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    The Truth about Exhibitions

    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an exhibition is:

    “An event at which objects (such as works of art) are put out in a public space for people to look at: a public show of something” and/or “an act of showing some quality or trait”. Technically, this IS an accurate definition but…is this really all that it is?

    The concept of an exhibition is quite extensive and encompasses many variables. The history of exhibitions dates back to the 18th and 19th century, and has since evolved tremendously. Back then, the principal and often sole focus of exhibitions was awareness and overpowering competition, today, this very focus is not overruled, but instead, fortified with strategy that dips into the psychology of your regular and “exclusive” consumer.

    According to recent research conducted by US-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), exhibitions take the lead against other forms of marketing. According to Gary Corin, MD of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, exhibitions are finding a strong niche in marketing budgets because of the quantifiable and invariably impressive returns they offer exhibitors. CEIR's global research also shows that 58% of visitors attend exhibitions for the hands-on interaction with the products, while 51% of exhibitors choose exhibitions because of the face-to-face interaction.

    More than ever before, and largely due to the pace and direction of technology’s steadily developing role in communication, consumers crave genuine interaction that allows them to make use of majority, if not all, of the five human senses.
    Exhibitions create or extend experiences, often referred to as brand experiences
    What do we mean by this?

    There’s a famous Maya Angelou quote that states: “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. True?

    Well, in the 21st century, due to the fact that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to most things, people often remain loyal to the brands that make them feel good, and accomplishing this is unfortunately not an overnight success. Proactive brands know that it is essential to create an experience around their brand and products, it’s a chain of marketing efforts, syncing online and offline, creating relationships and levels of trust and reliability.

    Often, a company’s brand promise is communicated through various communication channels that don’t allow the consumer to connect with the brand, and this is where exhibitions fit in. At an exhibition, the consumer is able to speak to individuals who represent and “make” the brand, people who give the brand a voice; therefore giving the brand itself a “human quality”. Combine this with an amazing product that successfully fulfils a need, sells “the dream” and reinforces your brand, and then voila…you’ve created an experience!

    When referring back to the definition in the first paragraph, you will realise that exhibitions are more than your striking custom exhibition stands in a venue hall; they also filter into the form of mall displays and road shows.

    SSQ Exhibitions is a design and project management agency that is dedicated to creating targeted brand experiences, especially customised for you. If you would like to contact the SSQuad to discuss the requirements for your next project, give us a call on: 011 792 1241 or send us an email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    We understand exhibitions.

    Information retrieved from the following sources:

    - Bizcommunity: “Exhibitions still powerful marketing medium”
    - The Merriam-Webster dictionary



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    EXSA enables connections through the networking and communication of our Forums and via our website (www.exsa.co.za).

    Besides providing EXSA’s directory of members, an exhibitions calendar and news feed, the EXSA website also offers a wealth of knowledge and industry guidelines available to its members.


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