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Cranmore Park Blog

So you've travelled a few hours to get to a trade show, having spent time planning meticulously for the event in advance. You've arrived in good time to set your stand up perfectly, and made a big effort to look your best. Everything is in place and you're all set for a great day.

Somewhere on the trade show floor will be the high-value customer you're looking for, and if you're lucky, there may even be a few of them. It's just a case of drawing people into your stand or booth and identifying the big leads you may be able to convert.

The automotive industry has been a constant fixture in the West Midlands for decades, and that is still true today, with many of the world's leading car manufacturers having a presence.

At one point, the West Midlands used to be the "Workshop of the World", with Mini and MG Rover leading the way forward for great British car brands, and this strong tradition has continued with the likes of Jaguar Land Rover.

What could be worse than organising a fantastic trade show or exhibition at no small cost and finding that hardly anyone turns up?

If you've done your research properly, this nightmare scenario is unlikely to materialise. However, if you forge ahead without gauging demand, you could be left with egg on your face.

In all the frantic organisation that leads up to a trade show, it’s easy to overlook how you plan to engage with customers once your meticulously planned booth is up and running.

At the most basic level, everyone intends to be friendly and enthusiastic, but there are a few techniques that can help leave potential customers with the best possible impression of you and your brand.

Where would you hold a national conference? If you have delegates travelling from all over the country, this can be a tricky decision. Many people would say London as the easy answer, simply because it is commonly seen as the most important city in the UK. However, that does not necessarily mean it is the best place for a conference.

Increasingly, companies and other organisations are looking to host events in the area of Birmingham. This might not be most people's first guess, but on close inspection the city and its surrounding area have a huge number of advantages for those looking to hold a conference.

At the next conference you attend, you will almost certainly be given a notepad or something similar to write on. These aren't just for doodling in the margins; note-taking is an important part of every conference. Without it, you will struggle to retain the information you learn and end up with only a vague memory of what was said.

If you want to be able to take the skills and knowledge you learn at your next conference back with you, you need to find the method of note-taking that works best for you. There are plenty of different options; here is a short guide to a few of the most common.

Many young people are interested in furthering their learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, but do not always have the opportunities to do so, a new survey suggests.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology's 2014 Skills Survey poll, which questioned over 400 engineering and IT staff, revealed that 59 per cent of companies believe a lack of available engineers will be a threat to their business in the coming year.

Every exhibition and trade show will involve a lot of vying for attention. You are going to be attempting to attract potentially hundreds of visitors to your stall, which is no easy task when there could be dozens of your competitors exhibiting within metres of you.

Furthermore, you are going to be trying to grab the attention of people who might never have heard of you or the products you offer. In these circumstances, you might find yourself wanting to just give up and go home! However, this should be seen as an opportunity for success and a challenge to be overcome.

An increasing number of businesses around the world are recognising the value in marketing their activities via trade shows, exhibitions and events. They understand the potential, in terms of generating new leads, networking with industry contacts, and learning about new technologies, techniques and processes from industry thought leaders.

As such, it should come as little surprise to see continued growth in the exhibitions sector, particularly with the economy on an upwards curve. More businesses are choosing to allocate funds to this form of marketing, as they aim to generate interest in their goods and services and improve their brand positioning.

If you're exhibiting at a trade show, you may well speak to hundreds of different people on any single day. They may all be interesting individuals, people who are interested in doing business with you in the future, but the reality is you can't get to know everybody properly. If you get decent footfall to your stand or booth, there simply isn't the time to have extended conversations with everyone who expresses an interest in your offering.

The fact is that every person who approaches you - or you approach - could be the next potential customer. It won't necessarily be the person you spend 30 minutes talking too, convincing them about the benefits of your products and services. Because however hard you try to make a sale, they still have the right to leave at any point without buying.

Planning a conference is not usually an easy task. There are a lot of things you will have to consider, which can be intimidating if it is the first time you've organised such an event. When it comes to choosing a venue, there are a number of things you should be thinking about, many of which are easy to miss.

Here are some of the things you need to make sure you take into consideration when it comes to choosing a venue for a conference:

You're heading to a conference or exhibition and looking to build up your industry contacts book. This means putting yourself out their and networking with the people who matter. The only problem is, you're not exactly sure what to do.

There's more to business networking than simply gatecrashing somebody else's conversation and throwing a sales pitch at them. If this is your approach, you're not likely to get very far. In fact, some of the people you'd like to get to know will go out of their away to avoid your intended meeting.

Businesses can use press releases to "create a buzz" at trade shows and raise awareness of their brands, it has been claimed.

Erienne Muldoon, a customer content specialist for Virtual Press Office, told Beyond PR that if an organisation has a presence at industry events, it has a story to tell.

Preparation is one of the most important things when you are exhibiting at a trade show. You can't expect to turn up and make a good impression without having made sure you are ready a long time in advance.

So what's the best way to make sure you are prepared? One method that many successful exhibitors use is to create a checklist a month or two in advance. This enables you to know exactly what needs doing before your next trade show. It also allows you to update the list whenever you need to make some modifications to what you need.

Putting together a great event or conference takes a lot of time, energy and money to achieve. Often, it’s something you are fiercely passionate about, whether it be a business idea, a charity event or something else entirely. The last thing you want then, is to go to all the trouble of organising a great event only for very few people to actually turn up.

Not only will this seriously deflate you in terms of achieving your end goal, but it could also see you lose out financially as well as missing out on crucial outside interest. In order to make sure that doesn't happen, there are a number of things you can do drum up awareness so that your event is a hit, not a miss.

Meetings are a necessary part of every company. However, they can so easily go wrong. One of the main problems many businesspeople have is leaving meetings with the feeling that they haven't really achieved anything. Sometimes, it can seem like you don't know why you met in the first place.

This is generally caused by not having a strong brief or agenda going into the meeting. If you are not 100 per cent sure what your aims are when you get your fellow staff members together then you run the risk of the discussion going around in circles, without ever arriving at a satisfactory conclusion.