FROM THE EDITOR: Industry must make a song and dance about success

Unforeseen circumstances have little impact on a visitor's decision to attend an event so long as their interest is genuine.

This has been proven time and again with examples that range from Glastonbury festival, which is always packed despite torrential rain, to last year's Event Awards Grand Prix winner Equus - The Horse Event. The latter was launched in the midst of a foot and mouth epidemic but still managed to pull in 18,461 visitors over four days. This year, despite the passing of the Queen Mother - a lover of everything equestrian - the show drew a record crowd of more than 20,000.

At last month's Exhibition Industry Networking Forum, the point was made that exhibitions must improve their self-promotion and evaluation if they are to be taken seriously by media buyers (page 8). Self-promotion and credible evaluation are this industry's saving graces.

If Clarion fails to convince car manufacturers with tangible proof that a revamped London Motor Show will drive business, exhibitors will pull out, leaving the organiser with a discredited show that visitors will not wish to visit. Clarion needs to turn itself into a self-promotional beast otherwise the gap left by a no-show in 2001 will be too wide for visitors to remember the date in their diary for next year.

Events and exhibitions need greater self-promotion. Without it, how can they expect the public to choose their offer over others that are repeatedly rammed down our throats?

It is why entries into the Event Awards rise year on year and it is why the Corporate Event Association has chosen Event to help turn its awards into a higher profile celebration.

So to the organiser that dismissed the Event Awards 2002 as unwanted self-promotion, I argue that winning Gold or Silver by submitting an entry before this month's deadline, will enable companies to win future business for many years to come. Self-promotion is far from an unwanted beast if the industry's true worth is to be realised.

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