With the conference rapidly becoming a distant memory, the team sat down to talk through the things that really stood out this year and what the key takeaways were.
The number of attendees: both exhibitors and delegates increased, clearly showing us that in a world that sometimes seems to be very ‘digital content’ and business, actually getting together, talking and meeting is still hugely important in the B2B intermediated market. In a world of increasing automation and digitization, it is great to see that there is a still a place to talk through the issues of the day and to build relationships that can lead to future business
We were delighted to see that many of those attending the conference really stepped up their games in terms of how they were using social media and content generation as a tool to engage with delegates, as well as sharing news and ideas to the broader market and to those that didn’t make the trip to Manchester. We have long encouraged clients to expand the way in which they share and distribute their views and this BIBA certainly saw this improve, although we feel that sharing more knowledge and insight was needed by some, rather than the ‘we’re busy’ posts.
The use of AV this year was much better: thankfully poorly put together PowerPoint slides seems to be in the past and they have been replaced by high quality films and other digital content that are not only impactful, but look to share insight with delegates. The opportunity to stand out from the crowd at BIBA can certainly be increased with the use of well thought out and put together AV content and we hope to see this take another step forward in 2018!
An area where we did see some issues was in relation to the ‘brand’ of the exhibitors; how this was reflected in their stands and designs and what they were doing there. We saw several examples where the message and the delivery clashed, saying one thing yet delivering another. Portraying a brand in a 3D environment isn’t always easy, but people do need to consider this especially at events and exhibitions to ensure that there is a consistent application of the values, look and feel and that the brand experience is a positive one.
Finally, and underpinning all of the above is coffee – what would we do without it? Many invested in dedicated baristas on their stands and it was clear to see, especially early in the morning, those exhibitors that had made the investment as the search for that morning ‘pick me up’ began. With this in mind, is there anything that can be done to improve the general venue coffee next year?