We were at the Wearable Technology Show in the London Excel last week. This blog will be a reflection and feedback of our experiences, hopefully assisting interested parties whether they should exhibit at this event or not.
We've exhibited at various trade shows and i'd like to give credit to John Weir and his team for the way they responded to emails. Literally, it took a few minutes to hear a 'ping' in your inbox.
We managed to get a great last minute stand, or so we thought. We booked in the last 10 days of the show and were given a floor plan and agreed on pricing for a stand on the map shown to us. We agreed and signed the documentation for our place at the show.
It's the day before the event and we rolled in, after a 7 hour journey from Glasgow. If you've exhibited at trade shows before, you know how tedious the process is for unloading your vehicle (approval from traffic management, finding an unloading bay and then unpacking your cargo efficiently in the time allocated by the marshals). Due to construction taking place near the exhibition centre, the GPS kept on taking us to a different location. We were following the instructions on reaching the Marshals office so we could book our van in for unloading. We eventually decided to call the organisers to seek assistance on locating this - turned out they didn't know it either. So we just asked local people and they guided us to the right path.
As we approached the landing bay, the steward gave us access in the building for approx an hour which was quite decent to say the least. Usually, you are allowed 15 minutes and then you have to go and park your vehicle elsewhere. This allowed us to easily transport our merchandise into our stand, setup and then be gone.
As we approached our stand, I noticed that we had been shuffled in between two other stands. This was clearly very disappointing. We agreed and negotiated on a price and stand on the basis of what we were shown in emails a few days before, corner stand with two sides open. The main reason we took the original spot was because of location. It's true - location, location, location. I phoned John Weir straight away and he dropped by and said they had last minute "scheduling changes". The response from John was that "your new spot was still very good and for the price we paid, it's really quite good". Needless to say, we felt cheated and it's poor business ethics in doing so. A simple phone call in the run up to the show would have been greatly appreciated. We packed marketing material specifically for a corner unit which had gone to waste and needless to say our 'new spot' was less exposed to the public.
Due to the size of our stand, we were all set up in an hour and then left for the night.
What's more comical is the stand owner who took our original spot, we got chatting with him (seen as he was nearby) and he was disappointed from the outset in attending due to his offering not entirely fitting in with the shows theme. As I was chatting to him, one of the show organisers stopped by and was trying to take bookings for the 2017 show and he refused to sign on because this show was not suited for him. Turns out this stand owner also booked at roughly the same time as us - so we're not sure how or why the stands took a "last minute scheduling change". I'd strongly recommend that if you choose to book a stand at this show, you ask them to take the clause out of the contract which stops them from relocating you at their own discretion.
It's the day of the event, we're not sure on what level of footfall we would get at the show and more importantly at our new poor location. The footfall was decent overall on the show floor but sadly due to the way our stand was positioned, we didn't see the results that we quite needed.
We were also given the opportunity to speak at the LaunchPad, we happily took this but noted that it was poorly executed by the organisers. There was no audience to speak to as there were no announcements made to promote this section. Needless to say, we turned the offer down close to our allotted time as other exhibitors due to speak also turned down their slots, lack of people.
What we liked overall about the show, having done various shows, is the size of it. It had just the right amount of stands meaning it was easy to cover.
We'd like to thank everyone who turned up to see us, it was great seeing our customers and hopefully some new ones. Here's a short video on the event:
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