As a young start up, my strap line at the moment is flipping between two close variants:

  • Smart exhibitors make smart exhibitions
  • Successful exhibitors make successful exhibitions

The direct logic of focusing on exhibitors is clear but here’s a cool story of why organisers need to start building bespoke programmes for specific exhibitors types.

So, I was telling an old head (that’s a compliment btw) some of my projects regarding exhibitor-related activity and it prompted his fascinating story about a former employee, exhibitors’ traits and untold wealth.

It was about ten years ago and it concerned one of his former exhibition directors (ED).

As part of his job, the ED visited numerous exhibitions a year to track competitive exhibitions as well as keep a watchful eye on the latest exhibition trends from other sectors.

That was the intention, however, what he actually spotted made him fantastically rich.

Whenever he walked the exhibition aisles, regardless of the show, he noticed that the companies with the high performing stands were ultra-successful far beyond the exhibition and he did desk research to back this up.

Interestingly it didn’t matter about the stand size and stand type because the trend would apply to market leaders with space only island stands as well as young agile companies experiencing hockey stick growth in shell scheme units.

In fact it was the latter that interested him the most.

Within a few months, he started tracking smart exhibitors from all sorts of exhibitions and sectors based on their exhibiting activity and performance.

He kept looking at exhibitors who connected well with their audience, who had well presented products and services on their stand and ones that drove massive visitor traffic.

However, this guy went one step further and used this information to invest in the companies that were performing well at exhibitions.

It makes sense, right.

By studying their exhibiting performance and strategy he was able to get in to companies at the ground floor and this investment strategy brought him success – big time.

He waited and watched as his investment fund grew…all the way to £100 million.

Needless to say, he stopped organising exhibitions quite quickly to focus on his new career.

I don’t need to spell it out but it gives an important lesson on growth…

An exhibition will never grow unless your exhibitors grow regardless of how much time, money and effort you pump into visprom …

Any exhibition experiencing high growth will invariably have high growth exhibitors and that’s what organisers need to focus on…

A bit of insight, a bit of profiling and some clever strategic direction for the exhibitor community is what’s needed…

Links below…

Jim heads up Exhibitor Smarts, which is a newly created specialist agency working alongside organisers and suppliers to ensure that exhibitors engage, grow and return.

If you want more information about the Exhibitor Smarts please visit our website at www.exhibitorsmarts.com

For exhibiting tips and chats follow Exhibitor Smarts on twitter: @exhibitorsmarts

Image sourced from www.makeageek.com  – thanks guys!

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