11 Reasons People go to Exhibitions

Why do people still feel the need to attend live events? Why would the humble exhibition still be of interest to so many? Surely in a world where everything can be found at your fingertips, there’s no need to visit exhibitions?

Not quite.

Below, we’ve found 11 reasons why people still go to exhibitions and love them.

Are exhibitions dead? No

1. Escaping the mundane office

Boredom and dissatisfaction can be fatal. This Oxford study concludes that it is, in fact, possible to die of boredom. So, escaping the wall-facing desk in favour of stretching your legs and heading down to an exhibition is not only a matter of curiosity but, it seems, it also saves lives.

2) Networking galore

The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is truer than ever today.

Exhibitions provide many opportunities to connect with the local and global industry community, allowing you to meet like-minded individuals and subsequently, leverage the best contacts – this is invaluable in today’s competitive market.

Not only will you meet them in both a professional and social environment but, you’ll also get to break down those awkward barriers around networking etiquette which will allow you to comfortably mix business and pleasure. Phew.

3) Learning, knowledge and things that trend

Depending on the sector you’re working in, exhibitions can be a great place to polish up your industry skills and find out about the latest innovations and trends. These events often afford the opportunity to listen to insightful keynotes and absorb the wisdom of thought-leaders and innovators.

They also give a good indication of where things are headed and you can get a chance to learn as much as possible.

Conference session at BML16

4) Physical interaction

This section isn’t, perhaps, what you thought it was… but, aesthetically, exhibitions are great interactive environments. They are full of live demonstrations and new products that give you the opportunity to examine, handle, compare, see, smell, experience and test-drive. Additionally, you get to shake the hands of innovators and decision-makers, bringing you one step closer to the action. In this fully immersive environment, you can become one with your chosen field.

5) Creative engagement

Creative engagement at an art exhibition may be a given, but even at trade shows exhibitors often pull out all the stops in order to immerse visitors in a visceral experience. Beautifully crafted pop up stands, innovative technology and impressive engineering all equate to a thought-provoking creative experience that will inspire you, or just leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Not to mention, lots of non-art exhibitions now commission artwork installations – who knew?

6) Negotiations

Sales is generally at the forefront of the exhibitor’s mind and so, here’s your opportunity to buy. And negotiate.

That human touch, those charming bartering techniques and those upfront payments are irresistible to the average exhibitor… and visitors know this. There isn’t much obvious room for you to exercise your negotiation skills online so discounts at your favourite exhibition are a very real possibility.

7) Direct access to the big dogs

Research further suggests that one-third of visitors are looking for new suppliers. Opportunity is ripe! As is expert advice on specific commercial challenges. Forget trawling through web sources and forums – casual approaches and face-to-face appointments with key suppliers are fair game and a perfect way to ask questions. It’s also a perfect chance to build bridges with the powerful pooches.

8) Competition

Hundreds of thousands of businesses market themselves at exhibitions every year in the UK so, if you’re a visiting competitor, sizing up the other fish in your pond and scouting enemy positions is an integral part of the exhibition. If you’re simply interested in the market, you can neutrally observe and make informed comparisons.

9) Job hunting

If you’re keen for a new challenge or are just a bit fed up with your everyday work routine, you’ve probably been to a job fair. We’ve all seen the types that wear jeans and t-shirts to work, travel to the office on a scooter, play X-Box in their lunch break and have access to a ready supply of deliciously unhealthy snacks. Surely it’s only fair that you get a slice of that pie?

Exhibitions give you the chance to window-shop to your heart’s content, sampling what’s on offer in the world of work.

10) Random flings

Since the mid-1900s, social science has looked deeply into attractions between those with similarities in attitudes, values and socio-economic status – exhibitions are practically a hotbed of sexual tension and opportunity.

Let’s face it, there’s something alluring about someone to share your industry passion with, isn’t there?

11) Freebies

Everyone ultimately knows that the reason for going to any exhibition is to load up on the freebies, right?

We’ve all made conversation with the u-bend manufacturer whilst keeping one eye firmly fixed on the box of free doughnuts.

Depending on the calibre of the event and the generosity of the organisers and exhibitors, there will likely be a goldmine of freebies, including but not limited to: new product samples, free booze, favourably-odded competition prizes, gaudily-branded hole-punchers, stress-balls and laundry tablets. I once picked up a device for measuring aircraft tyre-wear!

Exhibitions always provide you with the things you never knew you wanted.

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