When the time comes…wait…When?

Time to Choose!

There is a whole schematic that goes down when organizers are finding just the right date and venue to host an event.

There is the ever prominent dart throw on the calendar, who else is hosting something at that time tact, and the availability dates at the chosen venue. Basically, all three are done initially to get the ball rolling. Having events set up 1 to 2 years in advance is such a luxury these days, as many of the venues are running pretty lean as are many show organizations.

Once the date, venue, and subject of the year are selected, the promotion begins and the speakers are solicited as are the exhibitors/sponsors for events. Unless it is an internal event and there is not a bag of gold coins required from anyone; let’s just say let the games begin.

What I call the booth haggle begins, trying to secure that perfect booth space for the best price with of course as much marketing as you can get! But, the haggle has now become less common in the past 3 years.

There are many shows that have firm/fixed pricing because they have secured their venue, priced their operational costs for marketing, staff, services, catering, decorator, AV provider, etc. etc. etc., and trust me the list does go on! With firm/fixed priced shows it is a good way to really give a clean number for your budget estimates; it basically is what it is!

With the haggle shows there usually is a little leeway usually about $500 more or less, that sales people can play with, however this has become a much smaller margin with the “lean, mean, economic machine” eating us all alive! So be aware that what was the norm of the past 5-3 years is now a whole different ball game, they really may be limited to the fixed rate or not more than $100.

Should you stop doing shows because they are so costly? NO!! NO!!! NO!!!

If you are organizing – just plan better, get your venue selection to work with you to get those fixed costs set so you know what you are dealing with right away and avoid those last-minute (VERY COSTLY) add ons!

For both organizers and exhibitors – make your graphics last longer, send fewer staff or keep the travel down to fewer non-local staff, keep those printed materials to a minimum (shipping is so crazy right now) don’t send pounds of literature, send smaller cards with a website, send a dedicated laptop with LCD and have them register to get the materials sent to them right out of your booth if you have internet, if you don’t have email access, set up a form to register and have one of the office gypsies send out the requested literature by email the next day!

Make the smaller cards fun or graphically memorable but keep your costs down in shipping and printing, but don’t miss out on the Branding opportunities.

Out-of-Sight-Out-of-Mind!!! IT IS SO TRUE!!! And people at shows have nothing to do but talk and if you are missing, they will be more than happy to give out scenarios as to why you are NOT there and why they are!

The job markets, company layoffs, and acquisitions have had people popping into new logo shirts like the Mad Hatter, so you have to keep up with everyone and where they are and what position they now hold! Critical to maintaining your CRM and assuring your data does not become obsolete.

Industry people talk, they are a captive audience and that is what they are there to do, communicate, sell, and BRAND!

Keep your company visible and actively engaged in your respective industries, don’t fall through the cracks and lose ground. Organizers, hang in there, we need you!

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