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Event type, cast for success

Julian Agostini asks what sort of people go to exhibitions? Is there a type? He believes there is.


This week I went to Euroshop in sunny Dusseldorf! It was a monster effort from the UK involving trains, planes and automobiles, leaving home at 4am on Monday morning and returning circa midnight on the Tuesday.

For those that haven’t been, this is a colossal show stretching over 17 halls and I ‘did’ all of them in two very solid days.

The show runs every three years and manages to charge its visitors €65 per day to attend or €100 for two days. Yes, that’s right, the buyers pay to get in!

I hadn’t pre-paid so there was still time to duck out without consequence. Hotels were full to capacity, so I had to search for accommodation; all ways round there were myriad reasons for me not to go, not least the fact that I’ve my own big events Confex, EPS and PA Show starting next week in London and we’re in manic time, so I was also time-short.

But I went because it’s in my DNA and that’s why, despite all the odds, some people will definitely be at our events next week and for others, it will only take a feather in the breeze to stop them coming.

So, what do attendees look like?

We are the go-getters, the pioneers, the boundary-breakers. People who go to events always find them valuable because they see opportunity clearer than their more conservative counterparts.

I’ve returned from Euroshop with a notepad full of ideas and mind brimming with ways for me to improve my own events and my business in general. It’s not that the event was particularly dynamic, but there are always nuggets that you haven’t seen before or different perspectives. It’s inspiring, but only if you get it. Exhibition visitors get it; they never know it all, the reverse in fact. Their attitude is very much, ‘Teach me something; show me something new and I will always create time to learn. I can always do better’. A refreshing attitude.

There’s a little expression that sits on my desk on a calendar that says ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person’. That’s the irony; it’s the busiest people that go to events because they are the most capable.

No matter what they’ve got on, the people that really change our industry will always go to an event and are always rewarded with something that gives them the edge.

I’ve come back with two things from Euroshop that simply wouldn’t have been on my agenda had I not gone. I also progressed a project significantly with a chance meeting; there’s always at least one of those at any major event.

The Power of Events; I look forward to seeing all you like-minded effervescent game-changers next week at Excel London and I promise you there are 12 things I’ve counted that I’m genuinely excited to see and I know I’ll find another 12!