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Figures just released reveal that over 1,000 industry professionals gathered at Manchester Central for the Annual British APCO Development Sessions and Exhibition.
The new format Development Sessions offered high level roundtable debate, training sessions for control room staff, and presentations on the latest technologies in the public safety arena, while the exhibition offered a taste of the newest solutions for every aspect of emergency and critical communications from over 100 suppliers.
The new venue in Manchester won overwhelming approval for ease of access, good facilities and the proximity of good value hotels and restaurants - Jon Gwillym of Peter Jones ILG, said: “Thank you for moving the show, it refreshed the event and gave it an upbeat tempo. And £65 for a hotel instead of £130 per night!”
HQ hotel The Midland immediately across the road from the show provided a social focal point where 250 guests networked and were entertained on the first night at the annual Gala Dinner sponsored by Fortek.
Indeed, renewing contacts, making new ones, learning and reviewing were central to the whole event.
The 999 Futures and the Blue Light Works meetings focused on the future requirements for civil contingency technologies, with a very constructive mix of public and private sector contributions, Level 3 hosted a high level meeting on PSN with the Cabinet Office, BT and Cisco amongst others, and the Wireless roundtable session in partnership with the TETRA Association and Motorola took an in-depth look at whether LTE and TETRA can effectively work side by side in public safety networks.
On the exhibition floor, ACPO ITS offered the first opportunity to see brand new in-vehicle technologies, and Capita took a highly innovative approach to the show, with artists creating a live customer proposition and outline of how the company approaches client solutions on the walls of the stand across the two day show.
Visitors to the event were welcomed by name on the rolling screen at the show entrance thanks to Motorola-supplied RFID technology in association with Codegate. West Midlands Police and Hampshire Fire were on hand to discuss multi-service ISAR operations and communications with all visitors, and exhibitors reported good business done in the hall.
George Godliman of Fortek said “ This is a great show for us, we always enjoy it and there’s a great mix of customers here. We see our regular contacts and there’s always good new business to be done. We’ll continue to support it”
John Gurney, Frequentis Managing Director, echoed the sentiment, saying: “It’s been really good. We’ve had excellent customer engagement, as we always do at this show, and we’re looking forward to coming back again next year”
British APCO Sessions are now CPD certified, meaning that the training on offer will take an even higher profile at future events, and the Association actively welcomes thoughts and contributions on what the industry needs from the show in future years.
Commenting on the changes at the 2012 event, British APCO Executive Director Tony Antoniou said: “We were so pleased with the overall result of the event. The floorspace was sold-out, the Gala Dinner was sold-out, all up significantly from London 2011. Fresh from the show’s success, we’re now working on our plans for 2013, integrating valued feedback and welcome encouragement from our community. We'll continue to focus on learning, training, accreditation, growth, exposure to new and parallel technologies, roundtables, and debates. If you also agree that Manchester this year was a great leap forward, you'll understand my excitement as we build our follow-on event for 2013."
Dates and venue for the 2013 event will be announced shortly.