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BACK TO BASICS18 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukGO FORTH AND MULTIPLYIt might be tempting to launch a new edition of your successful show in a new market but there are signifi cant risks involved. EN asks how you know when the time is rightWhether riding on the success of a large show or striving to increase the footprint of a smaller niche expo, you may be tempted to launch versions of your brand in different UK markets. But how do you identify where to go next and what pitfalls must you be aware of?All the commentators EN approached agreed research is the best way forward. "Taking a new version of an existing show to a venue that is off the recognised exhibitions map carries a risk. The risk can be mitigated by conducting as much research as possible before developing the plan to launch," said JP Events and Exhibitions MD Mike Schwarz. "Demographics can play an important part too. A show that is seeking to attract an upmarket visitor audience needs to be located in the right area." It is also important to keep the marketing budget plentiful for an event in a new area. "You are going to need every penny you can squeeze out in year one to establish the show in the calendar," Schwarz added."There is no point launching an event without the buy-in of your clients and a need of their clients," said show director for Clarion's Mortgage Business Expo James Prosser. "You need to investigate the area you are proposing to enter in terms of business volume, demand, competition and of course venues." And what hazards await those launching existing show brands into new regions?"Listen to your clients' needs," said Prosser. "There may be a need for an event in an area but the volume of business may not be great enough to  Beware of devaluing your brand with weak shows. Make sure repeat exhibitors don't split their budgets between editions. Consult your market to see if they will support a new show. A single strong show might be better than several weaker editions.  Take into account the effect of local demographics on the show audience. Research and test the water with your toe before jumping in.KEY TIPSjustify an event, large or small." According to Escape Events MD Martin Anslow, running multiple show editions involves a risk of devaluing your brands. For example, if you have one show that is an absolute cracker, exhibitors and visitors will travel to it. However, if you have a couple of shows and one of them is a dud, it may refl ect badly on the parent show as well. "If you had a show in Manchester that covered the whole industry but had a show in Scotland that covered only half, it might be better marketing to have all of Scotland come down to Manchester instead of going to a show in Scotland that has only half the market represented," Anslow said."One of the most important things is that if an industry is going to commit to it, they have got to do it in a proper budgetary way. You need to ensure they don't start splitting it between the two shows." After all, if exhibitors split their budgets between multiple versions of the same shows, each individual show may become less effective for them. "I always like doing a good show in London or Birmingham because if it's a good show people will travel," Anslow continued, adding that changing demographics can undermine an exhibition's effectiveness in other regions."When you start moving away from the south east you have a very different type of audience. If you go to Manchester or Scotland, you still have affl uent people but not as many of them. I think you probably end up spending more on the marketing and you might not get the full support of the market because they don't feel the audience is there."Launching multiple regional editions of your existing brands carries increased risk. However, if extensive market research fi nds exhibitors are willing and visitors are plentiful, it could be the best way to increase your UK footprint.

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