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October 15, 2006

Increasing interaction puts experience back into exhibitions

Companies, and indeed exhibition organisers, looking to increase interactivity, as well as adding value to the visitor experience would do well to look at what The Baby Show is doing in conjunction with show sponsors Volvo for its upcoming Earl’s Court event from 20-22 October 2006.

This year’s show will see the creation of a new ‘Out and About’ area that will allow consumers to immerse themselves in various brands of travel systems, pushchairs, infant car seats and infant carriers.

There will be a purpose-built assault course for pushchairs, and Volvo will be supplying a range of model, including an estate, an off-road vehicle and a mid-sized family car, so that the buying public will be able to haul car seats and travel systems in and out and also try pushchairs for size in the boot.

The area will also double as a demonstration and showcase theatre for manufacturers to talk directly to consumers.

What the customer wants
"Feedback from our target market in the past 12 months has shown that, with so much choice nowadays, it can be confusing as to what will meet customers' individual needs, and, therefore, the desire to meet the brands directly to compare products and evaluate features before going to the retailer is in more demand than ever," says show director, Nicole Boakes.

"The Baby Show has always been an excellent environment to see, test and buy a wide range of products. In creating Out and About, we have focused on the brands and what they stand for, giving customers the opportunity to speak to the brand ambassadors, as well as try the flagship products, so that they can really feel part of the brand and what it offers to them."

Boakes believes the show's partners in this new feature at Earls Court have an opportunity to accurately reflect their brand values, gain feedback from the end users and talk to their target customers direct in a non-retail environment. "The Baby Shows are unique, for this sector, in that no other marketing opportunity in the UK delivers live interaction with a high-volume target market over three days," s/he continues.

Getting to know you
"The Baby Show has thoroughly researched its customers requirements and understands their needs for live interaction with the brands they will live with for the coming few years as they start their new family. Our consumer wants products that match their lifestyle and their image. They want to learn about the products that a brand can provide and they want to enjoy the experience."

It is becoming increasingly important for exhibitions to add value and increase visitor interaction in ways like this. With the growing range of product on offer to consumers and changing purchasing habits – through channels such as internet shopping – it is now more important than ever that consumers have the opportunity to really get under the skin of products before going to a retailer. Exhibitions continue to offer the perfect environment to do this.

If you're planning an exhibition and your organiser is not looking at ways of enhancing the visitor experience, then you need to ask why? Remember they need you as much as you need them.

EVENTS:review would like to hear from other organisers adding value and interactivity to their shows. Tells us what you’re doing and why…

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