The Evening Standard has announced the return and expansion of SME XPO, a UK exhibition and conference dedicated to SME founders and leaders, for its third year. The publisher says SME XPO in 2024 will see 30% more exhibitors on the show floor and a 50 percent rise in visitor numbers, with over 6,000 SME leaders expected to attend over the two days of the show.
Launching alongside next year’s exhibition, a brand-new event, The Office, aims to offer a one-stop shop for organisations that are rethinking their approach to workplace design and experience, added The Evening Standard.
As employers need to meet the changing needs and diversity of their employees, The Office will offer free education sessions, partner-led workshops and exhibition space and an opportunity for key buyers and purchasing influencers from the UK’s top employers, commercial real estate professionals and managers to come together and share insights and solutions for the workplace environment.
The publisher says all three events will take place on 23rd and 24th April 2024 at the ExCel, London, with speakers and sponsors joining business leaders, entrepreneurs, suppliers, buyers and influential decision-makers for two days of learning, insight sharing, networking and exhibiting.
A host of inspirational business leaders are already confirmed to speak at next year’s event including: Theo Paphitis, former dragon from BBC’s Dragon’s Den; Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoons; Rochelle Humes, founder of My Little Coco; Charlie Bigham, Founder of Charlie Bigham’s; and Tim Oldman, Founder & CEO of Leesman, the world’s largest benchmark of employee workplace experience. With the event gaining nationwide recognition, HSBC, Barclays Eagle Labs, Workday and Eurostar have also confirmed their sponsorship of the event.
The Evening Standard says it has a long-standing affinity with small and medium-sized businesses, reaching three out of four London-based SME decision-makers through its digital and print platforms.
The publisher says the 2023 SME XPO saw a 74% increase in visitors on the previous year with over 4,100 visitors attending with headline sponsors and exhibitors including Dell, AXA, Lloyds, HSBC, and Barclays.
Claire Farrow, head of content & programming at The Office, commented: "From Amazon to Zoom, employers are recognising that bringing teams together in person - at least some of the time - is fundamental to wellbeing, engagement and productivity. However, employers now need to work harder to create work environments that colleagues want to return to and which meet employees' evolving needs.
"The Office has been designed as the go-to event for employers seeking to upgrade their spaces and create well-designed workplaces that place wellbeing at the centre of the back-to-office strategy, inspire creativity and support new ways of working.”
Rich Mead, interim managing director, Evening Standard, commented: “Since the launch of SME XPO in 2022, it has been incredibly exciting to watch the exhibition go from strength to strength and see its audience grow so rapidly. Following the pandemic years, the success of SME XPO and ES Live’s other events demonstrates that demand for in person experiences has never been higher. Our mission is to deliver the opportunities for Londoners to build connections, showcase innovations and share insights with other like-minded individuals. That’s why we are delighted to expand our offering and launch The Office, alongside the hugely successful SME XPO and The Watercooler events.”
ES Live says it is rapidly expanding its agenda of events, working with a network of professionals to deliver creative events, exhibitions and virtual concepts designed to inspire audiences, and spark conversations across diverse themes.Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.