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BUSINESS CLINICwww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 37According to an Internet Access survey by the Offi ce for National Statistics, 45 per cent of users used their mobile phone to connect to the web in 2011. In all, 6m people accessed the web over a mobile phone for the fi rst time in the previous 12 months. Barclaycard has announced a fi ve-year deal to become the offi cial payment partner of The NEC Group's Ticket Factory, LG Arena, National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and National Indoor Arena (NIA). Barclaycard says its 12m customers will be able to benefi t from improved entertainment and payment experiences as a result.London-based Eurogamer Expo has confi rmed Virgin Media as the show's 2012 headline sponsor.This year's camexpo trade show will celebrate its tenth anniversary with two new big name industry sponsors. Diversifi ed Business Communications UK has confi rmed Revital, the UK's largest independent health product retailer, and The Complementary Therapist Association (CThA) as brand sponsors of the Keynote Theatre and Demo Theatre respectively.Joe Manby has been appointed to handle event services for a nuclear fuel exhibition and accompanying conferences. The events are called TopFuel 2012 and the European Nuclear Conference and will be staged at two Manchester venues later this year by the European Nuclear Society (ENS).Marketing agency GSP has won the contract to manage the Audi Quattro event spaces in West London and Piccadilly.Lord's Cricket Ground has appointed Aztec Event Services, Smyle and Fisher Productions as offi cial audiovisual suppliers to the venue. Smart AV has announced a link-up with Touchez for the multi-touch technology rental market. Food and event management company Tapenade was at the Ideal Home Show at Earls Court in March providing 450 covers in the Gregg Wallace Cafe, 100 covers in the Jubilee Tea Room and 60 covers in the Champagne Bar, plus drinks and snacks. International Confex organiser UBM chose Melville's Follow Me smartphone app for visitors attending the events industry trade show at Excel London. De Boer has secured partnerships with Brackley-based seating and staging provider Star Events Group and large-format printers XG Group.Smile AV has forged a partnership with supplier Matrix UK Solutions. Under the deal, Smile's project management, design, onsite logistics and client account team will operate under the Matrix banner. Smile will continue to supply AV equipment to Matrix and other industry clients.Showforce has secured a contract with Aggreko, the offi cial temporary energy services supplier to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to provide event crew requirements.WINNING BUSINESSHENRI CASHThe quality of a decision is often directly proportional to the diffi culty in making it in the fi rst place. Possibly my best decision relates to the Service Desk and IT Support Show, which evolved from an IT helpdesk show to include the growing phenomenon of customer service solutions.The event had grown to include a substantial number of CRM providers, however our offering and message was becoming diluted. A consequence was having to double marketing production budgets and create an all-encompassing message that appealed MY BEST DECISIONMY WORST DECISION45%On refl ection, we made many good decisions over the years, and thankfully they were greater in number than those we got wrong. One poor decision, taken many years ago, was to outsource development of the content programme for an event to a sponsoring publisher.The publisher knew the subject areas well, was experienced in content creation, held excellent contacts with potential speakers, and would sponsor the seminars at no cost to us. In my representation of the world, this was a compelling reason to deliver a great programme, on time.What I had not considered was that, despite involvement and apparent interest, this was a low-priority project. As the event drew closer, assurances that the programme would be completed on time continued. However, with six weeks to go, only half the sessions were complete. Internally we worked all hours to pull the remainder together for what fi nally turned out to be a high quality programme - the day had been saved. Thereafter, and for each event, we always controlled the content in-house. The lesson? Surprisingly, sponsorship is not a compelling enough reason to deliver; do not outsource unless money is changing hands.PARTNER, THE MOTIVATION CONNECTIONto both the IT and marketing fraternities. As we struggled to develop the marketing brief for the next year, it became clear that if we wanted to delight our longstanding customers, we had to ditch the CRM component along with 30 per cent of the revenues.We returned the focus to our core helpdesk market and held our best and most profi table event to date. Everyone involved appreciated the new direction and the rest, as they say, is history. The lessons? Stick to core values and never be afraid to turn customers away.1) Be aware of cultural practices:Although marketers may be used to tailoring events to a UK audience, it's important to be mindful of cultural practices internationally as well as locally. For example, exhibitors in Western countries tend to be direct and forthright in self-promotion, whereas more self-effacing Asian countries may perceive this promotional approach as distasteful. 2) Have someone on the ground:Consider establishing an international presence with a contact in the area you'll be holding events who can liaise directly with local suppliers. This also links to being mindful of different cultural practices, as in China, marketers do not like to do business with companies they don't know. It is essential to introduce an intermediary to make formal introductions and vouch for the company or event. 3) Finance: It's important to have a good grasp of fi nances; exchange rates, supplier and marketing costs can spiral when marketing an international event and should be a key consideration. As with any event, it's essential to account for potential additional costs that may be incurred and have a contingency fund. 4) Consistency: It's essential to ensure all communications are consistent. Marketing collateral should be appropriate for the audience, whether it is a poster or on social networks. Make sure that although speaking to a different audience, your message isn't lost in translation.- Mike Spicer is CEO of Pulse Group.MARKETING TIPS HOW TO MARKET YOUR EVENT INTERNATIONALLY

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