… No, me either.
But we’ve all been there, right?
This post is about disruption; it’s to do with an industry that hasn’t changed for decades and is in desperate need of a shakeup.
So what’s wrong with the B2B events industry today?
Picture this: a “custom built” exhibition centre out on some industrial fringe of a city with its generic, cookie-cutter template of exhibition booths and fluorescent lights bathing everything in an unnatural white light. The marketing had talked up the event’s credentials with words like “biggest”, “latest” and “professionals” with free access to an exhibition hall, and extortionate tickets to the conference.
I’ve been involved in hundreds such trade shows, expos, summits and conferences and it doesn’t matter whether as an attendee, paying delegate, exhibitor, media partner or speaker – 99% of those experiences were bad.
And the reason? Well it’s to do with the tension between commercial gain by the organiser and your ROI. And it’s to do with a stagnant industry that managed to sneak into the 21st century without shedding its 20th century attitude.
The thing is, everyone wants ROI even if it’s just a return on effort or time spent travelling.
Here’s a few examples, from the perspective of:
You want: To hear inspiring stories from people doing interesting things, meet potential customers, enjoy the physical experience of going somewhere new and to come away feeling enthused, motivated and excited.
You get: No access to inspiring speakers unless you’ve paid the exorbitant conference prices, sore feet from traipsing around a huge marketplace of exhibition stands and long queues to buy a coffee (you want food? You’ll need to go on a hike for that I’m afraid), oh and very few business connections because you can’t find the people you’d really like to meet.
You want: Customers, or at least a chance to meet the people you want to work with.
You get: A lot of time standing around hoping a potential customer will pop by your stand, but it seems that most people in the exhibition hall are either just after your free pens or they’re killing time before disappearing off to hear the Keynotes at the conference …which is in another room. You realise you’re stuck in the transit lounge, which you paid for.
A Media Partner
You want: Great stories to report on, and opportunities to build editorial and commercial connections to follow up with.
You get: Given an exhibition stand you didn’t want in return for a spamming your hard-won audience through newsletters about the event and a loss of valuable advertising inventory as part of a “barter/contra deal” with the event organisers, which you have to work hard to deliver.
What does an alternative look like?
Our big exhibition and conference, Dronetech Europe 2017 (DTE17), is an open-source event allowing unprecedented access for people to hear from the innovators, experts and creators that together are driving the incredible ecosystem of drone technology and its potential to change lives, save the planet and transform the way you do business.
At DTE17 we’ve given away prime floor-space (commercial real-estate to most event organisers) to allow hundreds of people to hear from inspiring Keynote speakers, and watch experts show their flying robots in our Drone Fly Zone, all for absolutely free.
We’re even live-streaming the event via our Facebook page, which we’ve spent time turning into the world’s largest (we can use that word, because it’s true) online community for commercial drones.
We’ve located the event right bang in the centre of one of the UK’s most vibrant cities – Bristol – in a venue that combines 175 years of industrial heritage with modern, dynamic entrepreneurialism. It even has loads of natural light.
Media partners get access to everything, and their own breakout room with coffee on tap. We’re publishers too; we understand coffee.
Exhibitors will have their stands right in the centre of the action and enjoy a ratio of 80:1 of attendees-to-exhibitors, which is a share of voice 3-4 times higher than at any other drone event.
DTE17 is about the future. It’s about 21st century technology, innovators and experts showcasing the transformative potential of drones to change our lives, for good.
We’re waging a war on traditional Death-By-Tradeshow events.
It’s time the B2B events industry was disrupted and forced to evolve to better reflect the 21st century and the needs of your 21st century business.
Who’s with me?