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May 2, 2007
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THE EXHIBITING SHOW: A ?330 million visitor spend can?t lie




That’s show business. That’s the tag line for this year’s Exhibiting Show at Earl’s Court 2 on 26 and 27 June. EVENTS:review was invited along recently to a special briefing launching this year’s show to the press. We wanted to know how it was going to build on last year’s success at ExCeL – where the combined annual visitor spend on exhibitions was £330 million – and why it’s moved to the West End.

“It’s all about moving on to the next level,” says Simon Burton, managing director of Exposure Event Creations, which runs the show, “and we’ve had a very positive response from exhibitors and visitors. The position of Earl’s Court 2 allows people to drop in to the show without taking a whole day out to do it. ExCeL’s location makes it more of a day’s commitment. It also gives us a great story and has helped us create a great tag line, which fits in with the art of exhibiting and the West End being at the heart of theatreland. And this is a theme we’re carrying through the event and its marketing collateral.”

Burton’s PR and marketing background is clearly being put to good use.

 

 

 
Last year's Exhibiting Show at ExCeL – but Earl's Court 2 beckons…

 

Improving your exhibition presence 
So what’s so important about the Exhibiting Show? Well, in an increasingly competitive business environment, it’s more important than ever to justify your marketing spend to the board. Gone are the days of a trade show being a chance to escape from work for a few days. Exhibition presences now need to be used to maximum effect. And if this is achieved, fairly phenomenal results can follow. The main aim of the Exhibiting Show is to improve companies’ exhibition and trade show performance, at a time when live evenst are racing up the marketing agenda. It’s essentially for companies that use exhibitions as part of their marketing strategy to find out what they can do better and what’s out their to help them do it.

“Around 60% of our visitors are companies that use exhibitions as part of their marketing strategy. We attract companies from across the business spectrum,” explains Burton. “From large corporations like Barclays, American Express and RBS to smaller organsations. What’s more 46% of these companies last year traded overseas, and the majority of representatives were marketing managers and directors. Many were also experienced exhibitors, attending at least seven shows a year and have been doing so for around seven years.”

The remaining visitors consist of an even split between event organisers and contractors/suppliers.

Growth strategy
The show has grown consistently since it was launched, so what’s planned for this year and what’s new?

“This year’s event is 30% bigger than 2006,” replies Burton. “We have an excellent seminar programme delivered by key events industry experts on everything from stand build to how to present yourself on your stand – even how to dress, which our research has shown is a major worry for exhibitors.”

He’s also keen to point out that many of the show’s actual exhibitors, such as leading stand design company Nomadic Display, use the event as a launch pad. “They do several shows, but it’s at the Exhibiting Show where they come up with the marketing concepts that they carry through to the others,” he says.

In what’s generally seen as a very wasteful industry, Burton is also proud of the show’s green credentials. “All carpet this year is recyclable, we’ve got a clear carbon offsetting programme, our exhibitors’ manual is solely online, lanyards are recyclable and we’ll be using tree-free carrier bags.”

Content-focused
So what’s the real key to the show as far as Burton’s concerned?

“For me it’s all about content,” he says. “All our exhibitors have something to offer our visitors. Then there are our seminar programmes, which create real learning opportunities to help companies improve their businesses. We offer them the chance to broaden their horizons and encourage them to consider new concepts, while giving them the space to do it.”

Visitors can learn about becoming more experiential – the current buzz word in the marketing industry – with workshops by key players George P Johnson and MICE, sustainability, creativity, graphics, stand management and more. There’s also an expanded demo area featuring new and innovative products, branding guidance and plenty of initiatives to encourage interaction and dialogue.

“Essentially it’s a complete business circle,” says Burton. “Companies come to the show to learn how to improve their trade show presence, and are presented with exhibitors who offer the tools to help them do this, while events industry experts deliver workshops and seminars on the key skills needed. Plus there’s an excellent networking and learning opportunity in our flagship evening event FOOD 4 THOUGHT.”

And for more of the latter, click here to see EVENTS:review’s Pete Roythorne discusses with Burton what should prove to be a terrific night.

For more information about the Exhibiting Show call 0870 160 4540


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