THE LARGEST conference and exhibition for rugby fans is coming to the Ricoh Arena next year after a new long-term partnership was agreed with Wasps this week.
The new agreement is designed to support and facilitate the growth plans of the event, which started on November 26 in its final berth at Twickenham Stadium.
Rugby Expo is now well established in the rugby calendar and has continued to be well supported by the home unions, leagues and wider associations including the RPA and ARA.
It has been at Twickenham since 2011 but from next year it will move to Coventry which is within a two-hour drive of 75 per cent of the country.
“We want to create a truly national event and welcome more clubs from both the professional game and community game, grow the number of exhibitors and partners and moving to the Ricoh Arena helps facilitates this growth,” said Jonathan Wilson, Event Director for Rugby Expo.
“We have always had a good working relationship with Twickenham Experience but in order to achieve our ambitions we had to move the event as we have simply reached capacity after 5-years of selling out all the available exhibition stands while at Twickenham.
“We are very confident Wasps will get right behind the event and work with us and our existing partners to build on the platform we have created, as we look to maximise the potential of Rugby Expo over the next three years.”
Wasps has already created relationships within the local community and Expo hopes to build on this to grow the second day of the event when community clubs from across the country will continue to attend Rugby Expo free of charge.
Wasps Group CEO, David Armstrong, added: “The Ricoh Arena is the perfect environment in which to bring together sport and business and we look forward to welcoming a range of rugby businesses and supporters, from both the elite and community based game.
“We are fortunate that the Ricoh Arena has a large-scale capacity and are excited about working with Rugby Expo to help grow an event which has already expanded significantly over the past few years.”