, although the reporter did seem to run out of enthusiasm for the concept towards the end, with number 14 being: “A well stocked bar… Because after all that, boy, did I need a drink.”
Carnal Creative said in a statement: “We are really thankful to those who have stood by us and supported us in launching a new sexual health and lifestyle expo, let alone a new UK brand, on a national scale and hope to be able to extend our thanks over the coming year. We are currently collating feedback from consumers and exhibitors so we can build on year one and create a stronger Sexpo UK 2016.”
To launch the Sexpo brand into the UK, a six figure national advertising campaign was implemented throughout the London borough across buses, taxis, tube and train stations, as well as fly posting and flyer distribution. This was supplemented with media partner collaborations alongside traditional advertising schemes and mainstream marketing.
In addition, Carnal Creative worked alongside exhibitors, entertainment, brand ambassadors and seminar hosts to offer marketing, PR and social media support in reaching a wider audience and to assist participants in increasing brand awareness. An affiliate scheme was also implemented to provide an incentive to participants to support the Sexpo UK brand and for partners to benefit financially from this by offering their customers and their fan base favourable discounted ticket prices. Ticket promotions were also run through a number of high profile platforms including Ticketmaster, Olympia London, YPlan, Lastminute.com and the Sun newspaper.
A full report from the event will be included in the next issue of ETO. Sexpo UK 2016 is scheduled for 11th to 13th November.