The North West E3 Business Expo 2019 took place on Wednesday 3rd April at the University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton. Exhibitors reported the best returns on investment in the event's four-year history. Highlights in video are available here.
In the months before the event, 1 EM managing director Mubarak Chati committed to helping all exhibitors to achieve a clear return on investment. Post-event valuations have shown that the Expo has indeed helped exhibitors to win more business than ever before.
"We've been monitoring exhibitor results especially closely this year," said Mubarak. "We've also held supporting events, such as an exhibitors' training day, and we've encouraged networking and referrals between exhibitors. That has all paid dividends. Twelve of the exhibitors reported that they had achieved a clear ROI before they had even set foot in the exhibition hall, purely as a result of the connections they had made in the preparatory stages. A further six said that they moved into profit on the day itself.
"What is particularly encouraging is that so many of the exhibitors have reported a really good quality of engagement with visitors, with most of them filling up their diaries with follow up meetings and presentations. As a result, many of the rest of the stand-holders expect to make their return on investment within five to ten days."
The headline sponsor for the Expo was the Blackburn-based manufacturer, Simply Doughnuts. "We were one of the companies that made our ROI weeks before the Expo itself," said company MD Shiraz Master. "We recovered the cost of the exhibition weeks in advance, and that was as a result of new connections and contracts that 1 Events Media helped us to make.
"We exhibited at the Expo last year and we absolutely support the principle of supporting other North West businesses, so that was why we took the decision to be the principal sponsor in 2019."
The Blackpool-based digital marketing agency Code Galaxy was another that saw early returns. "We were visitors to the Expo in 2018," said company director Mary Speakman, "and that was very good for us, so we decided to exhibit in 2019. Mubarak's support has been great throughout the preparations for the Expo. Even before the Expo started, he had helped us to make new contacts that more than paid for the cost of the stand. The day itself was positive, too; we met lots of good prospects so we're confident that we'll improve our total return as a result of follow up meetings and new sales. We'll certainly be exhibiting next year."
Greater Manchester Chamber has been an exhibitor at the Expo for the last three years running. "The E3 Expo has helped us to make new contacts ever year," said Regional Area Manager Diane Elebert-Morgan. "Through the connections we made before the event itself, we had already achieved a positive return, and that can only improve as we follow up on the contacts we met at our stand."
Andrew Chorlton is a director of the business networking company Hashtag Events. Reviewing the Expo he said: "The Expo has certainly been worthwhile. We passed the break-even point early in the day as a result of attracting new members, but that built on work we'd already done with Mubarak, developing relationships with other exhibitors and making introductions for each other. By the end of the event itself, we'd made an impressive number of new connections and we'll be building on these in the weeks ahead."
Lee Roe is station manager of Ribble FM - a non-profit community radio station for the Ribble Valley. He said "The E3 Expo gave us great exposure on the day, but a lot more had gone into it beforehand. 1 Events Media helped us make new contacts in the weeks leading up to the expo, so we were already close to achieving our return when we showed up at the Premier Suite ready to exhibit. The event itself was very productive and we recouped our investment - and more - on the day."
Energy Finder is an energy broker based in Burnley. Having attended the E3 Expo, energy consultant Tony Mercer also saw a very rapid return. He said: "When we came to the Expo, we were already close to passing the break-even point. I'd say we achieved our ROI in the first hour of the event. After that, it continued just as well; we met so many good prospects on the day that I'm sure our final figures will be even higher within the week."
The E3 Business Expo is an annual one-day event for northwest businesses. In addition, an exhibition hall, it features a seminar programme and a series of networking events. The one-day format helps to eliminate the quiet periods that often occur in multiple-day events and ensures that visitors and exhibitors are able to use their time as productively as possible.
Next year's Expo will be held at the same venue on 18th March 2020.