Are you still an Exhibitionist?
Trade exhibitions have been around for decades. In years gone by exhibitions were huge and one of the best ways of getting face to face with your customers. However, with the recent recession, the upsurge in on-line web sites and the variety of ways there now are to promote your brand, the number of customers attending trade shows has dropped off.
So, it was with some expectation and not a little trepidation that I persuaded Skydive Netheravon to attend the recent Telegraph Outdoor & Adventure Show at ExCel in London. This was a four day show aimed at anything ‘extreme’ sporting. From bikes and deep-sea diving, snowboarding and ski trekking, rock climbing and surfing to skydiving this show covered it all.
The calibre of lead speakers was good. From those who crossed the Antarctic on a re-enactment of Shackleton’s’ epic journey to those who challenged themselves and the elements at sea, on mountains or in the air. There seemed to be no shortage of intrepid adventurers and they commanded a good audience.
Those that come to an exhibition are usually on a mission! Cyclists who head immediately for everything that has two wheels; climbers who just want something new to climb, and those looking for the newest and innovative equipment in their chosen sport. The same is said for skydivers.
As with many shows it started slowly but I was impressed by the calibre of those visiting the stand, they were knowledgeable about the sport and wanted to know more. We unpacked a parachute several times to show people how it worked. There were a variety of visitors who had been ‘meaning to book a jumping course’ to those who had skydiving on their bucket list or had always wanted to try it but never quite got around to making that call!
The weekend was particularly busy with a large amount of visitors, including whole families looking for that ultimate experience.
At the end of the day I felt that I had talked for England! However, I have always felt that people buy people, and there really is no substitute for face to face conversation. You can gauge so much more from a person by being able to look into their eyes.
What happens next? From the data we brought back, the database has been compiled and the first follow-ups sent out. Now is when the work starts in earnest, following up those conversations and trying to convert into business.
Only time will tell the ultimate successful conversions, but I feel there is still a place in life to be an exhibitionist – there really is no substitute for great face to face conversations! Long may they last!
“I had a truly awesome experience yesterday, in every way. I was absolutely terrified but felt totally invincible afterwards and I even fell in love with your cameraman, Mike! Cam was lovely too and if I decide to do it again it would have to be with him. It was all very professional, from start to finish. They were a great bunch and I will recommend this to anyone and everyone. I jumped for the MS Trust and secured £723 in sponsorship so far with promises of more to come. It is great to feel alive again.”
“First ever tandem skydive for worthing churches homeless project today, loved it. Special thanks to my instructor Jay and the cameraman trevor who both made me laugh a lot and really relaxed me! definately want to jump again Thanks guys for a great day!”
"First charity tandem skydive done here last Saturday. Despite being extremely scared, the instructors made me feel completely at ease and in safe hands. Highly recommend anyone doing a jump, to do it here. Would definitely consider doing another skydive off the back of this experience despite my fear of heights and flying. Brilliant day and life experience. Thank you."
"First ever tandem skydive....amazing!!! Massive thank you to my instructor Gary u were fab!!!"
"Amazing Day, looked after from start to finish, great people, very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, Pete my tandem partner.. TOP BLOKE he was very professional and experienced. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone."
"Wow first ever tandem skydive today for oakhaven. Raised over £1000, so thank you all ... with my daughter Leah lopez, amazing surreal, nothing else like it. Thank you to Gary and Jay...... Leah now wants to do more and do a single jump!! Eeek!"