All go at FaceTime

23rd November 2010

Jack Dee might be best known for his stand-up shows, his deadpan style and winning Celebrity Big Brother back in 2001, but the comedian is now also the face of FaceTime's latest DVD.

Dee, who appears on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, presents the 40-minute DVD, which goes through the top 30 tips for exhibitors.

Jim Curry, FaceTime's project manager, said the decision to choose Dee to lead the guide was important.

"In terms of training resources, I think picking the right talent is quite a fine art. Jack Dee does the balance between humour and getting the point across really well," he said.

The top tips featured on the DVD are to "set measurable objectives, view the organiser's marketing plan, talk to strangers, choose the right exhibition and train, train, train", he added.

It's not the only resource that the organisation is unveiling over the coming weeks. In December, it will launch a new e-learning aid. This aims to help the industry and exhibitors maximise their return on investment, he said.

"It looks into activities such as how you should plan your event, how you should conduct yourself during the event, what your measurable objectives should be and the post show evaluation," he stated.

"We're also going to be introducing an interactive PDF for virgin exhibitors," Mr Curry added, noting that this goes into the minute detail of exhibitions and looks at 28 topics.

FaceTime's Facts, its industry overview, is also set for change. The report, which tracks the rises and falls within the exhibitions industry in the UK, will be transformed from an annual publication to a three-monthly presentation of data.

"Next year, we're launching a lot earlier and then it's going to be quarterly thereafter," Mr Curry noted, making it more like the newspaper circulation figures and the radio listenership data.

"By doing this, we'll be able to get more timely information out," he said, adding: "We're going to be looking at different metrics as well such as registration conversion rates."

He noted that the Facts' figures for 2009 show an 8.2 per cent and a 2.9 per cent fall on businesses-to-business and business-to-consumer events respectively. Overall, the events business experienced a decline in spend and attendance of somewhere just short of ten per cent in 2009 when compared with 2008.

Although the event industry was impacted by the recession, Mr Curry said he expects cautious growth next year, predicting: "I think small companies will do fine, the niche companies will do fine, the large companies will still be able to take advantage of their position so I think it's medium companies that are going to have to prove their resilience."

The Olympics and the spin-off events it brings will help event organisers and companies over the coming 18 months, he said, adding that the sporting competition should have a "positive uplift on the industry as a whole".

He also had some tips for organisers who are looking for a way to showcase their brand or company at the moment, advising that they should make sure they are using technology effectively.

"At the moment, everyone seems to be looking towards technology to enhance the visitor and exhibitor experience," Mr Curry added, noting that brands are increasingly using virtual events.

"That's what people are looking towards to try and get that edge."