Expo declared a resounding success

Rugby Expo 08, the world’s first business-to-business conference and exhibition dedicated to rugby, came to an end yesterday following two busy days at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.

The convention, timed to coincide with the autumn internationals programme, attracted a cross section of key figures in rugby around the world, including delegates from all the major rugby paying nations as well as lesser know rugby strongholds from Uganda to Kazakhstan.

Fifty exhibitors took the chance to showcase themselves to nearly a thousand delegates over the two days in between thirteen conferences which debated a range of hot topics from the world of rugby, involving some leading panellists from the sport and business world.

The likes of Dan Jones (Head of Sport Business Group Deloitte) discussed rugby as a growing global business, Peter Wheeler (CEO, Leicester Tigers Plc) discussed the migration of players, Greg Thomas (Head of Communications, IRB) discussed what rugby needed to do to become an Olympic sport and David Butler (Marketing Director Honda Racing F1) gave his thoughts on building a brand profile.

Andy Steggall, Sky Sports News Presenter said: “We’ve talked a lot about sponsorship and rugby’s USP, but Rugby Expo’s USP has without doubt been the blue chip line up of guests in the seminars – first class minds that debated all the important pieces on rugby, demonstrating that Rugby Expo is not just a trade show.”

Alec Shepherd, Managing Director Rugby Expo, said: “With around a thousand people through the doors over the two days, it’s been a magnificent achievement for an event of this type in its first year.

“The feedback we’ve received from exhibitors, delegates and panellists has been exceptional and it is clear to us and to all that attended that rugby needs this event to help build on the commercial foundations of the sport.

“We will take the success of this year and build on this for next year’s event and for the years to come. ”