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June 2011


I was able to duck in to a couple of very informative sessions at the AEO Conference yesterday, and although I had to scuttle back to the office after lunch, I think the event went off well.

The first session discussed launching shows and the second, the benefits of research and data analysis.

Walking away I couldn’t help wishing the two had been combined. Here are some figures I would like to see:

Overall launch cost per gross square metre by region and sector.

2010 event launches by region: is one region growing disproportionately to the others? Also, the gross square meterage of launch shows. Is one region seeing a higher number of launches per square metre?

Launch size by cost: Imago’s Hugh Keeble suggested an organiser needs £300,000 to launch a show, but Martin McCougan from the SECC later made the valid point that it depends on the size of event, and some shows launch on as little as £100,000. I would like to see if cost by show size scales at a constant rate. If not, what is the optimum size for a show launch? Is bigger always more cost-effective? Also, is there any link between launch cost per square metre and the success of a show?

Finally, launch event net profit by venue: to what extent does a venue itself influence the success of a show? Is it worth stumping up for a prestige venue despite not yet having a proven audience?

The success of an exhibition depends on many unquantifiable factors. However, by bearing down hard on available information we could glean insight to what’s happening under the hood of the industry.