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BACK TO BASICSwww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 23The price is righTFinding the right ticket price is not a magical art; it's based on industry knowledge and market research. here, EN looks at the reasons for ticket charges and determining the right pricene of the big differences between trade and consumer shows is where each gets its funding from. While trade shows rely on stand space for the bulk of their revenue, consumer shows tend to charge for tickets, thus capitalising on visitor numbers. So why don't trade show organisers charge for tickets? And what should an organiser consider when deciding on what price - if any - they should charge for entry?According to consultancy group AMR International director John Pringle, trade events make 85 per cent of their revenue on stand space, with the remainder coming from sponsorship and other minor sources. "The logic is the last thing you want to do is impose a price on visitors, which diminishes the value to the stand holders," Pringle said. "However, one of the questions we have been asked is whether that model is set in stone. Is it mad to start imposing prices on tickets? After all, if you multiply visitor numbers by a small amount it quickly becomes a lot of money."If anything organisers should be going the other way, where more cost needs to go towards marketing, features and education in order to bring the visitors in. The last thing you want to do is create a barrier for visitors."TickeTing condiTionsIf you are considering a ticket price, Centaur Exhibitions marketing director Nolan O'Connor said elements worth debating include location, size, exhibitor numbers and what other value there is for visitors in terms of entertainment or education. He added some organising companies, perhaps more cynically, start with a ticket revenue target and divide that by the number of expected visitors. "Sometimes trade shows charge people onsite to encourage people to pre-register," O'Connor said. "The education programme and the education oyou will get from exhibitors who have specialised product knowledge should be the reason to come, not because it's free." O'Connor gives the example of Autosport International, a show he used to be involved with, as an alternative model of a trade show that does charge."It has two trade days and two consumer days. It stops members of the public trying to source a cheaper ticket by coming on a trade day," he said. "There's always going to be that temptation for extra revenue but the problem is that you are competing with other exhibitions and online media, much of which is free. If the world's media all start to move over to a paid approach then our approach may start to change but I don't think we organisers have a strong enough case because there's a lot of other free content out there." O'Connor added it  Charging trade visitors at the gate may encourage people to pre-register.  Charging all visitors may ensure attendance of pre-registered visitors. It may be harder for customers to justify time out of the office for a paid-for event.  Target market-leading exhibitors and keep them in your sights while determining prices.  Consult your target audience before deciding prices.  Use ticket price to ensure the best audience. Base prices on educational and/or entertainment value of the event as well as size. Consider location: A regional show should be cheaper than one in the city.KEY TIPSwas an organiser's duty to get as many qualified visitors in to shows as possible.According to event director for the National Home Improvement Show, Michael Seaman, ticket price can act as a quality filter for visitors. "If the visitor is willing to pay for an experience, they perceive it's of more value," he said. "If you get people coming through the door who haven't paid you might not get the people you want."But Seaman warned a common mistake is not consulting the target audience before deciding ticket price. "When we look at ticket price we do market research about what the audience is willing to pay," he added.Whatever the price of your show ticket, it's ultimately your responsibility to deliver a visitor experience worthy of it. The last thing you want to do is create a barrier for visitors

SPECIAL REPORT24 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukhis list is unique. It is the only attempt ever to list the UK's largest exhibitions by revenue. It is also the fi rst time a list has been prepared ignoring the artifi ciality of the 12-month cycle. This list ranks the UK's largest events, whether annual or biennial. It does not include triennials or quadrennials (IPEX being the largest) on the basis that they are too infrequent to compare. Peripatetic events, which may visit the UK occasionally, are also not listed.The shows are arranged by turnover in the UK. This is the amount of money generated by an event over its annual cycle, or two-year cycle in the case of a biennial. Earlier historical lists of events tended to be based on visitor numbers or the size of the event in gross square metres. Both methods are fi nancially incoherent as the largest events often charge the lowest rates (such as Saltex) and visitors do not necessarily generate turnover. The exhibition with the largest turnover in the country remains Spring Fair International.The turnover is that generated by the owner/organiser of the event and does not include elements such as catering. Several other criteria have been considered to defi ne this list:. Exhibitions are defi ned in the conventional way: Held in a venue with at least 1,000sqm of enclosed space and lasting In this revealing league table of exhibitions, Phil Soar establishes the largest 200 UK today by stand turnoverat least two days. Certain exceptions, like Saltex and Waste, are included as they are conventional exhibitions with a necessary outdoor element.. The listing for each show represents the latest information available via any source we can access. This is sometimes taken from independent sources and often not directly from the event website. Hence fi gures may not correspond - the most common area for confusion is the often complex distinction between visitors and attendees. . Note that event turnover can change dramatically. For instance, three of the 23 largest shows in this list at the end of 2009 had ceased to exist by the middle of 2011.. The majority of organisers will not allow the turnover of their events to be published separately and carefully avoid publishing turnover of individual events in annual reports. Consequently, we are unable to include the actual turnover event by event. We do have real fi gures for a large number of events. Where this is not available, an acceptably accurate turnover fi gure has been drawn up based on square metres sold at a predictable rate, average entry charges at consumer shows, plus anecdotal information. . Unlike publishing, radio or television industries there is no consistent information about exhibitions. In recent years, even larger groups have failed to report information on many of their events (only UBM and Emap have been consistent in 2009/2010). Historically, organisers were pleased to report their data in good times, when fi gures were rising, but show a reluctance to do so in a recession. In some instances, the information given here represents the most recent and reliable source. Over the past 10 years, only 100-120 of the UK's 800 exhibitions have consistently reported visitor and net square metres (usually via the ABC) and this number is falling. This list excludes events where there is no credible or palpably wrong information supplied (such as exactly 30,000 visitors for three consecutive years). Despite the challenges faced when compiling the data, this list presents a compelling snapshot of the industry's biggest players as they stand today. 86%TTHE UK TOP The percentage of revenue generated from exhibitor stand sales, the core source of income for exhibition organisers