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April 4, 2008

Simon Burton: Are you changing with the times?

We live in exciting times. Businesses are increasingly recognising the opportunities of live marketing and events of all descriptions are making headlines. In the age of new media, the immense power of face to face and of personal connection is being recognised as a key weapon in the marketer’s armoury.

But then we all know this don’t we? This isn’t news. Surely we just need to sit back and wait for the good times to roll. All aboard the gravy train. We’re seeing evidence that events are part of a changing the world, but is the world of events changing?

Hunger for ideas
Visitors to Exhibiting Show embody this new pace of change; blue chip brands, serial b2b exhibitors, event organisers and exhibition professionals enthusiastically attending an event with the purpose of delivering better events themselves. If there’s one recurring theme these show visitors express, it’s their hunger for new ideas and inspiration. Our challenge as an industry is to innovate and effectively present that innovation.

Too often we speak in a jargon, with an assumed level of knowledge, that leaves outsiders not just cold, but bewildered. On the counterside, we don’t innovate enough or make enough effort to understand the frustrations on our clients face when they exhibit.

It’s no good producing new ways of doing things if our clients don’t understand how to use them or what the benefit will be. It’s no good saying we’ve got clever solutions if we can’t explain to the outside world why they’re clever or what they solve. It’s no good solving problems our clients don’t think they face and ignoring those they do. Our creativity needs a practical application and effective communication.

Present the future
If we are to seize the opportunity that the new media landscape presents then we must engage. This means understanding what clients want and creating solutions that deliver against their objectives. It also means presenting those solutions on their terms not ours.

Exhibiting Show is a hot bed of innovation, inspiration and creativity – an outlet for the new ways in which suppliers are serving the industry. The successful participants in the show and in the market will be those who have most effectively identified the challenges that end-users and organisers face and presented those solutions in the most compelling way.

Simon Burton is managing director of Exposure Event Creations

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