Trends & Features

Interactive experience

In the 21st century the martial arts have become a bigger participation sport than the big three of football, rugby and cricket and there is a huge in-built audience for anything martial arts related.

And no martial art-based live event is bigger or more spectacular than Seni, the martial arts festival and expo. In its 10th successful year, Seni is Europe’s biggest event dedicated to martial arts and combat sports and is the industry’s acknowledged meeting place, visited by thousands of dedicated martial artists, exponents, instructors and enthusiasts every year.

The result is a dynamic melting pot for the entire industry to exchange ideas and discover the latest innovations, products, arts and services, all under one roof across one big weekend.

The most complete interactive martial arts experience, Seni boasts over 150 trade stands, hundreds of demonstrations, seminars and live events across six themed entertainment zones over 15,000sq m at London’s Excel in the heart of Docklands. Alongside the themed zones, there is a film festival and an enviable schedule of appearances by the very best national and international masters, celebrities and sporting legends, making the Seni weekend the must-see event in the fighting arts calendar.

As the world’s leading expo, Seni will showcase some of the globe’s leading brands, as nearly 30 per cent of the companies exhibiting are from across Europe, the US, Australia and South East Asia. The strength of Seni from a retailer’s perspective is the fact that it offers an interactive experience within a dynamic and energised environment, giving the customer a unique opportunity to try the product before buying or speak face-to-face with service-led companies and fighting art organisations.

Seni08 will positively reflect the fact that the UK, and in particular Excel, will be hosting the combat disciplines at the 2012 Olympics by uniquely showcasing all the Olympic ‘fight-sport’ arts within a dedicated zone – the 2012 Youth Zone – in conjunction with the Olympic Borough of Newham.

In this respect, Seni is constantly moving forward. 2008 will see the festival launch major new events such as the unique Bruce Lee Zone, dedicated to the memory of the world’s greatest martial arts film star and honouring the 35th anniversary of his death. Its centrepiece will be a Bruce Lee Museum, unique to the UK and supported by personal appearances from major figures in Bruce Lee’s life, including his daughter Shannon and Bob Wall, the villain of both ‘Enter the Dragon’ and ‘Way of the Dragon’.

For the younger martial artist, 2008 will also see Seni launch the ‘EFMA Disney Stage’ to provide a non-stop weekend of fun that will include tournaments, demonstrations and interactive activities for the young and young at heart. Whilst providing non-stop entertainment, these events will also drive visitors to the relevant trade stands; stands that have been at the heart of the Seni expo right throughout its 10 -year history.

Seni has a showfloor packed with exhibitors representing the most innovative companies and associations in the industry, with many products making their market debut at the festival. As a result, the Seni visitor can bag a bargain from the 150-plus exhibitor stalls with, quite literally, something for everyone, including the latest products and innovations from some of the leading companies in nutrition, fitness equipment, career recruitment, sports injuries and sports-specific training concepts, as well as complementary therapies.

Each of the five Seni zones offers differing companies presenting relevant zone products – ‘Classical Warrior’ for traditional arts,’ FightSport’ for-ring based arts, ‘PowerSport’ for fitness and nutrition, ‘Survival’ for reality-based, close protection combat and ‘Tournament’ for semi-contact competition products.

With the benefits of this experience in mind, Seni supplies changing areas for customers as well as networking areas within the show and dedicated trade events, such as the ‘Fighting Spirit’ product innovation awards evening.

Many of the show’s exhibitors use Seni to launch new products, so you get to see what’s new in the market place, and many of the companies provide Seni visitors with exclusive show sale offers. Trade customers have access to corporate areas, where the exhibitor can speak to his potential client without interruption from the hustle and bustle of the show surroundings.

Similarly, retailers looking to expand into the martial arts/combat sports equipment market can see the sales potential and benefits first hand by having direct access to potential wholesalers and customers, thus leaving Seni with far more knowledge about realistic sales figures, customer demographics and which ranges to stock.

Since its inception, Seni has recognised the importance of the trade wholesaler/retailer and built a fantastic, ever-growing festival around this dynamic expo, creating an atmosphere within which trade, commerce and entertainment thrives.

So don’t just let your customers read about your product in a magazine product guide – come along to Seni and let them try it first hand.

Seni08 – The international Combat Sports Show
Excel London – April 26-27, 2008
As much CONTACT as you can handle

Entry for sport’s store owners is free of charge and can be arranged by emailing

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