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The World of the Exhibition Event.

Andy Robertson

Running and managing exhibitions is big business with 31,000 taking place globally and 7,000 in the UK alone every year. The size and scope of the exhibition business is wide and varied with a mix of business to business and consumer focussed events with the number of attendees varying from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands.  

The format of exhibitions can vary considerably but on the whole a consumer exhibition event will focus on a specific niche be it weddings, motor cars, skiing or tattoos for example, invariably there is something for everyone. Most business exhibitions will also focus on a specific commercial niche more often than not with a conference attached. 

The Consumer Exhibition. 
Traditionally the exhibition shows were organised and run by publishers or a consortium of media companies. Publishers already have a captive audience for their niche magazines so creating an exhibition centred around the same topic was always seen as an extra revenue generating opportunity. By creating an exhibition these publishers were physically bringing together groups of people with a common interest.

The Business Trade Exhibition.
s with the consumer focussed exhibition event the business exhibitions are generally organised and run by niche industry publications and media companies. They are usually smaller than consumer exhibitions and the key to drawing in an audience is by running a comprehensive conference programme in tandem.

If you are keen to run an exhibition there are still opportunities to create something that has a niche following as long as you can reach, attract and generate a sufficient audience. The reason why exhibitions are so popular is the large revenue that can be generated from vendors and sponsors who are the main revenue source rather than entrance fees that tend to be small and cursory as is the attendee expectation. Looking forward to 2021 when the industry hopefully returns to some kind of normality there will be good deals to be had from venue (exhibition hall) operators however this should balanced with the likely lower funds available from potential vendors and sponsors.

If you can find the right niche with a big enough captive audience 2021 could certainly be a good year to launch a new exhibition event. Drive good deals with venues and other suppliers as they’ll be happy with any business, a key to this will be how much up front investment is required, this has previously been a barrier to entry but try and get favourable payment terms and you could start generating deposit revenue from vendors and sponsors to assist in cash flow. Whilst on the subject of costs consider the following: venue deposits, staff and marketing, in the new post COVID-19 world everything is going to be negotiable.

If you use and events management software solution like FestivalPro you get built functionality for great event planning and management. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and enables exhibition event organisers to manage every aspect of venue, vendor, sponsor, staff and marketing management enabling a trouble-free process. 

Photo by Stefan Lorentz from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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