Yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which he revealed the “rule of six” in a bid to reduce the increase in COVID-19 infection rates, created uncertainty for the return of B2B events.
He didn’t exactly kill the widely announced restart date of 1st October, but he highlighted, it was now “under review” with further details to follow.
This “news” adds to the dilemma and agitation many would-be exhibitors have been wrestling with for some weeks.
Namely, what do they do about their commitment to exhibit at trade shows scheduled for the first quarter or the first half of next year?
The events in question were all moved from their original 2020 dates because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commitment arises because the organisers of the rescheduled events, held onto monies paid by exhibitors, rolling them over to the new dates (retention of funds is covered and permitted under the Terms and Conditions of the event contract).
Most exhibitors do want to participate. They want and need the leads the shows they signed-up for were designed to deliver.
Naturally, they have concerns about visitor attendance to the rescheduled events and yesterday’s announcement hasn’t helped the case one bit.
If this is a position that applies to your company, what can you do to ensure exhibiting can still be a paying proposition?
1. If possible, reduce the size of your stand space and your stand now. Doing so will reduce your costs and therefore, your risk considerably.
2. Whether you can reduce your space or not, look for ways to simplify the design of your stand to reduce your direct exhibiting and staffing costs. Decide on the core products or services that you will promote come showtime.
3. With those actions taken park the problem for the time being. Until we all have further details on the treatment of business events (we won’t have to wait too long for clarification), there’s little point in creating angst for yourself.