The original international motor show moved to the NEC Birmingham in 1976. Not to be outdone London ran its own “motor fair” which continued at its spiritual home of Earls Court from 1977 until in 1993 it was again recognised by the SMMT and once again became “The Motor Show”.
This resurgence prompted Norwich Union to attend at the London show for the first time. We had been busy building stands for them at niche market classic car shows and supporting sponsored events such as safe driver of the year, the RAC classic as well road safety campaigns and other community focused events with and exhibition trailer we had built for them the previous year. The general insurance marketing team had agreed to support and sponsor the Metropolitan Police with a crime prevention theme at the show and what better to use as the basis than the show trailer.
Que Image and meetings with the Met PR team followed and an opportunity to engage with the stolen vehicle squad to highlight vehicle theft and identity fraud known as “ringing” which at the time was becoming a big problem for them. We quickly came to grips with “ringing” whereby a stolen car was given the identity of another legal car in order to sell it on. Also “cut and shut” the process of joining two part damaged cars together in an attempt to make one good one which then became a “ringer” and potentially lethal if driven on the road. The Met were running a TV campaign at the time featuring Jackal’s roaming the street at night under a banner of “CRIME together we’ll CRACK IT” which we were given free access to.
More detailed meetings followed with the stolen vehicle squad where they identified key areas of a typical “ringer” they wanted to show and highlight to the public; the vin plate under the bonnet, chassis number pressed into the bodywork often visible in the foot-well and oh yes the underside of the car where there may be a visible weld where two cars had been joined together. It wasn’t long before we got the message that ideally they wanted to be able to see all around and under the car.
Enter a revolving, specialist welding rig, a framework we sourced which once clamped front and back onto the Renault 5 GT Turbo, an actual “cut and shut ringer”, enabled the car to be rotated on its axis. So right way up you could look under the bonnet and in the foot-well then upside down see under the car. A car being spun by hand was great theatre for an exhibition stand. Not content with one effect we couldn’t leave the Jackal’s out of the picture. We had agreed that as a space only island site that the rear of the trailer would be encased and a large graphic / billboard displayed. An ideal place for us to create a 3D, forced perspective high rise street scene which one of our scenic artists (pre digital printers actual person) completed on site with projected Jackal’s, flashing blue lights and police car sound effects.
The final result was a highly impactful 3D graphic one side of the stand, an extremely visual and interactive car display the other and the Norwich Union show trailer slap bang in the centre… Best stand award for a non-motor trader exhibit…but the story doesn’t end there.
We think it's a good thing for live events and exhibitions
We can all agree that there’s been an awful lot of negativity surrounding GDPR. Certainly businesses need to get their houses in order from a personal data perspective before 25th May. In fact this seems to be the subject of every other email I’ve received over the past few months. You’ll be pleased to hear that this article isn’t intended to scare you to death and then offer to help you carry out an audit, cleanse your data and help you structure a re-engagement email campaign to ask existing contacts to opt in or double opt in to continue to receive your emails. I would hope by now you would have at least considered or preferably already put procedures in place so you comply with GDPR by 25 May.
In my opinion more rigid, far reaching regulations are well overdue to help protect our personal and business data, anything that reduces the amount of unwanted emails and phone calls I get gets my vote. However these new data protection regulations have left many companies and marketers very concerned about how they will reach their customers and potential customers after 25 May. The truth is that data-based emailing and calling campaigns have already become largely ineffective. We need now to be “magnetic marketers” as our potential audience has taken control of the process seeking out the solutions and products they require rather than being sold to. Subsequently our websites need to be more effective in providing advice, comment and content using blogs, news, articles and video to present products, solutions and communicate to build trust and a rapport. A return then to more traditional business values and level of personal contact that perhaps during this largely digital age we’ve grown unaccustomed to... or have we?
Well while you’ve been busy driving your keyboard and glued to your monitor pursuing an email quest you may not have noticed that face to face meetings such as breakfast meetings, seminar’s, conferences and exhibitions have become much more popular again. In fact many of the industry specific exhibitions we provide client’s stands at have waiting lists or rigid application procedures where stand space is in short supply, allocated on a first come, first served basis. We see GDPR helping to reinforce and grow this trend, proving a real positive in the wake of all the negativity. Face to face marketing, exhibitions and live events have never gone away and are today a stronger new business and marketing tool than ever before.
So why not pick up the phone and ask us how we can help you exploit these opportunities.
1992: Modern Homes Exhibition SECC Glasgow – Norwich Union Group
Best Stand Award for Norwich Union Group
Modern Homes was the Scottish equivalent of the Ideal Home Exhibition which took place each year at Earls Court in London. By 1992 we were one of Norwich Union’s preferred suppliers of event services and provided pretty much all their exhibition requirements throughout the UK. Having already designed and built a customised modular exhibition stand for group-wide use we were briefed to deliver a stand project to promote a variety of products at the Scottish show to support brokers and generally promote Norwich Union as an insurer to the public.
The general design of the stand was very corporate in its appearance as it attended consumer and industry events alike. Being a consumer event the stand needed more of an intimate connection to appeal to the public so we chose to feature travel insurance. We set about creating a beach scene on the front corner of the stand complete with seascape background, palm tree, beach with real sand, deck chairs, beach shoes and a jug of cocktail mix (actually GRP gel coat) for good measure.
To further effect we created a bespoke “rock” which housed a 3 sided, flip-over, rota-graphic display (the height of tech in its day!) as well as speakers connected to a remote sound system which continued to play a soundtrack of the surf lapping on the shore. Once complete the corner stand feature attracted much attention, using at least three of the 5 senses to deliver its message. The addition of several well briefed keen and motivated staff members made the show a complete success and earnt an award for Best Stand in the services category.
We were overjoyed when the client passed on the fantastic news that we had been awarded “Best Stand” at the BCI World Conference and Exhibition in London recently.
Awards don’t come along every day and the accolade isn’t offered by many B2B trade show organisers nowadays, so it’s really rewarding when they do. It’s a great feeling for the client, reassurance knowing that they made the right choice in choosing us as their event partner and reaffirmed confidence for us for using the term “award winning” in our marketing. Over the years we have been fortunate to have won many awards at many major events; London Motor Show, GLEE, Baby Shows and Grand Designs to mention just a few. However in each case the awards have been purely incidental, the focus for us has always been presenting the client’s product or service effectively and getting them to market at events successfully.
BCI World is the “must attend” event for the business continuity and resilience professional. This year’s keynote speaker being, until recently, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who had national responsibilities which included leading counter terrorism policing throughout the UK and protecting the government. The stand we provided for SUNGARD focused on “Disaster Recovery” of IT systems in the event of a variety of threats or issues set against a corporate themed mountain landscape. We chose an interactive 4wd challenge which featured an authentic scaled model of a Land Rover Defender tackling a number of “themed” obstacles, each highlighting a particular threat to company IT and business continuity. Visitors attempted the course against the clock in an attempt to walk away with the awesome prize of the remote controlled Land Rover used on the stand. Needless to say quite apart from winning best stand award the interaction made the client the most popular at the event!
In light of some recent supply chain issues involving persistent late deliveries from one manufacturer, which in our time critical events business we just can’t tolerate for long, we have reviewed some of the portable display products we supply.
We’ve made a few changes to our range of products which don’t affect graphics, these are still produced by us to the same high quality and specification, so the changes are purely in the more generic hardware. We’ve introduced some new products, one or two alternative banner stand cassettes, a new flag range and in some keener pricing… so all in all the change has turned out rather well.