In Defence of Exhibitions
With the construction equipment industry’s next mega show – Conexpo in Vegas – hoving into view next week, things are hotting up in publicizing the efforts of those attending. Exhibitions have been written off as being ‘on borrowed time’ for as long as I’ve been in this business. (30 years, if you’re interested 😊). But they remain as stubbornly relevant today as ever. Yes, we still create the press kits, invite the journalists, prepare for the press conference and PR-the-heck out of these events. But the real value is the human interaction – the value of which you can’t put on a PR plan. As the oft quoted Albert Einstein said: ‘Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted’.
In this digital world, where access to too much information is the problem, not too little, exhibitions are an effective way to cut through the noise. And despite booms in many sectors, it is far from business as usual. Many of the industries we serve – mining, construction, energy – are undergoing the most radical change ever. They are being asked to abandon ways of working they have perfected over a century and embrace totally new technologies in just a handful of years. Where better to discuss and work out the solutions to these issues than face-to-face, at a major gathering of the global industry?
Despite pockets of progress being made by individual companies, it is clear that to meet our climate ambitions in time business needs to collaborate and harmonize industry-wide standards. It’s no good saying: ‘We’ve made an electric machine, but no one is buying it’. Industry needs to make it easy for the customer to make that switch. The neutral territory of exhibitions is the perfect place for companies to lower their guard and make real compromises.
Which brings me back to my earlier point. Despite the expense (and even the carbon footprint) of attending, going to shows outweigh their costs. As our clients’ PR teams, we will continue to produce all the publicity and gather the media to the shows, just as we have always done. To paraphrase Mr. Einstein’s point, the benefits of PR are not always quantifiable. But bringing people together has undoubted value. As Sir Michael Gambon, playing the role of millionaire drug lord Eddie Temple in the 2004 cult film Layer Cake said: ‘Always remember young man, the art of good business is being a good middleman’.
Need help attending an exhibition? Just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Brian O’Sullivan, Managing Director directly at email@example.com/ Mobile +44 (0)77 333 50307