Exhibition News April 2019 - Page 51

Feature “Some industries are better suited to festivalisation than others - I can’t imagine running a ‘Festival of Bonds’ or a ‘Festival of Infrastructure Finance’” can always exit the public out of a show if necessary, and do it in a safe and consolidated manner, liaising with emergency services.” Kelling reiterated this, saying that rehearsal and a strong work environment is key. “If you have a strong work environment,” he said, “that will translate into a strong crisis environment, and you’ll be able to deal with threats more effectively.” Chambers then spoke about the controversy surrounding scantily- dressed female models at gaming show ICE in 2018. Following a high-profile story of a similar nature in the press, journalists from major outlets snuck into the show and recorded footage which drew negative attention online. ICE’s response was to shut down its social media coverage, in the hopes that the story would die. The organisers also attempted to remove exhibitors who had brought a controversial pole- dancing display. According to Chambers, the key to controlling the PR crisis was being highly reactive on the day of the show. Launching a business The final panel discussion at the pavilion was focused on launching a new business, and what it takes to go solo. In attendance were Mehram Sumray-Roots, founder of YADA Technology, Sam North, founder of Inflection Point, Ed Poland, founder of Hire Space and Mike Seaman, MD of Raccoon Events. Seaman said that the seed of every business is an idea for a product or service, and that start- ups then need to find out whether there is a gap in the market for that idea. Raccoon Events, he said: “did not start with the brand, or the company. We started with a product and worked back from there.” Sumray-Roots commented: “You need to be able to sum up your brand in three words, and everything you do afterwards has to come back to two of those three Above and below: The panel discuss crisis management words.” Poland agreed, saying: “Establishing purpose and identity early on is so important – in a crowded marketplace, people look for consistency.” Lastly, North reiterated the importance of attending events such as International Confex, even during the busy start-up period. He said: “When I was launching my business, I was so involved in it I almost forgot how big my network was. Meeting people at shows is an opportunity for new business, and also just to bounce ideas off one another.” EN April — 51