When is the right time?

It’s all very well having a successful show, but how do UK exhibition organisers replicate their success across the country and overseas? Three event profs share their experiences

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Stock-clock-new-resized.jpg

James Prosser, MD, Front Events

James Prosser, MD, Front Events

There is always a sense of nervousness and trepidation whenever you launch a new exhibition, or a new edition of a successful show in another location.

 

Before launching a new version of a show, it helps knowing that you’ve run successful events in the past. Having the right formula is crucial and, indeed once you’ve hit upon this, it’s relatively easy to replicate it in other venues. As most will know, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

 

It’s also important to know the industry well; by understanding the universe of your show, you should have a strong handle on whether new versions of that show are going to work. For instance, Financial Services Expo (FSE) is predominantly aimed at financial advisers, brokers and intermediaries and these people are based right across the country and number in the region of 20,000-plus.

 

It’s become clear to us that people are no longer willing to travel the length and breadth of the country to visit a show. We have to be on their doorstep, or at least a quick drive away.

 

Finally, it’s important to get the right venue. There has been an upsurge in available venues right across the country, particularly sporting stadiums, many of which are not in city centres.

 

At the end of the day, you’ll have to try it out to see if it works. Only then will you know if you’ve got it right.

Neil Felton, CEO, FESPA

Neil Felton, CEO, FESPA

The simple answer would be, when the market wants it. To launch a new edition of a show you need to put the groundwork in, research the market entirely and be totally plugged in to what is going on, both culturally and from a business point of view.

 

When we are looking to launch a new show we gather as much insight as possible, working with local partners and associations to really get to know the market and what the audience need from the event. From my point of view, 18 months – from launch to the event opening – is the ideal timeline.

 

This provides enough time to speak with professionals and organisations in the local market and mould this information to tailor the show to the audience.

 

At FESPA, we aim to be a listening organisation. Working closely with - and listening to – our global community helps us to identify where there is a gap in the market and where our community would benefit from a FESPA event. We’ve launched several successful shows in growing economies, taking the calibre of our international flagship event in Europe and tailoring it to the local market in Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Turkey and China.

 

Most recently we’ve launched a show in Asia where we are working with our Asian associations and local partners to create the best event for both exhibitors and visitors.

Tom Treverton, UK portfolio director, F2F Events

Tom Treverton, UK portfolio director, F2F Events

Never an easy decision but, for us gauging the right time to launch The Allergy & Free From Show into new UK and international locations was made more straightforward given our confidence in significant visitor demand.

 

In London, we had established a market leading show. We understood visitor needs and had gained trust amongst the key players within the freefrom industry. Crucially, we knew we had a regional visitor base, yet we also knew there were huge numbers outside London that wanted a show nearer them.

 

We agreed on the number of exhibitors needed to make a new launch work, then periodically canvassed customer opinions until enough said, ‘yes, in principle’. We also ring-fenced regional prospects that declined participation at the London show due to the distances involved.

 

This process prompted green lights for shows three and four (Berlin and Glasgow, respectively). Berlin came with a few more caveats, of course, but the principle was the same. We knew visitors wanted the show, so the question was: can we deliver a group of exhibitors that will do justice to the show brand and also ensure our existing events in the portfolio continue their growth, unabated?

 

Finally, despite confidence in visitor demand, our venue selection within targeted new regions became as much about marketing support as it did about space and price.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Waste not, want not

Soraya Gadelrab, portfolio director – food, drink & packaging at Fresh Montgomery, on the organiser’s partnership with charity City Harvest.

Eventcity to host Digital Kids Show

Manchester has been chosen to host a line-up of famous YouTubers in November, as part of the all-inclusive family day out Digital Kids Show.

Messe Frankfurt records highest ever result in 2016

Trade fairs are still going from strength to strength in Frankfurt 777 years after the first event of this kind was held there, with sales of over €650m planned in 2017

Elsewhere on EN

Eventcity to host Digital Kids Show

Eventcity to host Digital Kids Show

Manchester has been chosen to host a line-up of famous YouTubers in November, as part of the all-inclusive family day out Digital Kids Show.
Successful 2nd outing for ChileCare Expo Manchester

Successful 2nd outing for ChileCare Expo Manchester

On 16-17 June, Childcare Expo Manchester opened its doors for the second time for its return at EventCity, welcoming 1,686 visitors to the venue.
Messe Frankfurt records highest ever result in 2016

Messe Frankfurt records highest ever result in 2016

Trade fairs are still going from strength to strength in Frankfurt 777 years after the first event of this kind was held there, with sales of over €650m planned in 2017

The Showlite Heroes

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.

Latest News

Eventcity to host Digital Kids Show

Eventcity to host Digital Kids Show

Manchester has been chosen to host a line-up of famous YouTubers in November, as part of the all-inclusive family day out Digital Kids Show.
Successful 2nd outing for ChileCare Expo Manchester

Successful 2nd outing for ChileCare Expo Manchester

On 16-17 June, Childcare Expo Manchester opened its doors for the second time for its return at EventCity, welcoming 1,686 visitors to the venue.
Messe Frankfurt records highest ever result in 2016

Messe Frankfurt records highest ever result in 2016

Trade fairs are still going from strength to strength in Frankfurt 777 years after the first event of this kind was held there, with sales of over €650m planned in 2017

Latest Galleries

London Dungeon Lates

London Dungeon Lates

The London Dungeons has launched a unique nighttime experience with the theme of the seven deadly sins. The adults only tour includes seven themed food offerings and a range of themed drinks.
This Morning Live

This Morning Live

Tens of thousands of fans descended on the NEC on 18-21 May for This Morning Live, to see talent from ITVs award-winning daytime programme arrive in style.
Ideal Home Show Scotland

Ideal Home Show Scotland

The Ideal Home Show return to Glasgow for its 70th Anniversary on 26-29 May, introducing the all-new Eat & Drink Festival to Scottish fans.

Latest Opinions

National mourning

National mourning

Mark Blair, divisional director of InEvexco, considers the insurance implications of the death of a monarch.
David's Inferno: The comfort zone

David's Inferno: The comfort zone

In the first of his new series of monthly columns, Cvent’s senior marketing director David Chalmers says it’s important to break out of the comfort zone.
Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.