Sales roles come in all shapes and sizes, there is no one size fits all solution, and adapting your service or product to the various needs of your clients is vital to all sales roles.
Having sold exhibition space and sponsorship at the start of my sales career and now selling a venue, I’ve come to understand exactly what’s important to an organiser when choosing where to hold their event. My clients see me as an extension of their event team, not just a sales person.
Sharing with our internal teams the concept of their event, what’s important to their exhibitors and their visitors means organisers have confidence that I am always their ambassador within the venue and wider region.
Day-to-day I can be seen in various departments from operations and marketing to catering.
It’s so important I understand what organisers want to achieve and that this is filtered to the wider team so working with the various departments ensures this.
An area that I particularly enjoy is working on creative ideas and strategies in order to engage with potential visitors. Not necessarily an element you would consider part of a traditional sales role but important none the less.
Being aware of newly confirmed exhibitors and exciting new content is something that our internal teams can use to engage with visitors and regional businesses encouraging greater attendance and exhibitor involvement.
It’s my job to make sure the teams know about this and that the venue consistently compliments the messages organisers are pushing into the region promoting a holistic venue-organiser relationship.
This brings me to added value, now that the traditional landlord/tenant relationship between venue and organiser no longer exists; this means organisers don’t just want space. They have a higher expectation of venues and require a venue that understands what they want to achieve, as well as looking after the interests of exhibitors and visitors though better infrastructure and facilities.
It was recently reported that 26 per cent of organisers are going to increase their venue hire budget – it seems to me that providing added value is the way to encourage organisers to spend more because they genuinely feel they are benefitting from working with you over another venue.
As I mentioned, sales roles come in all shapes and sizes and this can also be said for venues. When building Exhibition Centre Liverpool, we considered how events are changing and what organisers will need in the future, providing value for money across the team and the facilities.
Added value means providing something over and above the norm, something that your competitors can’t offer. In my case, I believe this is a new space that presents organisers with a cost-effective way of offering their visitors live experiences; while still attracting exhibitors to the heart of their exhibition.
Balancing visitor needs with the commercial needs of the exhibitors is becoming harder for organisers and the space we offer can make this easier. How many other venues in the north west can offer an interconnected arena, conference and exhibition space under one roof?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that a good sales person knows what their client wants and consistently provides value for money. In my case, this means having a leading live exhibition and events space to sell and being a brand advocate for all my clients so that their experiential concepts are delivered across the whole venue.
This article was first published in the January issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne