Last week, I received an email reminding me that IFE was soon to open.
Now, I’m not exhibiting at that show but I still felt a little bit of excitement when I read that message.
IFE has been around for many a year.
Originally held at Olympia, the show now takes place at ExCeL London.
The reason why I like IFE so much is because of the exhibitors.
IFE is crammed full of stands promoting all kinds of food and drinks.
Very enticing but the exhibits, nice as they are are not the real reason I like seeing this show.
As I said, it’s because of the exhibitors.
Many of IFE’s exhibitors are small businesses.
Their stands convey the excitement, enthusiasm, and passion that small business owners feel about their enterprises and their mission in the world.
It’s a great thing to see and experience.
Being there always gives me a lift even though my work is not directly connected with the food or drinks business.
I think that apart from the subject matter, it’s one of the reasons why IFE always attracts such a strong attendance.
The audience shares that same passion for the products on show.
And they get to meet with people who are really keen to show and bring them something new.
What has any of this got to do with you?
Enthusiasm is an attractive quality
Exhibiting in this show can transform the sales of small businesses.
The owners know it and it shows.
I have rarely met an unenthusiastic exhibitor at this event although I’m sure there must have been one or two lurking somewhere.
This attentiveness and enthusiasm for what is on display is an attractive quality for visitors.
There is a lot of show business at this event
Apart from the samples of food and drinks that are offered all over the show, there is plenty of what I call show business too.
There are demonstrations of cooking and food prep in lots of places around the venue.
You get to meet people dressed as fruit or drink cans as they walk around the show or as they wave to you from their stands.
It’s fun, buzzy and very vibrant.
IFE is one of the shows I attend because it gives me ideas that I can adapt for my clients when they are looking for ways to stand out when they exhibit.
How might you bring some of that “show business” to your stands?
“That won’t work for us…”
Okay, so you’re not a food or drink business.
You might think that what you offer is too serious for this kind of treatment.
Maybe, but probably not.
Granted, walking fruit and drink cans might be a step too far but I’ll bet you could find other fun ways to promote your business…
And attract attention.
Over the years I have found walking digital screens, circus performers, flash mobs, opera singers and magicians.
There have been props, remote controlled airships, giant walls, even the branding of buildings… all of these and many other things have been used to promote clients at trade and consumer shows.
Every client who used one of these promotional ideas was so delighted with the results that they always re-booked another idea for their next event.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend big money to create your own show business effect.
One very simple but effective idea I saw recently was “spin the wheel and win a prize. ”
The prizes on offer were cinema tickets.
While the (low cost) wheel was spinning, the sales team on what was a very small stand, had the chance to strike up a conversation and ask questions and take details.
So simple but very effective and the stand was busy throughout most of the show hours.
Here are some ideas you might want to consider
If you struggle to think of ideas that might work for your business take a look at this Pinterest board I’ve put together.
Included are twelve attractions I ‘ve seen in action at various shows in the recent past.
They range from low to high cost in the budget stakes but you can borrow or adapt elements from each.
My business represents more than one of the ideas on the board but we represent many others so if you would like to talk about how we could make your business stand out, do get in touch.
And if you are attending IFE this week, enjoy the show and the delicious samples on offer.
Find some new suppliers and soak up some of those great event marketing ideas.