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PP believes in shows and exhibitions as sales and brand building tools. Of course, they cannot be your only sales tool but - well chosen and well used - they can help most companies a lot. Surprisingly, there are still huge numbers of developers and agents who have never exhibited at a show of any kind, whether in their own country or overseas. There is even a (much) smaller number who have never attended an event, even as a visitor. Over the last few months we have brought you a series of articles about events and exhibitions, the fi rst written by event organisers and the second by those who are experienced old hands when it comes to shows. What works? What does not? What have they learned over the years? What

Exhibition newbies O

tips can they give to others? This month we thought we would ask the newcomers: those who have either not previously attended or exhibited at any event or those who have some experience but have never exhibited at an event of this particular type. Which event did they attend? What did they think? Was it well organised? Were the organisers helpful? How do they measure the success of an event? Was this one successful for them? What did they do right? What did they do wrong? Would they go again? These and other questions should help our readers decide whether events are for them.

NEXT MONTH: Damage limitation

Hectic | The most prestigious events are packed with visitors

Victor Webster is in partnership with Gallo Case International. They are based, sell and develop property in Calabria, Italy. Website:

Was the event well organised? Yes - these people know what they are doing. We were very impressed. What do you think you did well at the event? Our stand worked. It was not sophisticated but, strangely, that seemed a good thing. I don’t think people are attracted by glitz or hard sell any more. Our brochures were also good but, perhaps, the most important thing was that every person on the stand really knew what they were talking about and really knew Calabria. We had English speaking Italians and English people with a deep knowledge of the area. We were also all enthusiastic about the area and what we were doing.

Which event did you attend? A Place in the Sun Live, London Did you attend as a visitor or exhibitor? We attended as exhibitors. What were you trying to achieve by being there? We dropped out of the industry a few years ago, when the market crashed. We thought there was an opportunity to get involved again and we thought that this event would be a good way of testing the water. We were trying to do two things. First, we wanted to test how much demand there was in the UK for our products in Calabria. Calabria is not a well known destination in the UK. It was just starting to get popular and then along came the crash. Second, we wanted to see whether other, well established, UK based agents would be interested in working with us to sell in the UK. How did you measure success or failure? A combination of hard numbers - the number of buyer enquiries and the number of agents who seemed interested in working with us - and a gut feeling of whether it felt good. Was the event a success? Yes, on both counts. Why? We generated over 50 buyer leads and received approaches from a number of potential agents. Of course, only time will tell the outcome of these enquiries but it felt good and other exhibitors said the same. Were the organisers helpful? Very.

What could you have done better? Our stand layouts could have been better. Would you attend again? Yes.

How much do you think it cost you (travel, hotels, stand etc)? I don’t know. The cost was paid by my Italian partners.

Attending an exhibition for the fi rst time is a major decision. It involves investing both time and money and being absent from the offi ce for quite a long time. To make matters worse, you are never sure whether your investment will be justifi ed. We thought we would ask some recent fi rst-timers whether it worked for them

Skiing in Italy | Just one of the joys of Calabria

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