This time it’s personal…

General manager of event organiser Omanexpo, Ashley Roberts, says successful relationships build strong sales.


The strength of the relationships the Omanexpo sales team has built has resulted in it retaining almost every one of its clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The business has seven large shows booked for 2021 and out of 497 contracted exhibitors before any event postponement, the team has lost only a single exhibitor, testimony to its strong focus on building durable relationships.

One of the key behaviours allowing for this success, is the quality of the relationships the sales team has built and sustained with their clients. The team has been actively creating opportunities to contact their exhibitors throughout the event cycle, not just on an annual re-booking basis. Marketing tools such as show previews and social media posts are examples of ways the event sales team can proactively reach out to exhibiting companies in a customer service capacity and for those clients to proactively contact Omanexpo.

As an exhibition and conference organiser, Omanexpo is also innovating and adapting with the support of technology and the adoption of virtual platforms and webinars from February 2020. These have led to new value-led opportunities for exhibitors to engage with audiences and enabled Omanexpo to deliver meaningful, insightful content to its clients and audiences.

Acknowledging that people buy from people is central to the focus and our salespeople make a point of getting to know their clients personally, taking an interest in them holistically to broaden their understanding of the clients’ needs and the wider market.

The business is creating reasons for networking to happen, allowing relationships to build throughout the year and not just around an annual event.

Much of the groundwork around sales comes through developing personal relationships with small start-up businesses who, as they grow, seek out larger scale events to exhibit at.

Nurturing emerging talent is increasingly being recognised as an important part of the sales pipeline.

Finally, the combined efforts of the finance and commercial teams, working in parallel to accommodate payment terms that work for both Omanexpo and its clients is underpinning strong relationships to support sales.

Restarting events, bringing audiences back together and keeping businesses alive to support the economy has been a key objective in the events industry throughout this period. The businesses that don’t just survive but thrive in the new world will be those that have adapted and maximised the opportunities that have come their way to create better ways of engaging customers, delivering value and ultimately converting sales.