Deliver ROI or face the 'tumbleweed moment', says Jonny Sullens

International Confex portfolio director Jonny Sullens has said organisers need to "up the ante and deliver the ultimate show experience" or risk facing the "tumbleweed moment" in an open letter to the industry.

Deliver ROI or face the 'tumbleweed moment' says Jonny Sullens
Deliver ROI or face the 'tumbleweed moment' says Jonny Sullens

In the letter, the Confex frontman says getting the right decision-makers through the door and retaining a show’s position as a must see event is no mean feat in today’s economic climate.

"Gone are the days of escaping the office for a few hours to simply wander round a trade show seeking inspiration – delegates need a solid business case for attending," he writes. "We must deliver the ultimate show experience to compete in a time of austerity."

Hinting at the intention behind his letter he goes on to say: "just as the industry has united with the formation of the BVEP, we believe it’s time to focus on one showcase event".

International Confex takes place in its new home at Excel London from 6-8 March 2012, incorporating RSVP London and new launch the International Outdoor Event Expo (IOEX).

Read the letter in full here:

"The first 30 seconds after show doors open is one of the most exhilarating and nail biting moments of the year for event organisers – have we delivered the right commercial mix and business opportunities? Will we see good numbers of eager early bird delegates pour into the show? Gone are the days of escaping the office for a few hours to simply wander round a trade show seeking inspiration – delegates need a solid business case for attending. Now’s the time for the event industry to up the ante and deliver the ultimate show experience. Get it right and you’ll deliver ROI to all stakeholders, get it wrong and you risk facing the ‘tumbleweed moment’.

"Getting the right decision-makers through the door and retaining the position as a ‘must see’ show is no mean feat in today’s economic climate. Budgets are returning, but these are being invested in fewer events, so the pressure’s really on to make events as memorable as possible. Organisers must give buyers reassurance on service, creativity and quality to get the most out of a challenging, yet opportunistic 2012.

"Just as the industry has united with the formation of the BVEP, we believe it’s time to focus on one showcase event. To deliver optimum value to delegates, our move to Excel will help the entire events industry to unite under one roof in 2012 (cue the ‘Toys R Us’ music!). To keep ahead of the curve, we’ve implemented some exciting new developments including the incorporation of the London event show RSVP into Confex.  RSVP had a lot of loyal visitors and exhibitors so this move will give a new home and further establish Confex as the primary show to attend for buyers of parties, meetings, conferences and events. Furthermore, we are also launching International Outdoor Event Expo (IOEX) – a standalone event, recognising the scale and scope of the Outdoor Event Industry which will make our offering wholly representative of the event industry.

"Coining Blair’s famous ‘Education, Education, Education’ campaign, the need for quality content that makes the most of delegates’ time on the floor is critical to the success of the events industry. Ultimately, visitors come to shows to do business, but we’re missing a trick if we don’t make it worth their while to spend more time on-site. From business opportunities to professional development, or just one great piece of inspiration, we must deliver the ultimate show experience to compete in a time of austerity.

"To stay ahead of the game as an industry, we must listen to all our customers, immerse ourselves in the industry and build an event that matches what they need – not what we think they need. To build an event that reflects the industries that it serves we must take what is happening in the market and then translate that to the show floor. I’m optimistic that the best of our thriving industry will rise to this challenge and shine in 2012."

To leave a comment register and let us know your thoughts.


Have your say

Only registered users may comment. Sign in now or register for free.

Follow us

Latest Event Jobs