5 Social Media Tips to spice up your Event

Tweeting at EventsSo your big event is approaching; be it annual, bi-annual or the first one (of hopefully many). You may already have some buzz surrounding your event and there may also be a few tongues-wagging across various social media platforms as the date approaches, but it never hurts to have more exposure when it comes to organising events. Plus, if it is the first event then what better way to get the ball rolling than a social media campaign to inspire a shiny new band of loyal followers to spread the word of your event year upon year.  Continue reading

When is English not English? What to look out for when planning an international event

I do love the English language. It might not have words for very specific things (like Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft which Wikipedia reliably tells me is the longest word in German) but it does the job and it’s incredibly versatile, which may explain why it’s so widely spoken. But you only need wander over the pond to the States to see how the English language has flourished all by itself. And it isn’t just the language; you’d be fooled to think that just because we use the same language we interact in the same way. In some instances we’re polar opposites!

How lucky was I then to bump into Jeanette La-Thompsen, Marketing Manager of Ancillary Services at ExCeL London, who just happens to be an American living in the UK. There is no one better placed to highlight the differences between our two markets and relate it to exhibitions. So if you’re planning an international event adventure, Jeanette has kindly highlighted some things to look out for and I have made a neat infographic to match. So whether you’re using English English, or American English, I hope this blog post helps you on your way. Enjoy!

I’ve recently moved to the UK from the States. I still find myself stumbling upon small differences between working events in the States as opposed to the UK. In the States, I spent about 8 years working as an Event Manager for small start-ups to large Fortune 500 companies, so I feel that I’m pretty well versed in that world, well at least in America.

For me, the biggest difference in the UK is that there’s no labour union, a decorating union and such. You can move your own boxes and do your own decorating. I’ll never forget my shock the first time I saw an exhibitor, during set up, standing on a ladder and hanging his own graphics!

This isn’t to say that the British doesn’t take safety seriously. It seems that there are many more Health and Safety rules and laws here than in the States. For instance, during build up (that’s what they call set up) and break down (or what we call strike) everyone who’s on-site is required to wear a high visibility jacket. Even with the appropriate exhibitor badge you can still be barred entry to the floor during these periods if you don’t have the vest. I know I was breaking rules and not adhering to best practices, but this is a far cry from my memories of running on to the show floor during build up (really quickly!) at the Hawaii Convention Centre in flip flops.

The other thing that still makes me think hard is converting feet into metres. I’m so programmed to think in terms of linear feet, but here spaces are sold in square metres. So, a typical 20’x20’ space would be sold in the UK as a 37 square metre space.

Another thing to remember is that if you own your own computers, monitors and other electronics to check the voltage before just sending them to the UK. You also may want to consult your freight company before sending everything as it may be subject to customs.

For me though, it’s been the small differences that have made me think twice. I know we all speak English, but it just isn’t quite the same! (See the infographic below for some examples that really stood out to me)

Working with a global company like GES has really helped in the process of exhibiting or hosting an event in the UK for the first time. The knowledgeable staff are well versed in the world of global events where boundaries are blurred and country borders seem closer than ever before.


When English isn't English!

Step-by-step guide to exhibition graphics success

We’ve talked a lot about the Art and Science of Engagement lately and this is something encapsulated in the ordering of your event graphics. We learned firsthand after our own experience with International Confex that one does not simply turn up and exhibit, there are so many elements that you need to consider!

So we’ve put our heads together and come up with some infographics to help you. Whether you’re a one-man-band visiting your first exhibition or a multinational company with your own marketing department, we have guides for you that will walk you through everything you need to consider from concept to show floor.

For those without a marketing department or graphics team, take a look at this one here. If you’re big enough to have your own graphics team and need advice on what to order, scroll down and you’ll find a graphic tailor made for you (click to enlarge!)

Click to enlarge

Right here:

Click here to enlarge

GES at International Confex 2014 – Supplier turns Exhibitor

International Confex at Olympia London is an annual gathering that brings the entire event industry together under one roof, essentially turning the industry on its head for two days a year. As we’re usually servicing exhibitors planning on attending an event in one way or another, it has been a breath of fresh air to walk in their shoes for a couple of days (or weeks if you include the planning!)

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Shell Scheme – A Diamond In The Rough

Shell scheme (or “Booths” as they are known elsewhere) are part and parcel of any event, we’ve even installed them at Buckingham Palace! They’re a great way of getting a brand out there and showing off what it’s all about on a budget. But, like anything, the difference between making a shell scheme that makes visitors stop and a shell scheme that fills a spot on the show floor is planning.

It’s hard, with everything else associated with an event, to think about the little details that could make or break an event experience. So being the helpful soul that I am, I’ve put together a video that explains all of the options available to a shell scheme exhibitor in just over a minute. I could have made a full feature movie about shell scheme, but in the interest of time I’ve broken it down into the main options and what difference they make to a shell scheme. Enjoy!

Shell Scheme Video

Click here to get to know more about shell scheme!

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Exhibitors – The Global Race

I read a lot of blogs/articles/infographics these days about the increasing global trend of exhibitors venturing to new shores. Personally I find it both comforting and encouraging hearing things are finally starting to turn the corner, especially having been part of the generation that entered the job market just as the financial crisis hit in 2008.

Exhibitor Magazine Stats

Exhibitor Magazine shows exhibitor growth markets

My colleagues over in the States just released this blog featuring work carried out by our partners at UFI, who recently published the 12th Global Exhibition Barometer survey. Feel free to have a read for yourself, but the tall and short of it is that things are looking up! The results of this year’s survey were positive and largely in line with what CEIR’s index illustrated: that our industry is showing slight overall growth year over year. Continue reading

Event stand design: The 4 ingredients to a perfect blend of Art and Science.

Being able to build huge feature areas for organisers, to helping the world’s biggest brands take their marketing plan on the road is one of the finest arrows in our supplier quiver. But who are the ones that help bring those initial ideas into reality? I followed the gentle buzz of Mac computers across the corridor and I managed to track one down, Kevin – one of our designers – and one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet (for a Villa supporter).

Design drawing in action

Bespoke stand design: The old techniques still work best

So how does Kevin breathe life into the projects he receives? I’ll let him explain in his own words how he went from blank canvas to design proposal for Jewellery & Gem Fair (JGF) Europe 2014:

Each project is a process, and research is arguably 80% of the work. If you ask me, the work I do needs me to be 4 people at once: an architect, a structural engineer, movie set designer and a marketer. Not that I’m complaining about that! I love the variation involved. So how does the process begin?

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Superbowl XLVIII – The Big Daddy of live events

I’ll be honest: I’m not mad on American Football – and I can say that as a Brit having been to see a game live in the States. But there are certain aspects of the NFL that they absolutely nail way better than any other sport (like social media, as illustrated in this sweet infographic by Visually) and who doesn’t love fireworks and hot dog canons?!

Payton Manning

Payton Manning – Probably not keeping his performance on his TiVo

Last Sunday night saw Superbowl XLVIII, the 48th edition of this marketing Mecca, take to centre stage between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos (SPOILER ALERT: Seattle won 43-8, their first ever Vince Lombardi title). But I didn’t tune in to see the game, like my Canadian cousins I switched on with one thing in mind: To see the World’s biggest brands duke it out with limitless funds to win the hearts and minds of consumers in the half time ad-break. Continue reading

Making a global brand – The Gareth Bale effect.

If Gareth Bale dropped a £1 coin on the floor, it would not be worth his time to bend over and pick it up. He’d have earned more in the time it took him to pick it up than to just leave it (for you maths geeks out there like me – I worked it out to be 56 pence a second!). Or if you really want some perspective: Bale earned more in his first week at Real Madrid than David Cameron and Barrack Obama did over the course of a whole year.

With this in mind, it kind of begs the question: Why is any footballer (or anyone) worth that much?

The answer appears to be quite simple: Gareth Bale has now entered the elite group of athletes including Beckham, Bolt, Bryant and Federer (and Tiger Woods until recently, he is the horror story brand managers and PR agents tell each other around the camp fire) that are not only the best on the field, but also the best off it as a global brand.

Gareth Bale kicking about

Gareth Bale: Not signed for his keepy-uppy’s

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2014: The year of the Horse (and successful events!)

2014: Chinese Year of the HorseAt the end of this week we’re all excited to see the Chinese New Year come in, and 2014 (or 4712 in the Chinese calendar) brings us the year of the Horse (or Wood Horse if you really want to get specific!) That got me to thinking: What does the year of the Horse have in store for us? That’s one of the best parts of working at a global company, I get to contemplate global traditions!

In the spirit of Chinese New Year, here’s my guide to 2014 under the year of the Horse:

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