Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

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Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Why Exhibitions Too Frequently Fail

Exhibitions are a Sure Way To Burn Money & Fail at MarketingTrade events  are a Sure Way To Burn Money & Fail at Marketing


A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition and saw potential marketing failures on a huge number of stands. 

I arrived a few minutes after the event opened and walked around. Just under of 20% of stands suffered the same problem.  Look at the image opposite and see if you can spot it. 



Nearly 20% of the stands I visited were NOT staffed. 

I realise that if you are alone at an event it is necessary to nip off for a comfort break from time to time.  But nearly 20% were not staffed as I walked around. 

If people had just nipped off for a few minutes I’d expect them to be back on their stands when I made my second visit an hour later.  Most were still empty.

Worse still I couldn’t even work out what some stands were trying to promote.  

One stand even had empty walls with no samples or clues to what the business does.  


 Exhibitions Are Expensive

Exhibition stands are expensive.  The space alone can run to £00s per square metre at prime events.  Even if the space is free there are many other costs.  Staff time, travel and subsistence to name but three.

I approached one stand where it wasn’t clear what they did,so I asked why they were there.  The member of staff said it was because his boss had sent him.  Is that a good reason?

Another stand holder had an interesting answer to a question I asked. The stand was as empty as the top image and I asked how would people know what they did.  The answer was, “If people are interested enough they will read our literature.” 

I think this person missed the point.  People walk by stands that don’t interest them;  they don’t read the literature to see if it is of interest.

I have to say there were some really good stands at the event.  Some people did a really professional job.

I do however wonder how many of those, that didn’t plan their event properly, didn’t bother to staff their stand and seemed not to care too much, will still be in business next year.

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