Quartz Publishing & Exhibitions Ltd, organisers of the UK’s leading logistics event - IMHX, believes that the recession is helping trade shows to strengthen their position in the marketer’s toolbox.
Quartz managing director, Paul Michael, said: “As the doors closed at our other flagship exhibition, The Cleaning Show, in early March, exhibitors were delighted that - despite the gloomy economic outlook - the show had exceeded all their expectations. Most visitors were coming to the show with the specific purpose of finding innovative products or more efficient procedures to save them money, and many orders were placed on the stands.”
The Uxbridge-based organiser is equally optimistic about the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX), which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 2-5 March next year. The undisputed leader in UK logistics events, the 45,000m2 show is already over 70% sold, with over 140 exhibitors signed up. Although the UK economy has an increasingly digital nature, the credit crunch seems to have renewed the commitment of many companies to nurturing customer relationships. “This shift in focus has put exhibitions back at the top of the marketing agenda,” explained Paul Michael, “because few promotional activities can rival the power of the face-to-face contact achieved at a trade show.”
According to the Association of Event Organisers, there are also a number of other factors working in favour of live events. Perhaps the most important concerns the current buzz-phrase of ‘permission marketing’. Unlike TV, radio and magazines which provide ‘interruption marketing’, exhibitions demonstrate genuine ‘permission marketing’.
Visitors to shows choose to volunteer their time and attention. They arrive in a learning and buying frame of mind; according to research, 76% of visitors to trade shows have buying responsibility and a third cannot be successfully reached by sellers in their offices because they use exhibitions to make buying decisions.