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BUSINESS 39Organiser VOS Media has signed yogurt brand Danone Activia as the headline sponsor for its Vitality Show and Vitality Boutique for the next two years.Birmingham-based marketing experience agency Big Cat Group has been awarded a six-month contract to assist The NEC in sourcing and delivering big, entertainment-based events for its exhibition halls. Two suppliers have been appointed to the newly opened American Express Community Stadium in Brighton. Production and digital communications provider AVT Connect is the venue's offi cial audiovisual partner. Hospitality company Azure has also been brought on-board to manage match day and non-match catering as well as event space.The Events Venue at Bluewater in Kent has appointed Melville Exhibition and Events as incumbent services supplier to provide electrical mains and mechanical services such as gas, water and drainage.Aztec Event Services will supply audiovisual and IT equipment and technical support for the HR Performance 2011 show from new event organiser Rock Media Events. The event runs at London Olympia from 4 to 5 October. Affi liate company affi liates4u has appointed 10Yetis Public Relations as media partner for its a4uexpo London. The commerce, online and affi liate marketing event takes place in October at the Hilton Metropole. Melville Exhibition and Event Services has fulfi lled the fi rst two shows under a three-contract with CloserStill Media's Healthcare division. The company is providing a full suite of contractor services to fi ve shows annually across London and Birmingham through to and including 2013. These are: Dentistry Show at The NEC (4 to 5 March 2011); Comissioning at London Olympia (15 to 16 June); Pharmacy Show at The NEC (9-10 October); MediaPro 2011 at Olympia (1-2 November); and the London Vet Show at Olympia (24-25 November).Trade show organiser EasyFairs will work with BPIF Cartons on its 2012 packaging shows. The companies are teaming up once again for Packaging Innovations London 2011 and 2012 at the Business Design Centre in London and the 2012 packaging event at The NEC next March.De Boer supplied 10,000sqm of temporary structure including exhibitor hospitality suites at this year's PSP Southampton Boat Show. The contractor also created the show's main entrance, medical centre, bar and food facilities.Exeter-based Westpoint Arena has appointed local catering company Posh Nosh as its new catering supplier from 1 October.WINNING BUSINESS5 STEPS TO SECURING SALES SIMON NAUDI'S TOP TIPS 1. DEVELOP GOOD OPENING LINESThe market is now more competitive than ever with SMEs receiving an ever increasing number of cold calls. You need your 'elevator pitch' to be succinct, human and to incorporate a benefi t to the potential buyer within the fi rst 30 seconds. 2. ASK MORE QUESTIONSThe secret of selling is listening not telling. The more your prospect speaks, the greater the chance they will reveal their needs and the better the chance your presentation will be relevant in their eyes. It is the best way to make a good impression and more impressive than anything you can say. 3. SUMMARISE THEIR NEEDSOnce you think you have established their need, rephrase and summarise it (them). The prospect will most likely realise they have a need after all, accept you understand them and will be more receptive to your recommendations. 4. TEST ALL OBJECTIONS BEFORE HANDLING THEMBuyers are liars! Sometimes to let you down gently they hide their true reasons for resistance behind apparently insurmountable objections. Smoking out the true from the false will save time and boost your conversion rates. True objections can often be overcome easily. 5. CLOSE SOONER AND MORE FIRMLYABC - Always Be Closing. A customer will rarely beg you for the order so get into the habit of asking for it. Direct, assumptive and alternate closes are still effective choices in the modern salesperson's armoury. The worst they can say is no - then handle the objection and close again.- Simon Naudi is the MD of Answers Group.THE GOOD AND THE BAD I've found this quite diffi cult but after serious refl ection, it has to be the one I made back in 2002 to leave Emap, 'jump the broomstick' and join 'the dark side' by going to Excel. My friends, colleagues and peers all thought I was totally mad and there have been times when I thought they may have been right. It has been one hell of a ride and really hard work but also incredibly rewarding. I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to create a culture, build and work with a fantastic team of committed and talented people and deliver to the market an award-winning proposition. And as a bonus, continue to work with people I genuinely enjoy working with in this industry, many of whom are friends. However, now that I've said that and I refl ect again, I'd have to say my best decision ever was to move from media to events back in the 1980s. MY BEST DECISIONMY WORST DECISIONUS$924bnGlobal business travel spending bounced back 8.4 per cent in 2010 to US$924bn. Spending is estimated to pass $1 trillion this year.Back in the 1980s I ran a show called Interfl ow in Harrogate. It was a successful and profi table event and fi lled every bit of space Harrogate could offer. GMEX (now Manchester Central) opened and Frank Winter (ex-NEC) called me suggesting a move. It suited the event as the majority of the fl uids handling industry was North West-based. We'd be closer to the industry, visitor-led demand, be a better show and provide easier access for all. Boy did we get it wrong. We underestimated/forgot the 'destination' part of the equation. The exhibitors loved Harrogate. They valued Betty's, The Drum and Monkey and The Old Swan far higher than any visitors. We ended up spending all our time selling and reselling a show that previously rebooked onsite. We did one show in GMEX before Interfl ow disappeared. Never, ever, underestimate the 'soft' issues and always consult customers. KEVIN MURPHY, CHAIRMAN OF EXCEL LONDON

Editorial enquiries to Nadia Cameron: ncameron@mashmedia.netAdvertising enquiries to Jamie Linin: ATTRACTIONHOW DO WE KEEP THEM COMING BACK?The question of how exhibitions can continue to attract new and existing customers to the show fl oor year after year has never been such an important one to answer. To address this critical issue, EN held its fi rst-ever Question Time panel on 14 September where we debated how organisers can increase and sustain visitor numbers. The forum allowed industry representatives to come together and share their experiences of visitor retention at a trade and consumer show level, as well as discuss emerging tools and trends infl uencing the perception of exhibitions today and into the future. To follow up this interesting and innovative debate, next month's special feature will look at key issues and solutions raised during the discussion plus broader industry insights to help you ensure visitors continue coming to your exhibition. EXHIBITIONNEXT ISSUE