16th May 2011

Trade show sponsorship still coveted by blue chip companies

Exhibitions and trade shows provide unrivalled ‘experience’ for client and customer.

Blue chip companies in all sectors of the UK economy see great value in engaging clients and customers through trade show and exhibition sponsorship, a White Paper commissioned by leading media firm Emap has revealed.

Released today (16 May), the White Paper, which is supported by FaceTime, ‘In sight, in mind: The continuing importance and relevance of exhibition sponsorship’, presents the thoughts and opinions of a number of C-Suite executives representing a range of leading companies.

Valuable anecdotal responses presented in the White Paper reveal there is a desire by many companies to gain exposure in the market place by creating an engaging ‘experience’ for their clients and customers through event sponsorship, a trend which has been seen in the b2c market and is growing into the b2b market.

Respondents recognised that exhibition sponsorship was a valuable tool to help position them as category leaders; further expose their brands; generate sales; capitalise on media interest; and entertain existing clients.

However, some firms hold reservations as to the true value of sponsorship, including Return on Investment; resource constraints; and poor event organisation – concerns addressed in the White Paper.

Dan Thurlow, Sponsorship Director of Emap Connect, said: "This White Paper was commissioned to help gain a real-life and up-to-date picture of what decision makers really think of sponsoring exhibitions, trade shows and conferences.

"Instead of being a tick-box exercise, we wanted to know what these executives thought in their own words, and the results are very encouraging – testament to the professionalism and expertise within the conference sector, as well as how well trade shows have moved into the 21st Century to become interactive and experiential for customers and clients.

"We firmly believe that exhibitions allow a company’s brand to engage with potential customers in an energetic and live environment. This White Paper confirms that thought and will be of great value to Emap, as well as other events companies, to help create even better packages going forward."

Austen Hawkins, CEO FaceTime, commented: "FaceTime was set up to support projects like this one and we are taking a proactive step towards competing with the other media. Over the next 12 months FaceTime aim to work with Emap Connect and other organisations to develop compelling arguments to the wider marketing community about the power of live events."

To download a copy of ‘In sight, in mind: The continuing importance and relevance of exhibition sponsorship’, please visit www.emap.com/livemediapower