UFIs Community Manager
I was recently on a panel where the topic was what exhibitors can do in an era where the demand is to do more with less. The problem presented was a reduction in the exhibition budget and a demand by senior management to maintain excellent results.
Some of the panelists suggested working closely with suppliers to find cost saving techniques or examining the budget line by line to identify waste. Others suggested a more concerted and strategic approach to exhibiting to ensure that all those who participate are trained with the skills they need to produce greater results. Both suggestions have merit. But my thought was rather than treating the symptoms with a band-aid we should look closer at the root cause. So my suggestion was rather than focusing on how to do more with less, we should be asking why exhibition budgets are shrinking.
In fact, marketing budgets are not necessarily shrinking. Corporations still invest in marketing with resources being allocated to social media, traditional advertising, product placement, sampling and so on. So, why are there not sufficient funds for exhibiting?
I think the answer is that there are many misconceptions about what an exhibition is and what it can produce. I believe that more effort needs to be placed on exhibit managers’ education so that they understand and promote the metrics for success from an exhibition.
Here is where organizers can and should take a proactive role in helping exhibitors understand the metrics that an exhibition program can realize and how these results can have a direct affect on the corporate bottom line.