My experience in organising and managing company presence at trade shows has taught
me a few lessons on tactics to gain better representation. Beware that you don't fall into
the 'habitual exhibitor' syndrome that breeds complacency and a lack of impact.
My event management experience follows my career within the KBB sector.
- Ideal Home Show 2010
- KBB Live 2012
- Sleep 2012
- 100% Design
- Naidex 2013/2014
- Pfh Live 2014
- The OT Show 2014-2016
- Phex Show London, Manchester 2011-2016
- Installer Show 2016
- KBB 2020
This was an epic production just before lockdown 2020.
I was tasked with creating 2 suites at the NEC, working alongside a new stand builder.
Suite 1 was to host a Virtual reality experience using a 4D Cinema setup whilst delivering a sense of calm and refinement at a hugely important trade show in the KBB sector.
Suite 2 was a VIP exclusive which showcased a new product range to a select list of guests.
Book early. Having exhibited once make it your mission to seek out the event director and pre-book for the following year as soon as possible during the live event. All floor bookings tend to come with a 30 day cooling off process so your money is still safe should the event turn out to be poor. Check the contract! No doubt you'll be contacted anyway to re-book but unless you're a big spender this won't happen until they've have had their say and the hero spaces are all gone.
Association. In many cases event companies are tied in with big publishing houses and therefore premium spaces can be reserved for consistent advertisers. Be wary of being tied down too much. Cost can quickly escalate and those premium spaces might not suit your 'premium' objectives.
Data Objectives. Do you want masses of broad based contacts or a tight list that you can communicate to quickly? All depend upon the product to market and alignment with a persona based marketing approach.
The data. Often data scanners or scanning apps offer the ability to tag contacts with a pre-determined bar code so that each are sorted and then exported direct to excel. In principle this is great, in practice it can become a burden and often gets abandoned after lunch on day 1 of the event. If you pursue this sorting technique then you must communicate the plans and detail the benefits to any other attending sales representatives/staff.
Consider the value of mass scanning over quality. Scans as the ultimate KPI is not a strategy that sits well in b2b.
The Habitual exhibitor. Regular commitment year after year, especially at a B2b industry event, can certainly keep your brand in the eyes of your key delegates but throughout my experience there exists some potential risk. The desire to improve every year is natural but inevitably this leads to more investment. Year on year. This commitment slowly starts to own part of your budget and the delegate lists begin to overlap. The brand perception, should you choose to not exhibit, can be damaged as those regular visitors notice your sudden non attendance. Evaluate after every event and don't be the one that justifies the budget with the "cos we did it last year" strategy.
Want to know more? If you're looking for more specific event details and new idea generation
Im available for freelance marketing and creative projects.
Please contact me for a chat