30th July 2009
Last month, Marlene Cunningham, event director at exhibition organisers Eventrix Scotland, insisted that businesses are still investing in space at expositions as they are looking to be proactive in the recession and meet their customers face-to-face to secure that all-important sale.
Now, Catherine Gliddon, marketing executive at exhibition stand and display system experts Clip Ltd, has told a similar story, revealing that the company's clients are continuing to spend on event space.
"I would say the majority of our clients have kept their original stand size and still have quite large budgets. However, some have decided to reduce the size of their display in order to save money but are still investing money to make their companies stand out," she says.
"They're not cutting exhibitions altogether - they might cut back on a few shows - but stand sizes are generally small to medium and that's where Clip Display comes into its element," Ms Gliddon insists.
She says that the CLiP modular system, the company's key product that has been developed over the last 30 years, is particularly popular with clients at the moment due to its versatility.
Hiring has also replaced purchasing to a large extent, meaning that the firm has had to make sure it maintains an extensive exhibition hire stock for clients to choose from.
Clip Ltd is accustomed to creating exhibition stands and display systems for major industry players at large-scale events.
Drinks companies Campari and Cinzano, pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and Johnson and Johnson, HSBC and Kellogg's are just some of the businesses that Clip counts as its previous clients.
Ms Gliddon says that during the recession, the company has fared well and promotion of its products has remained a priority.
"As markets have got tighter, we've had to adapt our offering to give clients the best return for investment we can. Therefore, as a company, we've actually increased our marketing budget, at a time when others are cutting back.
"With our modular exhibition system and hire range, we actually have a really positive opportunity in the current environment to help people maximise their limited budgets," she explains.
This includes being proactive in communicating with clients, via email, direct mailing or even getting on the phone to offer them products to meet their needs.
E-commerce has also been a major area of growth for the firm, since the company introduced the facility to buy online just over a year ago.
"It's working out really well for us. Obviously offering the facility to buy online cuts costs and therefore we're able to offer discounts up to 40 per cent," Ms Gliddon explains.
"The last couple of months have been pretty good and we've hit targets."
Because the website has video and specification details telling consumers everything they need to know about smaller end products, they can shop online without needing to meet with a representative.
This has an added advantage for the firm.
"It saves the sales person having to go out and demonstrate a banner or pop-up stand and they can spend their time focusing on the larger orders like exhibition stands," Ms Gliddon concludes.