Following the success of the UK event, there was desire from UK exhibitors to have a similar event in Ireland and Completely Retail Marketplace Ireland was born.
In 2014 we were approached by many of the exhibitors who take stands in London asking about the possibility of expansion. The Completely Events team travelled to Dublin where we discussed the possibility of the first Irish edition of the show.
Following that initial meeting, our research and conversations with a number of Irish industry leaders demonstrated that while the retail sector in Ireland was a rapidly-improving market, there were no local retail-focused exhibitions there. Instead, we found that many of our large UK exhibitors, including CBRE, Savills and DTZ, took many of their Irish colleagues and customers to the London shows. We concluded, therefore, that it was the right time to bring the successful deal-making format to Ireland.
After receiving support by Meet in Ireland, Aer Lingus and The Society of Chartered Surveyors the show began to take shape. Interest and commitment from all those involved in the sector was substantial, with six core sponsors signing up very quickly: Wetherspoon, Savills, Iceland, Chartered Land, H&M and CBRE, and the inaugural Completely Retail Marketplace Ireland took place at The CHQ Building in Dublin city centre in February 2015. The venue was chosen due to the similarities to our London venues and its location in a retail and leisure environment, making it the perfect choice.
The first event saw 23 exhibitors and over 420 delegates attending the show, a high proportion of this niche sector. The all-inclusive, back-to-basics, deal-making format proved a great success with those who were experiencing the format for the first time.