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Live Experience (formerly called IOEX)

March 22nd, 2013 by

We went to down to a cold Excel this week to sample the delights of Live Experience (formerly called IOEX) which was being held in conjunction with the established Confex exhibition. The first thing that stood out as we drove through the Docklands landscape (which incidentally reminded us of a JG Ballard novel) was the complete lack of any signposts that displayed the presence of either Confex or Live Experience. Even the overblown NEC has a sign that directs punters to the correct exhibition, whereas the organisers of this show(s) completely left us to our own devices – not a great start!
Once inside (and by-the-way you had to register on-line in advance or pay to get in!) the first thing that was immediately apparent was that the amount of visitors seemed quite low. We went from stand to stand with only a few exhibitors making the effort to acknowledge our presence (OK we were wearing ‘Supplier’ badges – which may have put them off), but none-the-less a little smile here and there wouldn’t have gone amiss. When we did manage to get a conversation out of the exhibitors, most told us that the show had been poor in terms footfall, but a couple did say that the organisers had got in the ‘right’ type of visitors – primarily festival and event organisers with decision making powers. One exhibitor actually told us she was “bored” and we noticed that another exhibitor actually packed up and disappeared whilst the show was still open!
We had arrived at about 10.30 and toured the complete exhibition (Confex and Live Experience) within a couple of hours. We managed to speak to all the people we had set out to see and spotted a few good ideas for our own marketing and promotional activities; however the general consensus was that our decision not to exhibit at this show had been a sound one.
After visiting three shows in fairly quick succession (Event Production Show, Executive Hire Show and Confex-Live Experience) only one really stood out in terms of visitor numbers + exhibitor enthusiasm. Event Production Show, take a bow, you get the prize – a packet of Smarties is on its way to you courtesy of the GT Trax petty cash!
Right, we need to buckle down for a busy summer and then all gather together for the Showman’s Show. We will be there and so should you – see you in October!

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