Only shows offering a 'total experience' are worthwhile

By Rudi Blackett, Tuesday 03 April 2012

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Gone are the days when a trade show was just about companies wanting to publicise their products or sell more widgets - or even having the luxury of a few days to network with fellow, like-minded business people.

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Rudi Blackett, show director at Faversham House

The reality of show-life in 21st century Britain is that there must be a ‘total experience’ to attract visitors who probably have too little time on their hands, but who still require a mix of advice, demonstrations and working applications – all in one place at the same time.

Yes, trade shows are a good use of time and money. Of course I‘d say that, but I also understand that a trade show is an investment with real costs, and that some are not immediately apparent. An exhibition provides an opportunity for buyers and sellers to interact with each other on the same platform.

It allows companies to connect with existing, new or potential buyers. It also allows sellers to meet the decision-makers or attendees who might not have time to meet with a salesperson, but go to trade shows to keep up with industry developments.

However, on the back of last week’s highly successful Sign & Digital UK, I can see first-hand a growing confidence in the UK marketplace and continued demand for UK print-specific business shows. And that’s one reason we used the three days to promote our new offering – Digital Print UK – at the same venue, the NEC in Birmingham, from 18-20 September.

I was privileged to meet many of the growing number of exhibitors who are looking to sell into the commercial print market, and who see Digital Print UK as a key target market for sales opportunities and networking.

People I spoke to recognise that Digital Print UK is an important new event that will generate new leads and develop further contacts in the digital printing marketplace. As a trusted show partner, they know we’ll deliver another first-class event. 

One important part of the unique new show, which will have the theme of ‘the business of making money from digital print’, will include bringing together senior-level delegates in a series of discussion forums that will be led by independent industry professionals on each of the three days.

With more than half the stand-space already allocated for Digital Print UK, the first dedicated digital printing exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, momentum is building. This three-day cross-industry show in Halls 7-8 at the NEC will be a magnet for exhibitors and visitors alike.

Why launch a show in the current marketplace? The answer  is simple: there is a specific demand even though some of the industry – particularly those abroad – may only think of the D-word in the run-up to Dusseldorf. But one fact to us speaks volumes: four years ago at the same show, only 4% of visitors were from the UK. That fact, coupled with all Faversham House’s positive experience over the last week, leads us to believe Digital Print UK will become another popular and successful UK show at the NEC, which will build on our successes as an established, modern media company.

– Rudi Blackett, show director at Faversham House

– To read PrintWeek's Briefing on smaller trade shows, click here

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