More than 150 intralogistics exhibitors attended the first major conference in the newly refurbished state-of-the-art indoor arena at Coventry Building Society Arena.
IntralogisteX, a national exhibition dedicated to the warehouse and distribution industry’s logistics operations, saw exhibitors set up in the 6,000 square metre indoor arena across two days.
It marked the first opportunity in two years for the sector to meet in large numbers and also signalled the debut major exhibition in the recently upgraded space at the arena.
The refurbishment is part of the wider Commonwealth Convention Centre project at Coventry Building Society Arena, which will give organisers access to 7,750 square metres of exhibition and conference space.
Work completed to the indoor arena includes the addition of a soundproof partition wall, a new dedicated exhibition/event entrance and a full refurbishment of the 6,000 square metre flooring.
Stephen Brooks, Managing Director of Akabo Media and organiser of IntralogisteX, said: “We were pleased to be able to finally stage IntraLogisteX, following the many months of uncertainty and restrictions.
“Although we did have some health and safety measures in place such as masks, social distancing, sanitisers and one-way systems, the exhibition was nevertheless an operational success and there was a nice energy on the show floor.
“We had more than 150 participating companies, and many more visitors than most had anticipated.
“Supply chains found themselves squarely within the public eye during the pandemic and experienced unique challenges of their own. The next generation of winning companies will be defined by their supply chain innovation as much as product innovation. IntraLogisteX is a showcase of both.
“It was a very different exhibition to the last time we held the exhibition physically at the Coventry Building Society Arena, so we expect 2022 will be a return to normal and we have already received many re-bookings as a result of our success in 2021. The overriding feeling from our exhibitors was that this was a job very well done in unprecedented circumstances.”
The refurbishment of the indoor arena at Coventry Building Society Arena is funded through the £3.8 million granted to the venue by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), via the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as part of the Government’s Getting Building Fund.
An additional £1.4 million has also been made available to Coventry Building Society Arena via CWLEP from the Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund.
Paul Michael, Commercial Director at Coventry Building Society Arena, said: “It was fantastic to welcome IntralogisteX to the venue for a sixth consecutive event and to be the first major open event to be held in the newly refreshed indoor arena.
“The indoor arena has undergone significant cosmetic changes to establish it as a state-of-the-art space and it is now ready to host Commonwealth Games events next year.
“IntralogisteX is the first in a long line of events we have booked in the space as the conference and exhibition industry continues on its road to recovery, and we look forward to working closely with organisers to help them take advantage of the industry-leading facilities we have at Coventry Building Society Arena.”
Sarah Windrum, chair of the CWLEP, said: “It was fantastic that the indoor arena at the Coventry Building Society Arena was buzzing again with the sounds of delegates attending the first major conference as lockdown restrictions ease.
“The refurbishment of the indoor arena, lower halls and the forthcoming start of work on the Commonwealth Convention Centre will make a key difference to attracting regional, national and international conferences and exhibitions to the area.
“This infrastructure project underlines the work of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework as we create the conditions to encourage enterprise and innovation to drive forward Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy.”