Clearview North Feb 2013 - Issue 135 - Page 41

FEBRUARY 2013 FITPreview “If Carlsberg did exhibitions…” Clearview speaks exclusively to FIT Show impresario Matthew Glover about the phenomenon that has got the industry twitching. Every now and then, an advertising campaign comes along that is so effective it is adopted by the masses and finds its way into mainstream popular culture. A recent example of this is the Carlsberg campaign… ‘If Carlsberg did’ goal celebrations/ team talks/flatmates etc., implying that whatever Carlsberg did, it would probably be the best in the world. Another great example, and one that you’ll be familiar with by now, is “Everyone’s Going”. This is the wonderfully simple but powerful slogan for the eagerly anticipated FIT Show (Fabricator Installer Trade Show). It works on so many levels, and like Carlsberg, has been adopted by the industry. It plays on our fear of missing out, that something might happen that we don’t know about. And that s a very strong hook for anyone, particularly in a time when staying at the forefront of the industry is vital for survival. Having a captive audience of all your peers and potential customers is also a big pull and something that the industry has been crying out for since the demise of Glassex, as event organiser Matthew Glover found out when carrying out initial research for the show. “Glassex became somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was taken for granted that people would show up so it wasn’t marketed as well as it perhaps should have been. When visitor numbers declined, exhibitors became disillusioned and the downward spiral began.” With the FIT Show, Matthew and his team did all the groundwork to ensure they could market with confidence. They gained the support of all the key players and then found out when the preferred time of year and location was for the show. Matthew opted against the Birmingham NEC in favour of Telford International Centre, not just for it’s location but also due to cost. The costs saved in hiring the venue have then been ploughed straight back into the show, offering excellent value for money to exhibitors and visitors alike. Parking is free for a start which is a huge bonus and pretty unique where exhibitions are concerned. It also means that for those three days, the fenestration industry has a venue that is exclusively ours, and rightly so. Matthew believes that to make the show a success it must offer the ultimate exhibition experience to everyone who attends. For example, in the build-up to the show exhibitors are offered expert advice, in the form of workshops and seminars, to ensure they are well-prepared, which includes understanding body language in face-to-face selling, followed by how to follow-up leads most effectively. The reasons for this are two-fold, firstly it offers added value to exhibitors as an extra resource to ensure they get the most from their presence at the show. Secondly, it is aimed at giving a professional and beneficial visitor experience. “If an installer took a day out their working week only to find that their enquiries were not followed up afterwards, they would think twice about going again.” This is so true but something that is so often neglected. The freebies don’t stop there either. Visitors who get to the show before 10:00am will get a free coffee and a Danish pastry on entry. They will also benefit from free Wi-Fi that they can access at the exhibition centre throughout the duration of their visit. There will also be a full programme of seminars from experts, offering advice on things like marketing and business strategy. “We understand that an exhibition is perceived as a day out that needs to be justified, so in that sense it has to be deemed to be profitable. But with the overwhelming uptake for the show, it’s now more a case of that you can’t afford not to go. Most exhibitors are using the show as a platform to launch new products and innovations that will be the first time anyone in the industry has seen them. In not going to the show, you are missing an opportunity that your competitor might not.” A bit of healthily competition, after all, is what spurs us on to continuously raise the bar in striving for success, and it is this that raises the perception and profile of what the industry as a whole can achieve. “We’re all better off if the industry as a whole is doing better,” Matthew points out. So, we’ll see you there then shall we? Register now at 41