Belgium's REALTY 2012 real estate trade fair targets attendance record (BE)

Advance bookings of exhibitor space at the REALTY real estate trade fair, to be held in Brussels between May 22-24, are already running at 15% above last year's event, indicating that visitor numbers could challenge 2011's record when attendance soared by more than 40% to nearly 5,000 people over three days, Exhibition Manager Gregory Olszewski said.

REALTY Exhibition Manager Olszewski said: "We are clearly witnessing a surge of interest in exhibiting at REALTY, which probably stems from the business generated by last year's very successful show when we had a dramatic increase in the number of visitors. REALTY is also developing an expanding international dimension as can be seen in the parallel seminar program and rising attendance of real estate investors."

This is the fourth year of REALTY and the strong rate of growth for each successive show, suggests that there was a clear gap in the market for an event which really showcases the Belgian real estate investment market and for an accompanying high quality seminar program at the heart of the European Union.

The trade fair's three days are loosely themed around international investors and real estate policy on the Tuesday, with Wednesday having more local color with a focus on Brussels and the Belgian regions and Thursday looking closely at the retail market with a seminar organized by the BLRW-CBLCC (Belgian Council of Shopping Centres) and the Retail Forum Belgium.

In an appropriate reflection of REALTY's location in the EU's capital and the growing importance of regulation and policy on real estate investment, the show's first day has a packed seminar program on these issues.

The European Real Estate Policy and Investment Forum organized by PropertyEU kicks-off the program and features high-level presentations by Ernst & Young, the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) and the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) among others. A separate session on investing in the Benelux markets will be incorporated into the Forum.

This is followed by a seminar on the outlook for international real estate investment funds in the current challenging regulatory and fund raising environment, organized by Deloitte Real Estate, together with CBRE Global Investors' Fund.

On Wednesday, the Urban Land Institute looks at the lessons to be learned for real estate investment from the financial crisis with senior speakers from Bank Degroof, BNP Paribas Fortis and AG Insurance. The Belgian Building Confederation and Association of Real Estate Professionals (BVS-UPSI) are also running a seminar on urban development and mobility, which is at the forefront of city development agendas across Europe.

Olszewski concluded: "REALTY has firmly established itself on the calendar within the top rank of European real estate investment trade fairs, not only for the Brussels and Belgian markets, but also because we are located at the interface of the industry with the regulatory hub of Europe."

Source: Bellier Financial

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