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BUSINESS 35The number of events at Excel London in 2011. This was up 17 per cent year-on-year. Overall, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company saw events at the ADNEC venue, Excel and Al Ain Convention Centre jump by a fi fth to 733 events last year.Dartford-based hospitality company, Mobile Bar Hire and its Kent-based catering partners Pomegranate Catering have been awarded the offi cial hospitality partner contract for Clarion's Wedding Week at Glow, Bluewater from 9 to 12 February.Eventex Furniture Hire has secured a two-year contract to be the offi cial contractor for outdoor event expo IOG Saltex at Windsor Racecourse. The supplier will provide furniture for the 2012 and 2013 shows, which cover the sports amenities, landscaping and estate management sectors. UBM's Facilities Show will work with an offi cial waste management partner for the fi rst time at this year's event. The partnership with SITA UK will see the fi rm provide 15 recycling stations around the event during the three show days.Temporary structures specialist Neptunus has won a fi ve-year deal with the North of England Horticultural Society to supply the Harrogate Flower Shows. Neptunus will be providing the show, which takes place twice a year at the Great Yorkshire Showground, with over 15,000sqm of temporary space over the course of the contract. Live event organiser TFConnect and Melville Exhibition and Event Services, a GES Worldwide Network company, have announced a three-year partnership for the Global Event Summit. Melville has supported the event since launch.Joe Manby has renewed a contract fi rst awarded to the founder of the business in 1974. The contractor has been reappointed to provide all event services for both the Harrogate Christmas and Gift Fair and the Harrogate Nursery Fair through to March 2016.Riding off the back of the 2011 UKSG exhibition and conference, Harrogate International Centre will host the association's 2014 and 2017 events.The Liverpool Daily Post reports that law fi rm Hill Dickinson has been appointed by Liverpool City Council to provide legal services for the development of the new £38m exhibition centre and hotel at the ACC Liverpool complex. London venue Excel has been awarded ISO14001 and BS8901 certifi cation.De Boer has lined up a raft of shows for its temporary exhibition structures next year. These include the Farnborough International Airshow, which is the group's largest single assignment, the Chelsea Flower Show and a series of summer music festivals.Ocean Media Group has appointed exhibition supplier Anagram to create a new VIP lounge for visitors to the Event Production show.WINNING BUSINESSMARKETING TIPS LEARNING FROM THE MAJOR BRANDS1) STRONG BRANDING Be bold with your branding and work on building association for your brand with a particular colour, symbol or ethos. The most successful brands are those that use strong and consistent marketing messages, create a personality and build their profi le as a leader in their market.2) CREATE AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONThe recent John Lewis advert, in which a small boy waits impatiently in the run up to Christmas, only for viewers to discover that he is eager to present his parents with a Christmas gift, is a good example of how brands can market themselves by creating a strong emotional link with the audience. By creating a marketing campaign that resonates with people, you are not only creating standout for your brand but also promoting yourself as a brand with values.3) USE AND UNDERSTAND ONLINEOnline media and social networking sites have become an extremely effective marketing tool in recent years. With brands such as Old Spice creating viral campaigns that spread quickly and achieve global recognition, brands can make the most of this by using social networks and channels such as YouTube to promote themselves. Upload videos, create a Facebook and Twitter profi le, set-up a LinkedIn group. All of these are effective ways of marketing your brand.4) NOVELTY When Cadbury launched its gorilla TV advertising campaign, everyone was intrigued by the incongruity as a giant gorilla playing the drums bore no relation to chocolate sales. It was memorable and because the advert didn't play by the rules of marketing messaging being directly related to the product, it became an instant hit. Make your marketing messages stand out by thinking creatively in a way that will resonate with your audience.- Mike Spicer is CEO of Pulse Group.THE GOOD AND THE BAD Two things spring to mind over my six years in exhibitions. It is hard to decide to close a show that has run for many years, generating large revenues and high profi t margins. But as the overseas property sector began to crash in 2008, I made the decision to stop our property shows before exhibitors told us to stop them. We were the fi rst to leave the sector voluntarily, proving nothing lasts for ever. With hindsight it was the right decision and our timing was perfect before the savage collapse of the sector. The other decision I am proud of was including a slide in a presentation to senior JP execs about the wealth of exhibition skills existing in our small unit not being utilised. That led directly to JP Events & Exhibitions and the plan to develop shows with Johnston Press newspapers.MY BEST DECISIONMY WORST DECISION284Our highly successful Emigrate shows have run for 16 years, generally at high-profi le venues in high population density areas. As part of a plan to move the shows to new venues around the UK and to reduce our cost base as the exhibition market started to contract, I made the decision to locate one of the events at a sports hall in Kettering. For many reasons it ticked several of the desired boxes that an organiser would want, but by no means all. The hall was not ideally suited to exhibitions. Although situated in the middle of a housing estate, it was not the easiest place to fi nd. There were simply not enough people in the area to market to and none of our long-haul, overseas visitors had ever heard of this provincial town in Northamptonshire. The end result was an event that was best forgotten. The moral is look hard at every aspect of the show, not just pure economic ones.MIKE SCHWARZMD AT JP EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS

BUSINESS CLINIC36 always tried to learn from others outside our industry and extrapolate and enhance those experiences and lessons into my day-to-day role and fl ying is no different. I was recently off to some far-fl ung long-haul part of the globe. The benefi ts of many thousands of air miles reminded me that if one has to travel on business, then one should travel 'business'. Accordingly, I booked my e-ticket with a different carrier to my usual one (at the client's recommendation) and awaited the usual confi rmations and messages to fl ood in. My experience had always been to get a confi rmatory email, several itineraries, a few prompts to book my choice of seat, meal A TALE OF TWO HALVESISimon Naudi ponders how poor customer services can destroy your brilliant show after a rough ride with a new airline carrierpreferences and chauffeur services. Yet a mere 24 hours from my fl ight, I still hadn't been sent any follow-up details apart from my booking reference and passenger number. Being mildly technophobic, I entered the carrier's website and was inundated with information that was no doubt useful to many passengers but hopeless in directing me to the appropriate help section I required. I then telephoned and after the rigmarole of getting through and repeating several options, guessed at a department that could assist me. I was eventually told I needed a different telephone number for the chauffeur drive service. I dialled the number and faced a few additional automated choices before a human fi nally took my call and explained that I was not on their list. As my fl ight was now less than 24 hours away, I obviously could not book their service. If I wished to resolve the issue I would have to telephone another number (customer services) and take up the matter with them. I dialled yet another number and after a short automated sequence was told for my call to be connected, and 'for my convenience' I had to quote my passenger number. I spent at least eight minutes trying to assuage the automaton that my number was correct and that my accent was acceptable. Neither, in the event, proved satisfactory and I was disconnected as they were 'unable to process my call at that time'. I eventually re-dialled and pressed numbers at random until I was connected with a human being. I outlined my plight and was told I was being transferred again. Waiting to be connected while listening to piped muzak set off several pre-fl ight cigarettes. As you can imagine, I was really relishing the prospect of using my new carrier. I was then given a number to quote and reconnected with the chauffeur company, who conceded that I was after all on their system and the car would be sent for me. My fl ight was fi ne, the service was great, the food and accommodation as good as my usual airline. Would I use this company again? Probably not. Translate this to your event. Your show is great, educational content spot-on, but your registration or car parking arrangements suck. Will I visit your show again? Probably not. Makes you wonder doesn't it?- Simon Naudi is the MD of Answers Group.Your show is great, the content spot-on, but your registration or car parking sucks. Would I visit your show again? Probably not.Research from KPMG has found British businesses lag behind their geographic counterparts in emerging markets when it comes to adopting and using social media. In response, KPMG customer and channel partner Mark Guinibert has outlined his top three predictions around social media:1. The rules of the game will change: As the use of game mechanics to attract consumers' attention and generate debate will rise. "We will begin to see industries applying intrinsic motivators in the form of games to encourage much greater brand engagement," Guinibert said. "Businesses will start to take notice of fast growing mobile social networks like Instagram that are blurring the boundary between content production and consumption."2. Wide-scale debate will prevail: Social media laggards within businesses will reluctantly accept that non-participation is no longer an option. They will gradually facilitate more communication channels. "Firms will come to acknowledge that, only by being authentic, can they expect to appeal to customers tired of corporate spin."3. Transparency will become the norm: With increasing calls for greater corporate transparency after the fi nancial crisis, companies will recognise that opening themselves up to scrutiny via social media makes business sense. "When it's clear they have nothing to hide, they are much less likely to be on the receiving end of public criticism and are perceived as trustworthy," Guinibert commented. - KPMG study Going Social: How businesses are making the most of social media, April-May 2011. SOCIAL SCENARIOSTRATEGIC THINKINGDuring the recent CBI conference in London, prime minister David Cameron claimed UK businesses need to deal with their debts and go for growth. Although many organisations are expected to try and follow this advice, the current economic climate will make this a big challenge. According to strategy planner at Kiss Communications Sarah Reakes, one of the keys to driving business growth in 2012 is simplifying the brand strategy process. She advises companies to focus only on what will enable their business to stand out from the crowd. Reakes has worked with a wide range of bluechip multinationals on brand strategy including Colgate-Palmolive and Nestlé. Here are Reakes' top tips to improve your organisation's brand strategy:. Vision: Be clear about your business vision; where do you want to get to and by when.. Defi ne: Really understand what your brand stands for, who your customers are, who you are competing with; in short the current lay of the land.. Focus: On where you want to be, what you want your brand to stand for, to whom and why.. Position: Your brand for success. How are you going to appear in the marketplace, in what way should you be communicating in order to achieve your objectives?