Next week the UK Space Conference 2015 takes place in Liverpool, and Pixalytics is exhibiting! Regular blog readers will know we recently undertook our first foray into exhibiting at Geo-Business 2015, and we learnt a huge amount. Second time around weâ€™re doing things slightly differently:
Different Type of Exhibition â€“ The UK Space Conference has a full programme of speakers, and is complemented by the exhibition; whereas Geo-Business was focussed around the exhibition and was complemented by a conference programme. This difference means the UK Space Conference exhibition will be visited mostly during coffee breaks and lunch. There will of course be people around not attending particular sessions, but on the whole it will be quieter during the conference programme. The question is how many people will take time out from eating and drinking to visit the exhibition?
Different Exhibiting Space â€“ At our first exhibition we hired a space, and then had to fill it. This time weâ€™re part of the Small Business Hub within the exhibition, and alongside a number of other small companies weâ€™ll have a cocktail table, a pair of stools and space for one pull up banner. The lack of space is compensated by the fact itâ€™s a much more cost effective way to exhibit. Obviously, there will be less to attract peopleâ€™s attention to us, so how much of a footfall will we get in the hub?
Different Type of Attendee â€“ All delegates have to pay to attend the UK Space Conference. In theory, the attendees will definitely want to be at the conference and will have clear links to the space industry; whereas with free entry exhibitions there is sometimes more of the â€˜it could be interesting and lets have a lookâ€™ approach â€“ weâ€™re not knocking this, as weâ€™ve used it a number of times ourselves. However, when money has to be paid out it lends a certain focus to attending. It will be interesting to see if this changes the quantity, or quality, of potential business leads visiting our stand.
Taking Less Promotional Material â€“ One thing we learnt from our first experience was that we took too much promotional material, and we ended up bringing the majority back. The one advantage of over buying is that we already have promotional materials for this conference. Weâ€™ve had to design, and buy, a pull up banner, which is something new, otherwise weâ€™ll only be taking the items we believe weâ€™ll use.
There are a lot of different flavours of exhibitions. If you go to the industry focussed conferences youâ€™re likely to be surrounded by competitors, if you go to customer focussed ones will they be interested in your products and if you go to niche exhibitions it may only be relevant to one part of your business. As a small company new to exhibiting, how do you know which one is right for you?
Weâ€™re finding this out by using the scientific process of experimentation; weâ€™re trying two different conferences this year and will compare what we think they have achieved for us. Next year we may do something different again, until we find out what works best.
If youâ€™re up at the UK Space Conference next week, pop into the Small Business Hub in the centre of the exhibition hall and say hello!