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business clinic44 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukThe value challengeIn mature exhibition markets, organisers need strategies that compete more vigorously for a share of visitors' time and, by extension, exhibitor marketing budgets, explains Jonny BaynesExhibitors often assess value in the following terms: 'How much time with quality visitors has my dollar achieved?' This can be represented as:Value= (Visitor numbers × average time in hall × visitor quality) / (Exhibitor dollars spent)AMR defines the combination of visitor numbers and average time in halls as Total Visitor Time (TVT). According to our analysis of the German and US markets between 2000 and 2010, TVT is in long-term decline. Notwithstanding cyclical effects, the hours spent in exhibitions halls are diminishing as pressure on visitors' time increases and the number of resources available to them - particularly online - multiplies. This creates a predicament for organisers, as raising or even maintaining price levels against this backdrop risks impacting exhibitor value, and ultimately square metre sales. Organisers face a dual challenge: Both to deliver and to demonstrate value to exhibitors.Delivering valueFew organisers will choose to drive value by dropping prices; instead they should focus on the top line of the equation and increase their value to exhibitors by maximising share of visitors' time while maintaining or increasing visitor quality. The first step is an optimised marketing approach. With high-powered segmentation tools now at their disposal, enabling the classification of myriad diverse customer personae among their audience (or desired audience), organisers can target visitors that will most drive exhibitor value perceptions. This could be visitors from a geographical region, or by job title, or a given branch of a profession. Audience segmentation should also guide organisers as to the most effective channels for reaching each segment. Having delivered the audience, organisers need to maximise TVT. The key is focus on visitors' return on time. This entails providing tools that increase visitors' productivity and minimise inefficiencies (matchmaking, mobile apps to aid navigation, pre-show planning tools), while delivering resources The hours spent in exhibition halls are diminishing as pressure on visitors' time risesAre Apps FoolprooF?experience design agency Foolproof has released a study looking at how mobile interactions are driving overall brand perceptions of today's consumers. The Going Mobile research study found poor mobile experiences can often deter customers from any further engagement with a brand. Foolproof found 47 per cent of smartphone users ceased dealing with a brand completely as a direct that add substantial value, such as must-have conference content or networking opportunities.Finally, organisers can increase their share of visitor time by extending contact outside the trade show. Resources such as webinars, white papers, email bulletins, online directories, e-magazines, online expert forums, industry portals and social media can meet key visitor needs to browse, evaluate, compare, keep up to date and even to network. While falling short of substituting for face-to-face, they are part of the reason 'old media' has lost its share of visitor time. Organisers should therefore see these resources as platforms for extending their contact with their communities beyond the relatively narrow dates of the trade show itself.The key success driver to developing these resources is a close understanding of the visitor's needs. By developing resources that meet these needs, organisers will be able to engage their audience and create opportunities to monetise these products, be it through sponsorship and advertising or user fees. Demonstrating value As exhibitor needs vary by sector and show, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for proving value. However it will usually involve using data to do two things: To understand what defines value for exhibitors; and to measure and communicate delivery against those goals. We have suggested a generic definition of value above; here we need to go a level deeper than the value equation to understand which specific data points will crystallise exhibitor value perceptions, by exhibitor segment if necessary. Whatever drives value perceptions - it may be anything from the total value of goods signed at or post-show to the number of architects onsite, or London designers who visited a particular stand - organisers have the electronic tools to identify these drivers, to measure delivery and to communicate this to exhibitors. - Jonny Baynes is an associate director at AMR International.Defining valueChief marketing officers (CMOs) are focused more than ever on returns. While the need to make every marketing dollar count has undoubtedly been more acute during the recession, the arrival of digital tools offering transparent measurement has transformed the landscape permanently, and increased the pressure on competing marketing channels to prove their value. At the same time, exhibitions in mature markets appear to be facing a challenge to prove their value.result of its mobile service or app not being good enough. in addition, 81 per cent said a mobile service or app has to make a strong first impression to continue using it, while 73 per cent felt an app or mobile service didn't deserve their loyalty if it failed to meet their needs. Foolproof head of practice and insight caroline Ahmed said mobile devices are changing how consumers think, feel and act. "From shopping and banking to gaming, media and entertainment, mobile is creating valuable opportunities to engage with consumers in new ways, at new times, and in new places," she said. "We have seen how established brands are struggling to fill these new spaces in consumers' lives and how the need for innovation in mobile has become a strategic issue for protecting and growing market share. "but we now know that customer engagement with a mobile platform is fragile. Retailers should be mindful that they may only have one chance to get it right with mobile users."

TheShowman'sShow 2012The Outdoor Event Services ExhibitionThe UK's original & most comprehensive exhibition of products, services and entertainment for the outdoor event industryFor exhibitor & visitor information contact: Lance Show & Publications Limited Courtyard Office, The Courtyard, Parsons Pool, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8AP, UKTel: 01747 854099Fax:01747 854634Email:info@showmans-directory.co.ukWeb:www.showmans-directory.co.uk