Exhibition performance

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director encourages industry professionals and ESSA members to take a look at the Exhibitor Masterclass series.  Have any of your clients attended a FaceTime Exhibitor Masterclass yet? By the time this column goes to press, FaceTime will have delivered its third Masterclass event, this time returning to the NEC, where over 400 exhibiting companies arrived for a day of exhibition inspiration. The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) announced its support for the project in January with a 12-month partnership, having supported the initiative during its launch in September 2014. This series of Exhibitor Masterclasses is another in the line of win-win initiatives from FaceTime. Primarily funded by our sister association, the AEO, and founded in early 2010 to provide expertise and guidance for marketers and businesses, FaceTime's mission is to explain why and how face-to-face marketing works, and how to get the very best out of it. The Masterclasses have covered an extremely diverse range of topics to date, and they are an ideal event for exhibitors and would-be exhibitors to discover how to get the most out of their exhibiting experience. Each Masterclass features a schedule full of experts in their field sharing their insights, advice, and experiences, all focused on creating a better exhibition experience for everyone. Whether it's advice on how to best engage visitors on your stand, a detailed look at common exhibitor pitfalls and getting the best bang for your buck, or a discourse on the prevailing trends and effective tools in data capture, these Masterclasses will hold something of interest and practical use for everyone involved in exhibitions. At ESSA, our members are in the business of ensuring much the same thing, that their customers – the exhibitors and the creative agencies – are able to maximise the benefits of exhibiting. The health and vitality of the exhibition industry depends on exhibitors having the confidence that the significant investment they have made in order to put an exhibition presence together will be repaid in some way. I'm encouraging ESSA members and industry professionals alike to find out about these Masterclasses for themselves, and to communicate the extraordinary range of indispensable content available via FaceTime. Of course, these FaceTime Exhibitor Masterclasses aren't just for first time exhibitors. Experienced exhibitors will also benefit from the variety of forward thinking topics relating to enhancing exhibition performance. With experts from a wide variety of disciplines discussing strategies and techniques to improve engagement, efficiency and ROI, these Masterclasses have a great deal to offer the seasoned exhibitor too. Places at the Exhibitor Masterclasses are free to companies who exhibit at AEO member run events. From an organiser's perspective, well informed exhibitors producing great exhibition presences adds up to better exhibitions, and greater visitor engagement with the exhibitors and the show brand itself. For ESSA's part, the events themselves are a golden opportunity to promote the ‘Use an ESSA member’ campaign, and the chance to underline that a good exhibition presence depends on using the best services and suppliers available. This is the message being supported by FaceTime and the Masterclasses, and it's a doubly valuable endorsement. On the one hand, delegates are told about the benefits of choosing ESSA members to produce their exhibition presences and ESSA is actively recognised for driving standards upwards and representing the 'kite-mark' for event contractors. On the other hand this message is amplified through FaceTime's comprehensive digital marketing campaign for the Masterclasses, reaching a far wider audience than the events themselves. There are two further Masterclass events scheduled by FaceTime this year, one at ACC Liverpool on 19 October and another at the SECC on 26 November.    This article was first published in the July issue of EN's sister publication Exhibition Bulletin. Any comments? Email Jamie Wallis
Andrew Harrison
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