When it comes to running an exhibition like the Biz Expos’ Business Shows, it can be quite hard to know what works and what doesn’t. A lot of it is trial and error; you come up with an idea and you try it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But either way, what you’re left with is hopefully a stronger show than your last one. You’ve probably heard us speaking about this on Facebook and in the emails we send out to our contacts lists, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about one of the new features of our Biz Expo shows being introduced this year; the 15 Minute Workshops run by the Exhibitor.
Every year, we set aside a substantial budget to ensure we
have only the best motivational speakers in the UK speaking at our shows. This
hasn’t changed; we still plan on bringing you gold in the form of seminar
speakers, but this year, we’re only going to have 2 of them, down from our
usual 3. And that final free seminar spot? We’re giving exhibitors the chance
to have their say.
The idea is to have a handful of exhibitors prepare a 15 minute value-added presentation to deliver to both our other exhibitors and the visitors. This can be on any topic they wish. So far we’ve had people interested in discussing how LinkedIn can help shape your business if done correctly, how to ensure that your website has been designed in order to sufficiently sell – we’ve even had someone approach us with advice on what can be done with your finances once you’re 6 feet under!
I touched briefly on this in the blog about the Liverpool
Expo; why we’ve decided this would be a good idea. Every day, we receive emails
and phone calls from businesses with ideas for how we can improve or change our
shows. It’s not uncommon to have a potential exhibitor pull out if we do not
comply with their suggestions. Some of the suggestions are well thought out and
could be beneficial for both the show and the visitors, but some of them only
serve the exhibitor themselves. This is the main reason why we do not take on
the ideas of exhibitors. Another of the main conversations we have with
potential exhibitors for our show is they’re looking for speaking slots at our
shows. Until now, we’ve always turned these offers down because we book our
speakers way in advance to ensure we have only the best for the people
attending our shows. But now we’ve set aside a time slot usually reserved for a
third speaker to give exhibitors their chance to have their say.
Earlier this year, a couple of weeks before our Reading show
in February, one of our exhibitors Steve Doyle (Linking Business) approached us and asked for the opportunity to
give a value added talk during our show. Originally, we had opted against this
idea (we run a tight ship when it comes to the flowing of our shows, and we
initially couldn’t find a slot for him to fill), but after he spoke to us about
the topic in which he wanted to talk, we moved a couple of things around and
gave him the slot. I asked Steve a few questions about how he found the slow we
provided for him:
What made you want to speak at our show?
Steve: LinkedIn is a massively under used and misused channel for businesses to communicate with key customers. I am always keen to demonstrate to audiences some simple tips that can improve their use of LinkedIn. A keynote speaking opportunity at a Biz Expo meeting provided a really good opportunity to present how my business could help others use LinkedIn effectively.
How did you find it in terms of engagement and interest from visitors/exhibitors?
Steve: I found the engagement from visitor’s high with a keen audience who were actively involved and asking really good questions. The speaking opportunity worked in synergy with the exhibition presence and helped drive traffic to my stand.
What did you find most rewarding/challenging about speaking at our shows?
Steve: Making myself heard over the ongoing Speed Networking which was running next door was a challenge! Most rewarding was probably the opportunity to help business owners in a very practical way.
Are you planning on speaking at any of our upcoming shows?
Steve: Yes I will be speaking at Reading and I am always willing to present to business owners to help them grow their business more effectively.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to speak?
Steve: Grab the opportunity with both hands, but whatever you do don’t try to sell your product or service. This is a great opportunity is to grow your credibility don’t misuse it.
Of course, we can’t offer these slots to all our exhibitors; they’re very much on a first come, first serve basis. We’re finding them to be very popular amongst potential and existing exhibitors, so we’re excited to see how Liverpool goes to see if this will become a permanent fixture at our shows.
For more information visit our website at https://www.thebizexpos.co.uk, or find us on Facebook or Twitter (search The Biz Expos) and join the conversation!