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To show or not to show

We have done quite a lot of work over the years in the Design and Build arena where our clients have been involved in designing/building Exhibition stands. We have also experienced life from the other side as Exhibitors – as a result we have a clear view on how the market operates and the pitfalls and opportunities that exist.

Right now the level of Exhibitors is down at pretty well all of the major Exhibitions. In some ways this is no surprise given the current downturn and the fact that, when budgets are cut, one of the first things to get looked at is Marketing and, right at the fore, Exhibitions – why?

Some reasons
  • Exhibitions are expensive once you add the cost of the space and build to the staffing costs, accommodation costs etc.
  • It is very difficult to ascertain whether you get a satisfactory ROI as the outcomes are not easily measured.
  • Organisers often put a lot of ‘fog’ around attendance numbers and this makes measurement even more difficult.
  • Organiser regulations are increasingly stringent.
A few tips
  • Don’t end up with a ‘half way house’ caused by thinking ‘we ought to be there but with a cheaper/ smaller stand’ How will your customers/ potential customers perceive this? In tough times customers seek reassurance that their suppliers can tough it out – a good Exhibition stand is a powerful message – ‘we are here and strong!’
  • With all the cutbacks and a lot of competitors not there could this be a chance to grab new customers at their expense.
  • If you do it make a real impact, do it very well! Don’t be like all the rest – get some original ideas and be different – shake up your market – as someone once said ‘change dramatically and flamboyantly’.
  • Get some professional advice on the set up/ layout of your stand – there are some excellent people out there who will not cost what you might think. Let them know your goals and how you want it to work – their expertise might be invaluable in delivering this. They are also expert at working with and within the Organisers’ regulations.
  • Brief your staff thoroughly on the goals for the show and their goals.
  • Set specific goals for the show – e.g. ‘meet a minimum of 100 potential new customers’ – ‘take a minimum of £100,000 in new orders at the show’ and put in place the tools to measure this.

Exhibitions are obviously just part of the Marketing mix but if done well can create a great impression on your marketplace. For more help and advice using our expertise on this or any other Marketing issue get in touch…

David Turner

Managing Director

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Who we have worked with: Hallmark Cards, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, Rolls Royce, Sunseeker, Mattel, MicroSoft, Argos, Auto Glym, P&G, Ferranti, FloGas, Lloyds TSB

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