What do you get if you hire out two halls of the NEC in Birmingham, fill it with businesses, and overcharge for canteen food? Why, a trade show of course! Stada Media was lucky to be invited to such an occasion with the help of Wakefield council(who are really getting stuck in and supporting local businesses). Whilst the trade show itself, Sign and Digital, was not really our area of expertise, we found the experience both fruitful and enlightening.
The show floor was filled with businesses specialising in print and signage mostly, so at first glance it may seem like we were a little out of place. However, we found this worked in our favour; businesses were happy to chat with us, most likely because we were a breath of fresh air in a sea of industrial sized printers and cutting machines. Many had videos on their website that needed updating, and some had been thinking about venturing into product videos for a while but had never sought it out fully.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we first set up our stand. It was a real gamble as to whether people would be interested in what we were doing, or if they’d have their blinkers on and look straight past us because we didn’t fit the remit of the event. However, everyone was extremely friendly, and we even had visitors making general enquiries due to curiosity – and it felt great to chat about video with people who are really interested in it.
We decided to go out and offer businesses the opportunity of a free promo video – we’d go to their stand and film enough footage to edit into a 60 second video. The videos were partially edited on site, allowing passers by to see the editing process. We also took photos of stands and sent them to the businesses owners as a means of opening the lines of communication. At this point, potential clients aren’t aware that we’ll go above and beyond for them or that our prices are competitive – so it’s crucial to build solid relationships from the off and start as we mean to go on.
The benefit of going to events and trade shows is clear – it’s all about networking. Getting out of the office and actually experiencing the outside world is essential. It’s very easy to get stuck behind the desk, but it’s imperative to break that cycle every once in a while. We’ll be making an appearance at Buy Yorkshire in April, a large networking trade show being held in the Royal Armouries – now we know what to expect. Over the course of two days in Birmingham, we built up a decent folio of contacts and potential new clients. It just goes to show you that if you stand out from the crowd, good things can happen.