EcoBuild: Exhibition or Knowledge Sharing Opportunity?

As the countdown to Eco Build continues to gather pace, I’m finding that the companies I ask about the show fall into three camps:

  • Those that are investing in exhibiting at EcoBuild and are confident they will win business as a result
  • Those who will attend as delegates and use EcoBuild as a good opportunity to catch up with old contacts and meet new ones
  • Those who plan to avoid EcoBuild completely because it represents too much money out of their budget and too much time out of their week without sufficient returns

Amongst the third group, there is a rising swell of opinion that business is not done in the same way anymore and exhibitions are part of the old tradition: a throw back to when companies had money and people to spare. To an extent, they may be right - technology means that it’s no longer necessary to spend three days in an exhibition hall to make new contacts. However, some things don’t change…..and one of those things is that business is still all about engaging with people.

While I will always work with clients to find a marketing solution that fits their objectives and their resources, I will also always see the value in an exhibition that attracts the right calibre of exhibitors and the right level of delegates. For me EcoBuild falls into that category because it has become the forum for the construction sector – involving not only building product suppliers but also specifiers, consultants, contractors and developers.

The problem with the ‘I won’t get enough out of it’ approach, is that the criteria used by this group is generally sales based and on that criteria alone the may be right. There is so much more to gain, however, and the criteria should include relationships, awareness, visibility and information.

This week I’ve met with two construction-based businesses that have both needed to make significant changes to their business strategy in order to adapt to changes in market conditions. They have managed to keep pace with change, but have perhaps not remained quite as far ahead of the game as they might have liked

That’s why an investment of time – whether it’s attending exhibitions and networking events, being active on social media or reading the trade press – is so important. It’s what we know and how we use that knowledge that sets us apart in business and by investing time in acquiring knowledge from our peers, our competitors, our clients and our supply chain we can equip ourselves to adapt ahead of the market.