Tips for Bett Show 2012
After 13 years of being the office guy -> photocopy guy -> IT guy and then eventually network manager of a large school I have left school life behind and joined the private sector.
As part of my new life I will be exhibiting a small stand at Bett 2012. I know some of you guys from edugeek have had a stand in the past and I would be grateful for your feedback and any tips?
As you will know it's a big commitment and I want to make the most of the time I'm there.
I have been once as a visitor but any advice from the other side of the stand will be much appreciated.
From my experience (last year), have a few people on the stand if possible so not everyone is taken up at any one point.
Freebies are also good (Branded USB sticks, Lanyards etc)
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT!! I saw 5 or 6 different stands that had agency workers who knew nothing about the product they were promoting.
Do not hassle anyone to look at your stand
Aim to be near a food outlet if possible (great for lunch time rushes and such like)
Always have a friendly approach
Have a comfortable chair :)
Cheers for the tips and especially the chair tip...I've a back problem that get's worse if I stand a lot and I guess I'll be doing a lot that :-)
Stay at the novotel, it has good price:closeness.
Make sure set-up and tear-down is known in advance, and if you need to cart stuff to a car, get someone to bring it to the olympia multi-storey REALLY early. Traffic is always bad.
Use the exhibitor lounge, it is crap, but slightly less crap than everything else.
Pay attention to those walking past - you don't have to be pushy but people who are interested WILL walk by if you don't say hello
Feel free to call at Smoothwall if you need to borrow something, i'm not doing set-up this year, but my colleagues are a kindly lot
Comfortable not-too-new shoes essential
If you have any specific questions, i'll try and answer - this will be my 7th or 8th BETT as an exhibitor, started with me, the MD and the head of tech support on a tiny stand, now marketing dept. look after everything. How times change ;)
Thursday night is the exhibitors party (free beer and food) in Pizza Express. Don't miss it!
Oh, and wear very, very comfortable shoes. Your feet will really hurt by Saturday afternoon.
If staying in a hotel, don't fork out for breakfast as most hotels charge about £15 per day. Get breakfast for about £5 on the way in from a cafe/coffee shop.
That cafe where the geeks took over was really lovely :-)
Comfortable shoes and wear layers! It gets very hot inside that hall!
If you are on LinkedIn pop into the BETT group there as many of the regulars vendors also give advice on there too. Remember that the other vendors are not the enemy ... they are fellow mercenaries from different companies / regiments but fighting the same war ... trying to impart awareness of the importance of technology in education. The by-product of getting cash out of it can be considered a good thing too ;) Try to avoid pillaging though ... especially from the RM stand ;)
Try to make sure whoever else is on the stand with you sticks to the rota of looking after things, and is flexible enough to change the rota on the fly. There is nothing worse than being left short-handed on the stand when you get hit be a horde of visitors ... or are busting for the loo ... or are desperate for food!
Make sure you have a few energy snacks to hand and access to plenty of water.
As much as the parties and late nights with others in the bar can be fun, try to remember that you might have to be on your feet all day the next day and depending on how friendly the others on your stand are ... if you are flagging due to a hangover / lack of sleep / lack of brain cells then it isn't fair on them.
Try to make sure you give yourself enough time to visit other stands. Although you are there to work it can be really helpful to see others. I have seen many extra deals done over a cuppa in the exhibitors' lounge with other exhibitors ... but it is also good to compare notes.
EMAP can give you facts and figures about busy days / periods and different exhibitors will have different days which work out best for them. Don't forget to check out the info EMAP send out ... it can sometimes be easy to miss things and they are really helpful.
Breakfast ... don't miss it. However, if you do then Frank's at the top of the road do wonderful Sausage, Egg & Bacon in a baguette / toastie.
What a great post - it's easy to forget how much effort goes into making BETT the show that it is. Well done all those who have stands or have had stands in the past. Thanks for making it the show that it is.
What sort of money do people pay for stands at BETT? I assume it goes by floorspace. The Microsoft/Apple/RM stands probably cost a fortune whilst the little ones one the edges less. What about internet/network connections - how does that work?
The stand costs are worked out via size and location. You really, really don't want to know how much people like Microsoft and RM pay for their spaces, before taking stand build costs into account.
As for ancillery costs, you have to pay whoever the supplier is that year, so all electrics and internet etc. have to be obtained from the sole approved supplier.
This too costs. For electrics think of your average household electric bill for the year. And double it. For 4 days (including fitting, lights, plugs etc.). Internet access, again, you really don't want to know. To kit out a stand a BETT the size of the Edugeek help point (not including a shell scheme stand costs) will probably set you back about 2-3k. There are ways to lower your costs, and you learn these by trial and error over the years, and not all of them work for everyone. As I mentioned in an earlier posts. Why pay a hotel £15 per day, per person for breakfast when you can do it for £5? It's little things, but they all add up.
And if you want to see waste, you should see what gets chucked in the skips when the show finishes!
Not wrong...I remember last year...I think it was Oz, Myself, Sysman and someone else, we took 4 bin liners FULL of food from the Crussh stand...not cheap that stand either (like £4 for a sandwich!).
Lasted a couple of days servings as everyones breakfast and lunch in my house :)
I really do. i love logistics. Lol.
Originally Posted by Dos_Box
Stands cost about £450 per sq metre...as Dos_Box says a few grand for a small stand.
The other cost is the constant advertising calls you get when you sign up...it's ironic that you go to Bett to promote your product and you get inundated with people trying to sell you marketing.
I find the line 'we have no money left after paying for Bett' cuts the calls short :-)
Ah ... marketing and press.
We shouldn't forget that as well what the visitors see on the stand there is a heck of a lot of drumming up of business in the background. You pay to have your company / product on the pre-BETT materials, you pay to have extra logos / signs around the show, you pay to sponsor particular activities and then you pay for rooms to do press launches, etc.
This may sound as if it is a bad thing ... but it isn't. It is a good thing. Organisers of trade shows are business and need to make some money for their shareholders / owners. Instead of increase the flat costs (ie the stand space) they have a system where you pay the extra for whatever you want / need. This gives smaller firms enough flexibility to pick and choose. You will often see firms go in together for certain things such as adverts in the show guide / magazine. Sometimes you will find companies will help others out and not even get a mention, because they are nice folk. Let's face it ... the firms which sponsor the Exhibitors Party are not exactly doing it to drum up more business from visitors ... and the folk who help out at the Fringe events are already well known by many of the people who attend.
There is a whole lot of love that goes on behind the scenes (and I am not just referring to the group hugs on certain stands) and I don't think anyone would change that for the world. Having spoken to a few folk who work in a variety of tradeshow areas they say that education based shows and tech shows tend to be the friendliest between exhibitors ... and never to go anywhere near a Wedding Show!
Waste? Some exhibitors have standardised stands which they use and multiple shows, are easy to put up and breakdown and pay someone to do it for them. Others have to work on more of a shoestring ... and some just like the pleasure of doing lots of things themselves ... partly as team-building exercises and partly because they are down-to-earth folk who like to muck-in. Even when they are a tad hung-over ... mentioning no names!
Just looking at accomodation now, suggestions of somewhere not to far from Olympia? Anyone used the Premier Inn near Earls Court? Last year stayed further out for cost reasons but just made the day long and a hassle travelling in the next day again.