I have been working on a side project for a couple of months now and it’s a partnership to launch a series of small B2B exhibitions.

It’s for a sector which is not currently served by anything substantial and even in these early days I have made good headway with some interesting partners.

At this stage I haven’t really rolled up my sleeves but I already have a good idea of how I want the exhibitions to look before the commercial realities kick in.

My wish list pretty much centres on event tech to deliver a great visitor and exhibitor experience.

On the tech side, I’ve got all the usual buzzwords in the list. Mobile first. Paper free. Social advocacy. Email. And sweet FA when it comes to remarketing – I hate it as a visitor so I need to stay true.

On the real world side, I am looking for an event which focuses on getting people talking and dealing – dropping all the heavy lifting of exhibitions like shell scheme, manuals and stand build.

The biggest conundrum I am facing is whether I am funding it correctly because when it comes to launching an exhibition there is a magical figure of £50,000 that splits the market.

On one side of this figure are two very well respected exhibition investors who have launched hundreds of exhibitions and stand by this start up figure insisting that £50,000 provides the necessary cash flow to determine whether an exhibition lives or dies.

On the other side is a raft of exhibition pros I have spoken to that say that figure is north of £50k, well north. Admittedly, some of these people do high ticket consumer stuff and I am on the flip side – free gate trade!

Either way I have decided to give myself a challenge and launch at the tighter end of £50k.

I thought I would put it out to my network to see who has got the tips, the contacts and the advice and favours that gets this project to doors open on this tight budget.

At this stage, the big thing that I want is a first-wave digital proposition up and running within the month to sell the concept to the sector and that entails all the usual mobile, social, email, web, data capture channels and mechanisms etc.

The price difference between services offered is massive and if people have experiences of any of the players in the market, good and bad, I’d be interested to know. I am also looking for quick data wins as I build the data list from scratch.

If people are interested in seeing how the launch goes and want to get involved then I’ll happily blog my experiences on this launch and share the pain.

On the plus side, it would be a great showcase for anyone who wants to get involved and a learning resource for people who are wanting to launch themselves.

My next blog in this series will hopefully point you in the direction of the website of my new exhibition concept – well the first edition anyway!

And if you don’t see an update on this…it’s hit a big f***ing obstacle…like, a terminal obstacle.

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