In recent weeks, two events have taken place at completely opposite ends of the exhibition scale. The China International Travel Mart 2012 took place from November 15th to November 18th in Shanghai, while The Pop-Up Show specifically for small businesses took place at Drayton Manor Park last week. These events are the polar opposite of one another where exhibitions are concerned; their target markets varied hugely and the overall size of the events could not have been more different, and yet they both featured business setting up their exhibition stands in order to procure extra custom and promote their services.
The China International Travel Mart was organised in a collaboration between China’s National Tourism Administration, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the Shanghai Municipal Government. The huge international event covered 57,500 square metres and featured a total of 2,514 exhibition stands from across the globe. There were a great mixture of pop up banner stands with integrated media, as well as roller banner stands and Curvorama stands, which create a solid wall separating one display from the rest. Exhibitors came from a huge range of industries involved with tourism and travel, including airlines, tourist attractions, hotels and cruise ship operators. Incomplete statistics released this week saw that the event attracted more than 100,000 visitors and over the course of the 4-day event, 7,054 contracts were signed on the dotted line.
The Pop-Up Show, organised jointly by the councils of Lichfield and Tamworth, could not have differed more greatly in sheer scale; seventy exhibitors took stands to the show, which was aimed at giving small businesses in and around Tamworth the opportunity to network and showcase their products and services. Many of the smaller businesses in the area are often unable to attend and compete at exhibitions on a larger scale due to the cost involved, as well as staffing and resource issues, so the Pop-Up Show gave them a platform to attract custom and show themselves in the best light. As the name suggests, the show organisers gave each of the participants enough space for a pop-up banner stand, as well as a small number of marketing materials such as flyers and business cards, to ensure that the event was taken advantage of. Many of the businesses involved made deals on the day or helped to expand their network of contacts with a view to doing further deals, and the exhibition was considered a great boost to the economic development of Tamworth.
The contrasting nature of these two events demonstrate that no matter how big or small an exhibition is, all participants have one thing in common; their exhibition stands. They are the common thread in these types of event, whether broadcasting a message to thousands of attendees, or competing with small businesses to secure custom in a specific area. Businesses put a great deal of thought into them and they are essential to making a display stand out and catch the eye; two vital objectives for companies large and small.