For those of us who are old enough to remember attending exhibitions back in the 80s & 90s, I’d like to take a stance against the modern exhibition world which seems to have somehow lost its way in terms of presenting its offering to the media.
This is not just a trip down memory lane, with a nostalgic yearning for bygone days, but rather a call for exhibition organisers to recognise the value that the media brings to an exhibition and to offer facilities which acknowledge this.
The Press Office was always an integral part of an exhibition but in recent times it seems to have become something of an afterthought, if indeed it is considered at all. A good Press Office was (and still could be) the place that a journalist could go to get all the latest from the exhibitors and, importantly, useful information about the event itself and the industry which it represents. All too often, even with big international events, the journalist is now regularly greeted by somebody with no knowledge or experience of the industry simply sitting at a desk and offering a data stick with information from those exhibitors who have bothered to contribute simply loaded onto it. Or, even worse, by no Press Office at all.
Media support of an exhibition, both pre and post-show, is invaluable in generating interest, both from an exhibitor and from a visitor point of view. By all means embrace the latest technology in kitting out the facilities but at least make sure you have the facility there in the first place. So, come on organisers, recognise the business argument for a dedicated Press Office, staffed by people who have an understanding of the industry you are looking to represent. How often does an industry get the opportunity to get the media all together, in one place, with a collective thirst for the latest innovations and industry trends? Make sure we can all make the most of it.