Interview with Gregory Olszewski, Group Exhibition Manager REALTY

This year's third annual REALTY real estate trade fair will be held from May 24-26 in Brussels. REALTY is a high-level networking platform for key players in the Belgian and international real estate industry. Exhibitors can showcase their latest projects and company expertise and all participants can catch-up on the most important market trends, and identify new business opportunities, as they meet the real decision makers. A comprehensive program of events has also been organized at the trade fair, ranging from seminars and presentations with well-known industry and political figures participating, to cocktail parties and lunches.
REP spoke with Gregory Olszewski, Group Exhibition Manager REALTY, who shared his thoughts on his expectations for the 2011 event.
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Gregory Olszewski, Group Exhibition Manager REALTY.

This is the third year for REALTY. How has the growth/development been?
"We have seen substantial growth in the number of exhibitors and overall exhibitions by about 15%, which is a very positive signal. It seems to be following the general real estate investment and occupier market trends, so things are picking up again."

How many visitors did REALTY have last year and what do you expect for this year?
"We had over 3,500 in 2010, and while we can't yet say how many will attend this year, we are focusing on quality and in getting in new visitor target groups, such as facility managers, retailers and the logistics market -- so an increase in attendance numbers could be expected."

How is the participation so far, are there many new stands? New partners?
"Almost all of the exhibitors from last year are back again; we have a high retention rate. There are also a significant number of new exhibitors, some of whom were hesitant two years ago when we first began, but are now convinced of the value in being here at the fair. As for new partners, we are working with Comeos (formerly Fedis) the trade federation of large retailers in Belgium to attract more retailers, and also with BLRW-CBLCC (Belgian Council of Shopping Centers) who are organizing a seminar on 'Retail Expansion' which will be quite relevant.

"We are also working with EPRA and IPD for th

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