camexpo reports successful first show at Olympia
Host to the UK’s biggest gathering of complementary healthcare practitioners and therapists of the year, camexpo 2014 welcomed over four thousand attendees to its twelfth edition last month on 4-5 October.
Boasting a fresh new look to accompany its move to Olympia Central for 2014, the show combined a bustling 200-strong trade exhibition with a packed programme of Keynotes seminars and workshops. Around 86% of surveyed visitors have rated their experience as excellent/good, with around three in four planning to return next year.
Informative, invaluable, motivating, fun, relevant, excellent and engaging – are just some of the words used to describe the 2014 show so far; with one visiting nutritional therapist commenting that it was “well worth travelling from central Scotland to attend”.
“camexpo is my annual one-stop-shop for business ideas, great products and new skills. I always go home inspired and re-motivated for the next twelve months,” says holistic therapist Paula Woods from Plymouth.
"I do love camexpo,” says holistic & deep tissue massage therapist Ellie Verkerk, from Transformational Massage in Farnborough. “After visiting, I feel inspired, empowered and motivated to become a better therapist. I love the opportunity to share experiences and talk with other CAM therapists, and look forward to it every year!”
“As a first time attendee to camexpo I wasn't sure what to expect, but found it to be a fantastic educational experience and an excellent opportunity to gain insight into a range of services and trends across the industry. It was brilliant to be able to spend a day chatting with like-minded, positive and uplifting individuals and business entrepreneurs. Highly recommended!” adds Phil Mason, a student at Body Type Nutrition in London.
As in previous years, individual practitioners and therapists were by far the show’s biggest audience (47%), followed by complementary health clinics, health stores, and training providers at 16%, 6% and 5% respectively. CAM students – the practitioners of tomorrow – accounted for around 10% of all visitors.
“Our vision for camexpo 2014 was to produce the most professional event to date, one that really focused on the growing needs of integrative healthcare in today’s society. The education programme certainly reflected this, and we’re delighted to announce that more delegates passed through the theatres than at any other camexpo,” comments event director Zoe Campbell.
“Once again, the show attracted exactly the right kind of enthusiastic, high-calibre audience that our exhibitors have come to expect. And as result, our re-book for 2015 has also been our best ever, with 70% of exhibitors planning to return. Big thanks must go to all our visitors, exhibitors, speakers, media supporters, and association partners for helping us put on such a great show,” she says.
Looking ahead to 2015, the show’s exhibitor list already includes a host of returning big name brands – showcasing everything from supplements and natural beauty products to essential clinical services. With 82% of surveyed exhibitors rating their show experience as excellent/good, stand space is filling up fast.
Lepicol and Bio-Kult (Protexin), A.Vogel (Bioforce UK), Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), Alliance for Natural Health International, phi energyDOTs, Abundance & Health, G&G Vitamin Centre, MFR UK (Myofascial Release UK), Integrative Health Education, Parasite Testing Europe, Nutrigold, Balens, Coconoil, and Natural by Nature Oils, are just some of the companies that have rebooked to date.
“2014 was our first year at camexpo and we had a wonderful show – lots of sales, bookings and media interest. We were all very impressed and are definitely returning next year!” says Sarah Cox, founder of Zephorium.
“camexpo 2014 has been very successful for us,” agrees Paul Naude, Nutritional Advisor at Solgar Vitamin & Herb. “The calibre of visitors has been the exact target audience that we require – knowledgeable, highly educated practitioners.”
“We’ve had a fantastic show! We saw a huge number of visitors, which is going to be a real boost to our business in the coming months. It’s really exciting to be part of such a vibrant CAM community,” says Dr Elisabeth Philipps, technical & educational consultant with Nutrigold.
Inspiring show content
With 17% of visitors attending the show on both days, one of the show’s key draws has always been its exceptional educational content – including 22 Keynotes, 17 Demo Theatre sessions, 48 Taster Workshops, and eight Business Clinic Sessions. Averaging four seminars each, 26% of visiting practitioners clocked up an impressive 2,508 seminars between them.
Highlights in the show’s two Revital-sponsored Keynote Theatres included sessions by Professor Ben Pfeifer, Antony Haynes, Bettina Karsten, Dr Marilyn Glenville, Niall Rafferty, and Leon Chaitow.
“My experience of speaking at camexpo 2014 event was excellent,” says renowned osteopath Leon Chaitow, founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. “The organisation, venue, technicians and ambiance were all of the highest standard. And those attending were both attentive and inquisitive – an ideal audience."
Best New CAM Product Award 2014
Audience participation was also key to the prestigious Best New CAM Product Award 2014, which was voted for by visitors to the New Products Showcase on the show’s opening day. Featuring new launches from the last twelve months, the winner of this year’s New Products Showcase award was EssentialFood by G&G Vitamin Centre.
"The whole of camexpo was a success from start to finish,” says Bob Parker, business development director at G&G Vitamin Centre. “We are delighted that we won the New Products Showcase award – particularly because it’s voted for by the camexpo visitors. Since the show, we’ve had numerous enquiries, so it was definitely well worth entering!”
“We’d like to thank everyone who voted for our EssentialFood to make it the ‘Best New CAM Product 2014’,” adds Nancy Grier, PR manager at G&G Vitamin Centre. “It has been a fantastic year for EssentialFood and this really is the cherry on top!”
camexpo Clinic of the Year Award 2014
Another camexpo winner was David Ruddick, principle osteopath and co-owner of Summertown Clinic in Oxford, which won the camexpo Clinic of the Year Award 2014 (it was also finalist in 2013). The Award, sponsored by Coconoil, included £250 cash and £250 of Bamber Watson Coconoil products for the clinic, and was presented by The CMA’s president Jayney Goddard. Now in its fifth year, the award was judged on the treatments offered, marketing, client testimonials, unique selling points and all round client experience. The final shortlist also included Archway House Natural Health Centre in Market Harborough, Ashlins Natural Health in Walthamstow; and Fine Fettle Multi Healthcare in Bookham, Surrey (last year’s winner and a finalist in 2012).
The judging panel were impressed by the high quality of entries but singled out Summertown Clinic for its involvement with its local community, its work helping to teach the next generation of practitioners, and fantastic client testimonials, commenting:
“This family run practice set up in 1975, has become Oxford's biggest and busiest multi-disciplinary clinic. Their mission is to make every patient feel cared for, valued, and listened to, while offering the highest standards of CAM therapy. They work with the community offering open seminars, helping with charity work, and educating other healthcare professionals about the work they do.”
“It was a very proud moment to see my Dad [David Ruddick], who had set the practice up almost 40 years ago, go up to collect the clinic of the year award,” says Summertown Clinic’s director James Ruddick. “He has dedicated his life to helping his patients, and building the most successful clinic he could. So to be given this award was a testament to all the effort, hours, years, and decades, it takes to build a clinic like ours. Of course, he has a great team around him, not least my mother [his wife and co-owner of the clinic – Kerry Ruddick], and we have staff and practitioners who have been working with us for decades. It has been brilliant to celebrate this achievement together.”
“It is thanks to the expertise and experience of all our clinic team, reception staff, and most importantly the patients at Summertown Clinic who together make the clinic all that it is today, and have made this award possible. Thank you everyone,” agrees retired osteopath and herbalist Kerry Ruddick.
She adds: “Having worked with camexpo for many years now, I can sincerely say that this is the one event that brings together all the leading professionals of the industry and people who are whole-heartedly interested in the benefits of complementary therapies."
camexpo Outstanding Achievement Award 2014
The recipient of camexpo’s sixth annual, industry-voted camexpo Outstanding Achievement Award was also a popular choice. The winner – Ruth Duncan, owner of Myofascial Release UK, enjoyed a standing ovation as she accepted the award from Leon Chaitow, who praised her work “at the forefront of the development of MFR as a treatment modality and integrated bodywork therapy in this country for over a decade”. Aside from winning an overwhelming majority of votes, many of her students and clients submitted glowing testimonials on their behalf.
“Whilst training in Massage in the US, this lady was introduced to a life changing therapy – Myofascial Release. Life changing for two reasons – here was a therapy that resonated with her both personally and professionally. MFR ignited a passion, a quest for learning and a deep desire to take it to a new level by making it accessible to a wider group back home – in essence, to share,” explains Chaitow during his presentation of the award at the show.
“She is a naturally gifted orator and found her niche teaching healthcare professionals about the fascinating subject of fascia and its role within each and every one of us. As research grew, so too did our understanding and at every step of that journey she shared it with her fellow therapist’s, her clients – in fact everyone who reached out for it. This was ten years or more in the making and now fascia IS the word on everyone’s lips. This is in large due to Ruth Duncan’s dedication.”
“I am absolutely delighted to win this award and to have it presented by Leon [Chaitow] was fantastic,” says Ruth Duncan. “I have always loved sharing soft tissue and myofascial therapy in our workshops and have had the pleasure of meeting so many skilled manual therapists along the way. I am passionate about promoting this work in the industry to help it get the recognition that it deserves through both clinical results, evidence and research. I couldn’t do what I do without all the amazing support I have from my close friends and like-minded colleagues – we are a team. 2014 has been a great year for me and Myofascial Release UK, and to receive this award makes me realise that the hard work has been worth it!”
Save the date for camexpo 2015
“camexpo offers me the opportunity to increase my knowledge of products and companies; it opens my mind, allowing me to expand my horizons to reach further fields of information. It stimulates my curiosity, pushing me to grow and evolve. Each of us can truly benefit from attending such a remarkable event,” says nutritionist and clinical hypnotherapist Alessia Biciocchi from London.
camexpo returns to Olympia, London, on 26-27 September 2015. For further information, please visit www.camexpo.co.uk.
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camexpo was named as a finalist in the Best UK Trade Show Exhibition (Under 2,000m2) category at the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Excellence Awards in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, it was awarded Highly Commended by the AEO judges.
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