Looking back at an RXceptional 2023

Looking back at an RXceptional 2023

With thanks to all our customers, colleagues, communities, and partners for an incredible year of business building, magic making and belonging in 2023. In case you missed them, we are happy to share a few highlights!

A bumper year for business

2023 was a bumper year for business at RX events as many shows returned to pre-pandemic levels of participation and even set new all-time records.

China’s swift reopening for business in January after nearly three years of lockdown provided a much-needed boost for RX customers seeking to reconnect with the world’s second largest market – and for Chinese buyers and exporters looking to grow their businesses at RX events worldwide. Meanwhile our amazing colleagues in the USA absolutely smashed it in 2023 showing how it is possible to build business for our customers, while continuing to care for our communities and each other. 

In 2023, RX delighted pop culture fans across three continents; rocked the world of jewellery at a sold-out JCK in Las Vegas; empowered women’s health and wellbeing at Femtech Tokyo; celebrated 30 years of design inspiration at Decorex Africa; delivered transformative business experiences for RX customers, including at Paris Photo, PGA Show and Euroblech; and brought attendees face to face with a host of the world’s most inspiring, influential, and recognisable figures from film, TV, music, sport, science and politics.

2023 was also the year that RX became a big player in the Big Data event arena, acquiring the Paris Big Data and AI Conference and its counterpart in Toronto. Both events join  Big Data LDN and the inaugural Data Universe, New York City, in our fast growing big data and AI event portfolio.

All aboard the RX digital revolution

There’s a tech revolution underway at RX, and in 2023 more customers than ever chose to turbo-charge their face to face business experience with RX’s digital and data analysis tools.

Our Lead Manager tool, is proving so popular that over half of exhibitors across all our face to face events used it in 2023 to capture, qualify, download and follow-up their leads. For some of our leading events, including ISC West and Interphex, adoption rates reached 100%! 

After a year of successful pilots, 2023 was also the year that we added ‘Exhibitor Dashboard’ to our business building suite of digital and data analysis tools, bringing event measurement into the 21st century. Thanks to Exhibitor Dashboard our customers now have access to the data and insights they need to assess their performance in real time and gain critical insights to improve their ROI and competitive standing year on year.

Check out this great interview with our Chief Digital Product Officer Gaby Appleton for more insights into what today’s exhibitors and visitors can expect from a smart RX event, what sets RX’s approach to digital and data apart, and what she believes the next 5-10 years may bring.

Taking action on sustainability

At RX we are serious about sustainability, which is why we signed the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge and aim to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half and achieve net zero by 2040.

Since we launched the RX Sustainability Playbook in January to support all RXers in making more sustainable choices, RXers have lost no time in taking action to reduce carbon emissions at their events, and drive industry engagement in a net zero carbon future.

Among them, Batimat introduced a more responsible stand policy as part of the event’s ambitious plans to reduce its environmental impact, whilst challenging and inspiring the construction industry to do the same. London Book Fair partnered with exhibitor Elsevier to deliver three days of climate change programming, and create a prototype carbon label of Elsevier’s stand to understand the carbon emissions involved in exhibiting. And Arabian Travel Market devoted its 30th anniversary event to the theme of climate change, providing a vital platform for education, collaboration and action.

Meanwhile, RX continued to drive clean energy transition across the industries we serve through our portfolio of future energy business events which are working to combat climate change in-line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and COP agreements.

Everyone belongs at RX

RX has a strong culture of diversity, equity and belonging; so, we were delighted to be awarded Race Equality Matters’ Bronze Trailblazer Status in 2023 in recognition of our work to address racial inequality within our organisation; win the AEO Excellence Award 2023 for ‘Best DEI Initiative’; and to receive Comparably Awards for Best CEO for Women, and Best CEO for Diversity.

Recognising that we still have much work to do, we announced our partnership with the BYP (Black Young Professionals) Network to help advance the careers of Black professionals in the events industry, sponsoring their Careers Fest and presenting a panel at their London Leadership Conference. We also joined the Women in Exhibitions Network (WIE) which aims to empower women in the exhibitions industry and help nurture the next generation of female leaders – and were delighted when our very own Jacy Barker was named as one of US Trade Show Executive’s Women to Watch in 2023.

We’re proud of our growing network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) - like-minded teams of RX volunteers with common interests around race, gender, LGBTQIA+, disability and generational diversity – who came together in 2023 to shake things up for the greater good.

And as part of our 5-year, $1 million commitment to race equality we once again donated $200,000 in 2023 to non-profits working for race equality in UK, US, Brazil, South Africa and Australia, focusing on cultural, educational and employment equity projects.   

A year of caring

RXers are incredibly generous people with huge hearts, as is clear from the amount of time and energy they give to support people in their local and event communities.

From litter picking to cake baking, blood donation to decorating, poppy making to food parcel packing and distribution, there has been no end to the commitment and compassion of our volunteers who have selflessly devoted their time to help others during 2023.  

Our parent company, RELX, employs over 35,000 people in 40 countries across its four business divisions, so we were incredibly proud when our Brazilian Operations Manager, Ana Paula Dias, was one of just eight individuals to receive a ‘Recognising Those Who Care Awards’ this year for her proactive and motivational leadership of the RX Brazil Cares Team, particularly during the pandemic.

And there were a fair few ‘whoops’ around the company in September, when New York Comic Con smashed through their $1 million target of total funds raised at their Annual Art Auction in September in support of St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Our superhero colleagues at ReedPop also worked with Make-A-Wish and the Marty Lyons Foundation to grant wishes for seven families at NYCC 2023 – the most wishes granted at one event.

You can read more about the collective and individual contributions RX volunteers have made to their communities this year in our RX Cares storybook.

Wishing you all happy holidays. See you in 2024 for another eventful year!