BUSINESS CLINICwww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 37Aztec Event Services has secured two exhibition contracts to supply audiovisual and technical services. The two shows are IT exhibition IP Expo 2011 and Media 10's debut Ideal Home Show at Christmas, both running at Earls Court in London. The IP Expo win came off the back of working with event organiser Imago Techmedia at the United Communications Expo in March. Aztec also worked on six of Media 10's events in 2011.The London Borough of Greenwich Council has granted planning consent for the construction of a roof walkway across The O2. The temporary structure could be built in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games and suspended from The O2's yellow masts. It will be 190m in length and 60m above the ground at its highest point. According to O2 owner AEG, the walkway will be capable of accommodating up to 90 people. International events organiser Revolution Events has won the contract to organise the Kent 2020 Vision business exhibition. The one-day event, now in its seventh year, is held every April at the Kent Showground and claims to consistently attract more than 300 exhibitors and 4,000 visitors. Revolution won the deal via a tender process.Manchester Central has signed a three-year contract with audiovisual specialists Blitz Communications as its preferred AV supplier. The venue will also invest £350,000 in digital signage throughout the complex. The 33 digital screens will improve way-fi nding externally and internally in real-time. Wedding show organiser WeddingLink has struck a partnership with Chilford Hall Vineyard and Conference Centre in Linton, Cambridgeshire to run its biannual Cambridgeshire Wedding Fayre event. The show next takes place in February and again in November 2012. The two companies plan to conduct an extensive regional marketing campaign to support the show. WeddingLink has organised large and regional wedding shows since 2007.Quickka Events is building a new visitor app for the London International Horse Show. It will be based on the business-to-consumer FestivalStar model and includes vouchers, favourites and live interaction tools. Logistics company Agility Fairs has been awarded the contract to manage the international freight and onsite handling services for FESPA Digital 2012. The print trade show will be held at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via Exhibition Centre in Barcelona in February. Harrogate International Centre (HIC) has signed a three-year deal to retain the Harrogate Christmas and Gift Fair and Harrogate Nursery Fair until 2015.WINNING BUSINESS5 WAYS TO GET GREAT EVENT FEEDBACK SCOTT LENIK'S TOP TIPS 1. PART OF THE EXPERIENCEWhether it's a formal corporate occasion or relaxed networking gathering, our fi rst thought as marketers should be to introduce feedback forms as an integral part of any event. Not only does it add value by showing that you care about feedback, it shows attendees that fi lling in the forms is an important part of their experience of your brand. 2. EASY TO COMPLETEThere's nothing worse than a complicated feedback form with too many questions, so make it quick and easy for delegates by keeping it simple. Keep questions short and include space for comments. 3. GO ONLINEWith many marketers moving towards online interaction with customers, it's worth considering using an online feedback portal to collect responses. This allows people who have attended events to submit their feedback confi dentially or even recommend your events. 4. MEMORABLE MOMENTMaking your brand memorable is one of the most successful ways to make sure that delegates give feedback. It could be a personalised email or a quirky post-event gift, but these small touches go a long way. It ensures that even if this is the fi rst time they have attended one of your events, they will be sure to remember it. 5. USE ITOnce you have all of the feedback, put it into action. Delegates attending your events want to feel their views are taken into consideration, so taking note of their responses and putting it into place for future events demonstrates you value that.- Scott Lenik is a client partner at marketing agency Pulse Group.THE GOOD AND THE BAD Probably the boldest but most rewarding decision was cutting the Ideal Home Show marketing budget by 60 per cent in the weeks after acquiring the event. There are times in the exhibition business when you need to make strong, intuitive decisions based on the knowledge and experience acquired over the years. The results were remarkable for the business and for the exhibition and it showed that throwing money at something doesn't always work - you need ideas, creativity and sometimes a 'seat of your pants' attitude. MY BEST DECISIONMY WORST DECISION420mThe number of global smartphones predicted to be in use by the end of 2011, according to IMS Research. This will represent 28 per cent of all handsets used worldwide. The worst decision was early on in my career when I got approval for a piece of creative that was shocking; but getting approval from the MD was more daunting at the time than the implications of going to press with weak advertising. It's a lesson I've not forgotten and underlines the fact that you must never cultivate a culture of fear or blame within a company. If I found one of my team was scared to see me I'd hang them out of the window by their ankles (or maybe not). Not that we have produced weak creative at Media 10, obviously.ROB NATHAN, MARKETING DIRECTOR AT MEDIA 10
BUSINESS CLINIC38 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukor most of us emerging from the recent unpleasantness that was the last recession, the journey is not without its perils. Few of us are clear of it completely and many will experience aftershocks for some time. At the other end, many of our clients during the recession have become used to getting more for less, committing later and negotiating more effective deals. They in turn have been squeezed by their clients and the circle is complete.So what hope is there for aspiring organisers, venues and contractors trying not only to generate more business but to negotiate margins that are meaningful? How do we break the cycle and justify our price when recent memory has witnessed incredible deals and silly margins? While I concede that this is easier to achieve with new business, it is equally important to look after our existing client JUSTIFYING YOUR COSTFSimon Naudi presents several alternative suggestions to convince customers the price you quote is the right onebase and move them gradually to a new position or face the much trodden path of spending the next few years slowly and painfully dragging them reluctantly ever closer to 'rate card'.Assuming creeping death is not your favoured course of action, then there are a few strategies that can be adopted depending upon your situation and history. The options briefl y are to implement an increase and risk losing some clients albeit temporarily; to add value to justify the increases as discussed in last month's column, or to justify your rates. By far the easiest and least risky is the latter.THE PHONE CALLLet's assume that your rate is higher than the competition. You telephone your prospect and pitch only to be met with the refrain 'leave it with me, call me in a week'. Moments later your competitor pitches the same client with a similar proposition, albeit it at a lesser price. Now imagine the prospect cogitating the aforementioned presentations. It is likely that while they will not recall the exact minutiae, they will recall the price differential in the competitor's favour. At the allotted time you call back and are greeted with the archetypal 'How can you justify your price, when I can get the same thing from a competitor for less?' At this point, the client will be expecting you to mention that the two packages are not the same, that yours represents value for money and just about anything else you try. The last thing they would be expecting is some reverse psychology. State that 'in your position I would be tempted to choose their offering'. Point out that 'if' the two packages were the same, (and you're not saying that they are) and the competitor could charge more, why don't they? The client would be moved to agree with your sentiments. Postulate further that there must be a reason (unknown and unspecifi ed) why theirs is so 'cheap'. When the competitor calls back they will be retailed with the client accusation, 'why are you so cheap?' This is an altogether harder allegation to assuage. What do they reply to that? 'Because we are inferior?' Or 'because we are trying to buy your business?' Or is it 'because we are rubbish?' We have carried out exactly such an assignment with one of our clients and secured an uplift in excess of 35 per cent using this strategy. So why not give it a go?- Simon Naudi is MD of the Answers Group.Clients have become used to getting more for less, committing later and negotiating more effective dealsThe fi rst data protection principle requires you to process personal data transparently, fairly and lawfully. In practice, it means you must:. Have legitimate reasons for collecting and using the personal data.. Not use the data in ways that have unjustifi ed adverse effects on the individuals concerned.. Be open and honest about how you intend to use the data, and give individuals appropriate privacy notices when collecting their personal data.. Handle people's personal data only in ways they would reasonably expect.. Make sure you do not do anything unlawful with the data.FIRST PRINCIPLE DATA PROTECTION: AWARENESS IS KEYLater this year, updated data protection laws will incorporate stricter guidelines on the provision of data to subcontractors and other third parties. The Data Protection Act covers everything from security of data in computer systems to the passing of data between suppliers, such as an agency to an exhibition venue. This also includes the simple mistake of leaving data capture lists on exhibition stands.Data is precious, yet how much rigour is the exhibition industry applying to its protection? Recent high-profi le data breaches, such as the Sony gaming network where the personal data of over 100m users was stolen, have highlighted the risk of inadequate data protection. With the penalty for negligence now reaching £500,000 - a sum the Information Commissioner can apply at its discretion for each breach - can anyone afford not to take responsibility?Exhibitors and organisers are naturally on the front line of data capture/management and should therefore look hard to ensure that those they are working alongside are fulfi lling the requirements of the data protection act too. At the very least, organisers and exhibitors should request disclosure of how their business associates have invested in the protection of data (such as systems, policy, processes and training) and how they manage supply chain data provision in light of the updated legislation. This obviously takes time, effort and expense, but not as much as that required to defend yourself against an action by the Information Commissioner's Offi ce.To be compliant with the updated data protection laws, there are several key areas exhibition organisers and exhibitors should focus on when handling personal data including:i) Has it been explained to the individual the purpose for which their personal data is being collected?ii) Has the intended usage of their personal data been adequately explained?iii) Have they been made aware that their information may be passed to third parties? Will their data leave the EU (and therefore fall outside the scope of EU data protection laws)?iv) Do you have consent from the individual to do the things above? Has a record of this been kept, should it need to be evidenced later?- Warren Hillier, on behalf of the Delegate Management Services division of events agency Grass Roots.