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June 2011


Simon Naudi says don’t pay too much attention to the numbers game.

This is a time of optimism and hope, with hopefully the worst of 2009 behind us. It’s also a time when many of you will be looking at a schedule of events that compete for your budgets, with the lingering memory of past press coverage regarding visitor figures.

Over the last year or two, we have all read about how this show or that event has dropped in terms of visitor numbers. The recession was time and again blamed for most of the ills in the world. Well make it your resolution to determine which show you attend based on visitor profile rather than numbers.

We have seen an increase in the number of so called ‘specialist’ events which attract only a few thousand, or even a few hundred, visitors deliberately.

These events are carefully crafted to therefore attract only the type of visitor that exhibitors are trying to reach. As a result, while the overall number may be lower than traditional events, their wastage is small by comparison.

When considering a show to attend, remember that it is probably habit that affects your decision to exhibit. What I mean is that we might not be used to exhibiting per se, whereas there is a fair chance that we have spent marketing budgets on radio, possibly TV, on-line advertising and certainly paper-based publications.

All these media will publish circulation figures, hits, listeners, viewers and readership. The plan is to demonstrate an attraction cost-per-thousand ratio to justify your spend.

Think about a business directory with a circulation of several hundred thousand. But, once you take out the duplicate copies that reach the same building, those you may not wish to reach directly, the retired etc, your advert within may not represent such great value after all.

With events, you need to think about objectives; who are you targeting and what are you trying to achieve? Then, consider how many interests you would need, based on your conversion ratio and voila, you can see what good value it is.

If you find an event that delivers the audience you require, it won’t matter whether they were up or down last time. What matters is that the right people are visiting the event.