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Lynn Lester
Managing Director of Events at The Drum

Stallholders turn on Manchester exhibition organisers as expected crowds fail to materialise

Irate stallholders who had pitched their tents at a cost of thousands of pounds at a Manchester exhibition have resorted to violence against organisers after the promised hordes of visitors failed to materialise.

The embarrassing no-show at the Fashion & Lifestyle Expo 2014, next door to Manchester's Trafford Centre, saw industry representatives transmogrify into a braying mob with one 19 year old forcibly ejected from the premises after police were called to restore order.

Organisers had sold the event as an ‘opportunity to meet more than 200 of the UK's top retailers specialising in Eastern and Western culture under one roof’, promising that up to 2,000 fashion aficionados would be lured through its doors.

One disgruntled exhibitor complained: “There was nobody there. They said there would be 2,000 people over the weekend. But it was more like 500.

“People were annoyed that no one came. It was awful. The organisers said there would be celebrities there, but none turned up. There were exhibitors banging on the organisers’ office wall.”

Andy Orr, managing director of EventCity, said: “We can only apologise to exhibitors for the fact they were disappointed with the weekend’s event and that it failed to meet expectations.

“But we must stress that EventCity is by no means responsible for misleading exhibitors.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they had removed one individual from the hall whilst ambulance services dealt with another individual who had suffered a panic attack.

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