Over the last couple of weeks I’ve ventured along to a couple of pretty random events.
The content at CHASE was pretty relevant and I enjoyed the talk I sat in on.
The stands and talks at FESPA (it was about digital printing) were much less relevant.
But to be honest I was visiting those events because I am an event organiser and that’s what we should do.
But organisers are too busy to go to other events
We are all of course very busy event organisers.
But are we really busier than the people we rely on to attend our events?
I don’t think we are and we have more to learn at events than any other profession: we learn from other things besides the content at people’s events: surely this is in itself a major incentive to attend more events?
I know organisers attend competitor events (sometimes clandestinely) and that is a good thing to do but it is also limiting your horizon.
Organisers should want to do more than keep up with the Jones’s.
Organisers should be cherry picking and ‘borrowing’ from the best events and they should be using other events to benchmark exactly how good they are and what they do differently.
What my magpie eyes picked up by learning from other events
1. At CHASE there was a major issue with badges and registration at the start of the day. The registration process was outsourced to Aminando.
Now I have no idea why it went wrong but I thought maybe having your registration company handle the badges on the day is a step to far.
Is it a core competence for them? At my next event in June we will be using a registration system but Gallus Events staff will double check and do the badges on the day.
2. Some exhibitors seem happy with the very traditional approach to exhibitions and when you make changes and add value there are a few exhibitors (the more traditional ones) who will probably be a bit scared.
Attending CHASE reinforced the importance of messaging to exhibitors the benefits of doing things differently.
3. Having good, well prepared speakers even at free to attend events is very important.
Just because people aren’t paying to attend doesn’t mean you can drop the quality of your content.
4. FESPA took place at Fira de Barcelona and it proved the importance of someone overseeing the venue staff.
At busy times just check that the security or cloakroom staff’s customer service is up to scratch. A visitor’s opinion of your show could be made or broken before they even enter your show.
5. If you have an event what are you doing to make it different?
Are you adding some new ideas?
I really liked the idea of the “Printing Hall of Fame”. Not only was it of interest on the day but it was used to generate interest in the show in the run up.
6. What makes your event fun? I thought the idea of a competition for wrapping cars, which took place at FESPA, was a really good idea.
7. Despite representing the print industry and championing innovation I was surprised to see the printed Exhibition badges looked like badges for any other industry.
An opportunity lost I thought. For my next event I have to make sure that I don’t miss anything like this.
Was it worth it?
Let me paint a picture. At my next event one of my staff is the first person any visitor sees at the venue.
They are there to help the very busy venue fire fight.
Every delegate arrives and is speedily passed through to the exhibition. Every stand is ready and every exhibitor is now informed and engaged.
My numbers are up because I’ve added something interesting that has pulled people to my event.
I run a few competitions between stands and suppliers (I even charge a premium on this) and make a few thousand pounds extra for the show. It’s a fun element and I calculate it has added 20min per delegate on the show floor and my exhibitors are delighted.