Tough business decisions, AMPER Trade Fair 2015 #6


Dear everyone reading,

today it is about tough decisions. Some decisions could influence not only upcoming event, they could influence every single event which is about to come in the future. One decision could change overview of your event and destroy years of work and even good brand name. These kinds of decision are even tougher when it is about lose – lose situation. Sometimes you just cannot win.

 Yesterday I had been facing two of them. Tough decisions are just like bad news, they never come alone. They prefer coming in the pairs. My father has one adage about it and there is no decent way how to translate it. Let’s say that when something bad happened, it always gets worst. Anyway, I had been in unpleasant situation.

First tough decision was about floor plans. I’ve already mentioned how troublesome preparation of the floor plan could be. Well it really got proved. For upcoming event was such a big demand for the allocation on the main hallway, that I could not place there everyone. Our placement key is simple. First thing which matters is willingness to pay surcharge for main corridor allocation. Second is size of the booth and if it’s not enough to decide, than the registration date is coming to play. This time I had two companies with same dimension and only one free space for them. Just date of registration varied and that was saving grace for me. It helped me decide, who is going to be on the main hallway and second company got different place. Only problem was, that they did not like this decision, not a single bit. We got long telephone conversation and even though I think that their alternative allocation was almost as good as on the main hallway, they still got different opinion. At the end I found different possibility in re-planning of the floor plans. I made one corridor smaller and got one meter of extra space, so they could be allocated right against the entrance to the main hallway. This one turned out perfectly. At the end, I am pretty sure, that this place is kind of VIP!

Second decision was even tougher. This year one big and traditional exhibitor decided to stop his trade fair activities and reinvest financial founds somewhere else. There is not much to say on that. When they attend few years in the row, they are well aware of all potential advantages of the trade fair and you can just wish them luck and hope, that they will change their mind in the future and come back. Well this exhibitor after rejecting me, came back to colleague of mine and proposed him following: “We will attend your exhibition, because it would be shame if brand of ours would not show up on the trade fair. But we want to attend only for one day on the 100 sq.m exhibition stand. We are awaiting your price offer.” At the first look it seems like great deal. Company which quit from attending is about to show up! But there is always a catch. Let’s summarize.

First, our trade fair is for four days. If they attend just for one day on 100 sq. meters, what are we going to do with this empty space for the rest of the time? Such a place would be very hard to sell to anyone else and you can’t afford 100 sq.m open space for three days of the trade fair. It looks just bad.

Second, if we allow them to present their company just for one day for special price. Other exhibitors got thinking: “Ah! This is most effective way how to present our company. Next time we want to do it as well!” Of course they would like to spend less money and show up only for one day. Especially for most busy days of the trade fair (usually second and third). This would cause inevitable decay of our event.

When you look at this, you are basically facing decision of losing possibly great exhibitor and some cash on the one side and loosing possibly whole trade fair in the long term. I think that conclusion is obvious; you can’t afford losing your whole project only for maximization of one year’s revenue.

Maybe there are some other points of view and I would love to read about them too. If you are keen to share your thoughts regarding this topic, do not hesitate to post bellow.

Thanks for your visit and see you next week.

BR, František Hamrozi

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