Search
The Caterer

Hospitality show exhibitors warned to guard against guide scam

10 November 2009 by
Hospitality show exhibitors warned to guard against guide scam

Hospitality operators planning to exhibit at trade shows have been warned to keep an eye out for a scam that attempts to con exhibitors into signing costly advertising agreements.

Optimum Events, organiser of the annual Hotel & Catering Show, is "strongly advising" exhibitors to be vigilant against organisations, such as Expo-Guide, which has been sending out misleading forms ahead of next March's event in Bournemouth.

Expo-Guide is sending out a form, which resembles an organiser's Free Catalogue Listing Service, inviting exhibitors to sign and return the form for an entry in an online directory. Doing so contracts the purchaser into a non-retractable three-year agreement. Non-payment is then followed by aggressive debt collecting.

The scam is similar to one operated by Fairguide.com/Construct Data Verlag, an Austrian-based organisation registered in Switzerland that regularly publicises its services to exhibitors at events, primarily in Europe.

After receiving a number of complaints and a series of negative press articles, Fairguide/Construct Data settled out of court and agreed to stop sending out the misleading forms.

However, it has now emerged that the company has just altered the look and format of its forms (including a new logo) and is continuing to send these to exhibitors throughout the UK on many different shows.

Anna Wallis, director of Optimum Events, said: "We are strongly advising our members and all exhibitors to be vigilant against organisations such as these, who do not represent the good name developed within the exhibitions industry.

"Please warn all marketing teams who exhibit at any shows about such guides and more generally to carefully read small print details before signing any document. "

Restaurants warned about new scam >>

Internet booking scam strikes Yorkshire hotel >>

Man charged with guides scam freed >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

Blogs on Caterersearch.com](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!