The exhibition industry: One for all and all for one

For this blog post I’m going to hand over to our Managing Director, Andy Gibb, to talk about how if the events industry can work together we can all achieve bigger and better things. Enjoy :)

Our MD Andy Gibb

Our MD Andy Gibb – Together we are stonger

When an exhibitor, especially a first time exhibitor, books into an exhibition, I don’t believe they’re thinking about which venue is it in, who’s the organiser, or who the contractors are; they’re thinking about Autumn Fair or Marketing Week Live or whichever show it is and how they can make the most out of being there.

For sure, the venue, the organiser and the contractor can create an ambiance which is conducive for doing business, and certainly the organiser needs to attract the right type of audience, and the right type of buyer to the event, but at the end of the day, what makes an exhibition successful is how the exhibitors engage with the visitors. Continue reading

Exhibitor Guide Books – What’s the big idea?

How many times have you been asked, or have asked the question: “What’s a shell scheme?” I know when I first started in the events industry I had no idea what a shell scheme was, what the difference between a 500w and 2000w socket was, or anything to do about being on-site (I naively thought stands just appeared on the day and disappeared when the show ended).

That was over 2 years ago now and it has taken me that long to get my head around the intricacies of events and how it all works. So why then are there no guides to how events work? I have lived and breathed events for over 2 years solidly, exhibitors visit an event maybe 2 or 3 times a year for about a week, so there’s no wonder the queues at the service desks and call centres are massive!

GES at Exhibitor Masterclass 2014

The Art and Science of Exhibiting for AEO Exhibitor Masterclass 2014

You can look around the internet and find the odd thrown together word document, hastily written by an operations manager to try and stem the flow of FAQ’s, but in their haste they’ve left in jargon and industry buzz words that only make the issue worse. It isn’t their fault; they’re busy trying to build a relentless stream of shows for 50 weeks out of the year.

But something had to change… Continue reading

Notice me vs. I see you

I have to be careful not to show my age here, but when I first studied marketing I spent many hours reading about the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion). The concept of the 4 P’s was originally proposed by the marketer E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960 and it has since been used by not just me, but many marketers throughout the world.

4p's sign

Now taught in history classes next to these things we called “cassette tapes”

As marketing became a more sophisticated discipline a fifth P was added – People, and after I finished my degree we also saw the introduction of Process and Physical evidence (you may at this stage have worked out my age).

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Farnborough International Airshow 2014 – Review from a first time visitor

I have worked in the event industry for about ten or so months now, and in all that time I had spent learning about what makes an event (the behind-the-scenes stuff, the build-up, etc.), but I hadn’t actually been to an event. So I thought it was about time to get out of the office and see a busy event for myself, and what better event to start with than Farnborough International Airshow?

FIA 2014 entrance

This is where it all begins

To be honest, I had heard of Farnborough fleetingly before I started at GES, but it was only when I joined that I realised just how massive this event is. All the work that goes in to building it, detailed in this infographic for the work we did for FIA in 2012, was pretty substantial (and it has gotten bigger since then!) Continue reading

Making a dogs dinner of event engagement

For this post I hand over to my colleague, and fellow dog lover, Jeanette La-Thompsen – Marketing Manager of Ancillary Services at ExCeL London. Enjoy :)

What does the events industry and dog food have in common? On the surface, outside of trade shows and events for your pooch, not much, right? Today I realised that there is more in common than you think.

Jeanette's dog - Betty

Betty – 21st century dog, 21st century diet

Maybe I should back up this story and start from the beginning. I hate being sold to. I hate going to the store and talking to a sales person who, clearly, only cares about that month’s commission check. This is why I do all of my grocery shopping online, someone at Amazon once called me a “power user” and I send my husband out when I (gasp!) can’t buy something online.

A while ago, I was looking to switch my dog’s food. Imagine my horror when one of the websites I visited didn’t have an option to buy online! I almost closed the page and moved on, but then something caught my eye. There was one sentence that said something to the effect of “Your dog is special and so are its needs. Call us and we can put together the best food plan for your dog.” Well that got me thinking: I sure do think my dog is special and I do want to give my dog the best. I picked up the phone and called the company. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: Don’t worry Brazil, there’s always the Olympics

Brazil has every right to be down heartened by their rough treatment on the pitch by the Germans. Some people have already started calling it “The massacre of Belo Horror-zonte”. But there is light at the end of the tunnel; in two years’ time the Olympic torch will be samba-ing its way up Copacabana beach (we’ve had a little experience of this kind of thing).

Photo from Getty/FIFA

Taxi for David Luiz?

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FIFA World Cup Last 8: Countdown to the ultimate live event

Did you know that Brazil’s victory over Chile broke the Twitter record for most Tweets per minute? Almost 389,000 Tweets were generated the minute Lady Luck decided to grace the pitch and put Gonzalo Jara’s spot kick onto the post, putting the hosts into the last 8 of the World Cup. That figure eclipses the previous total of most Tweets per minute, also held by a live event, for last season’s Super Bowl which stood at gargantuan 382,000 Tweets!

Image from The Sunday Times

Brazilian supporters’ collective gasp dragging the ball wide

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Make your stand do the hard work. How adding engagement can increase your event ROI.

If you’re active on social media you’ll notice, at least 10 times a day, someone will post some kind of philosophical business quote. And that’s fine, personally I quite like gathering and keeping quotes like a magpie. But there is one for me that really stands out, and it’s more of a rule than a quote that can be applied to just about everything: “For every one “we” you must have five “yous”.

This is certainly true for content – whether it’s a blog, video, infographic, whatever – taking out all of the “We do X” and “Our capabilities are Y” and swapping them with “You can do X” and “Try using Y to improve your ROI” adds a simple layer of engagement with your audience. So that got us to thinking: can you do it with an event space?

For our space at Marketing Week Live 2014 we thought we’d try a little experiment: can we apply the rule of “we” to our stand using the art and science of engagement? No huge graphics detailing our capabilities, no logos splashed all over the place. We wanted our stand to pull visitors in off the isle by peaking their interest and attracting their attention. We wanted our visitors to get involved in our stand by having fun, allowing us to build a relationship with them so that they remember us long after the event.

GES origami stand at Marketing Week Live

Our stand five minutes before show open

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Brazil 2014: Your gastro-guide to the FIFA World Cup group stages

The World Cup is finally here. We’ve already seen some historic moments; Robin van Persie’s flying header against Spain, Tim Cahill’s magnificent volley against the Dutch and what looks like the death nail for tiki-taka. And that’s just one group out of eight!

Keith Houchen diving header

Van Persie was clearly taking lessons from the master

With so much excitement happening in each group and an office that could be mistaken for the international departures lounge at the airport, we’ve all put our heads together and made a World Cup guide for football lovers and haters alike: a group-by-group gastro-guide! Continue reading

Farnborough International Airshow 2014 – Build your own F-35 in less than 7 minutes challenge

If you’re an aviation nerd like me, then you’re probably paying a visit to the Farnborough International Airshow this year – which is gearing up to be the biggest and best one yet (I should hope so too, we’ve been working on it for the past 2 years!) And if you are you going, then you’re probably pretty psyched about the debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which is going to be making a special appearance at the event.Lockheed Martin f35

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