Persuasive people power

The FIT Show moves to the NEC this year, having been a success since the very first event in 2013. But, explains Paul Godwin, it couldn’t have been done it without you.

It is with great pride that this year the FIT Show moves to the National Exhibition Centre. That we are moving there because the event has greatly outgrown its original venue is incredible – the FIT Show has grown into a world-class event worthy of a world-class venue.

Quite literally we could not have done it without the industry’s backing, and a key part of the event’s success in consistently attracting the right visitors was the commitment from the exhibitors.

The FIT Show won awards following its launch for what was undoubtedly a brilliant marketing campaign, for which we must acknowledge tremendous creativity of our agency partners Motionlab. It centred upon the people that would be taking part in the event, beginning with the early adopters and then expanding to include around 70 exhibitors and their products, ostensibly walking in various configurations towards the FIT Show – ‘Everyone’s going’ was the catch phrase.

We have continued, in various forms, to include what are essentially the stars of the show in our promotional campaigns ever since.

This has worked extremely well not just because of the fun element that visually delivers a bright, positive and highly dynamic image of the event, but also because it is inclusive. Not only have people signed contracts on behalf of their companies to take a stand at the FIT Show, they feel part of it. Any exhibition is only ever as good as the exhibitors that take part, but in the case of the FIT Show the exhibitors have taken ownership of the event.

Our research show us that the most successful element of the marketing for the FIT Show is the depth of the engagement by exhibitors and the efforts that they make to promote the event and their part in it.

For 2017 we have stepped up our focus on motivating exhibitors to get involved in the marketing campaigns. The tool sets that we provide to exhibitors include email footers that are personalised with photographs, alongside logos and exhibitor-specific URLs that allow the close tracking of any visitor responses generated through their own efforts. Twitter ‘handles’ and a host of materials include advertisement blocks, banners and other devices.

Ultimately, it is down to the motivation of individual exhibitors to take up and use this material and to make the most of it. And exhibitors are more motivated than ever not just to get involved, but to throw everything at it.

The 2016 FIT Show resulted in the extraordinary growth in visitor numbers of an unheralded 45%. Within this figure the relevance and quality of visitors remained very high indeed, with 74% of those attending being owners, directors and managers. Of the 8,502 that attended, 3,891 were installers and an impressive 2433 were fabricators.

The upshot of this is that the substantial budget and efforts that we put in to the marketing of the FIT Show is multiplied by, we estimate, 47%.  As we enter the finishing straight for this year’s NEC-based FIT Show, once again we will have red spots before our eyes as the now immediately recognisable FIT logo pops up every time a print or online magazine is opened, in our email inboxes, and wherever we go on the internet.

This is a prime example of what happens when customers are engaged, motivated and empowered. People power at its most powerful. And the heart of the success story that is the FIT Show.