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June 10, 2007

VENUES TO GO: The benefits of going mobile

To me, mobile venues brings to mind pictures of some bloke stuck in a dodgy caravan in the pouring rain outside a Granada Service Station on the M4. However, the development of what can be achieved with temporary and mobile structures in recent years has been incredible. It appears that the days of the old-fashioned caravan are well behind us – thanks to modern vehicle design and technological advancements.

Probably one of the biggest developments has been the automated one-man operation of expanding trailers, which enables mobile venues to be run and set-up by only one person and for the trailers to be made any size. The modern trailer is now a quiet-running, self-contained environment, with electricity generators and air-conditioning systems that are quiet and small enough to run on board the trailer, yet powerful enough to create a complete office, restaurant, presentation suite or conference room.  Amazingly, these units can house anywhere from 5-10 people to around 120, in one sitting.

It's a mobile venues, honest!

On top of this, graphic and branding systems have also been created to make the mobile solution as dramatic as any advertising hoarding or audiovisual film presentation. They are also interchangeable enough to be changed overnight for the next event or client.

Are you sitting comfortably?
But surely they can’t compete on comfort and technology levels? Wrong again… “We have recently built a number of projects with comprehensive technology solutions on board,” says Justin Isles, account director of Event Marketing Solutions.  “This includes the Alliance & Leicester vehicle – now touring – which has full satellite systems, an ATM machine and the same IT banking facilities as a high street branch. Our unit for Betfair (the online gambling company) includes 19 screens of technology including a giant 50" plasma screen, wireless internet access and full Sky Sports satellite coverage.”

Robin Carlisle, managing director, Mobile Promotions drives the point home even further: “At the top end it can be like stepping into a five-star hotel or office suite. They are luxurious and can be fitted with leather sofas, carpeting and specific décor and can be equipped with any high tech devices needed. We often hear people entering our trailers and saying, ‘Wow, it’s like a Tardis.’”

So why would companies want to choose a mobile solution to their venue issues?

“Mobile units offer a far more flexible, impactful and cost-effective answer for face-to-face marketing than traditional venues, allowing you to take your messages directly to your target audience,” says Isles. “The beauty of a mobile facility is that you can create a controlled environment that is highly tuned to your brand, your audience and your objectives – with the result that your messages are delivered with far more impact.”

Come inside: taking your event directly to your audience

Practical magic
Furthermore, on a practical level, Isles explains that set-up times for mobile units are very quick, which means you can visit more locations more quickly and more economically.
For Carlisle they give the feeling of “the circus coming to town”: “There’s a sense of excitement with mobile units. They enable the client to bring a different and innovative feel to the event, it also makes the client feel special, as the venue is brought to them – there is no travelling needed, which in some cases can be an environmentally friendly and cost-effect benefit of mobile venues. Mobile Solutions can also be a longer term investment, as you are investing in a single unit which you can use at a number of events, instead of recreating a stand-build or temporary environment any number of times.”

Isles adds that it's also hugely beneficial to be able to go where your target audience is  – for example, touring major company bases for an internal communications project – rather than expecting people to travel to one fixed location on one particular day.  Especially if the audience is for some reason hard to reach, for example, geographically widespread or very time-pressed

No limits
But is there a limit to what events you can hold in a mobile unit? Not at all, feels Carlisle, “All events are suited to a mobile unit, as the units are individually tailored to the needs of the event. There is no doubt that fixed locations can offer cavernous proportions not matched by trailer mobiles, but with modern trailer manufacture offering automated expanding sides and extensions, and supported with the leading edge technologies, there is nothing that the fixed location can offer that can not be matched or even improved by the temporary solution.”  

Essentially, with the right planning and creativity, all types of marketing and live events can suit a mobile unit solution whether you want to create an exhibition, conference, hospitality event or temporary exhibition stand. So, no more rainy day caravans on the M4 then!

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