Manchester Central (G-Mex to thee and me) was inundated with vast hordes of revelers as business people from across the Northwest poured into it to listen to the learned seminars, to network and to have a jolly good time all round.
I like the exhibition hall because it can contain a vast number of stands. Last year BEX, its nearest equivalent, was a disappointment as was 2005, after which I commented on trade shows.
This time the hall was full to bursting with stands and a variety of exhibitors all with interesting and varied prizes to attract people to their stands. The prizes ranged from a laptop and a DVD recorder right down to the “usual” bottle of champagne.
There was a great variety of businesses there. The first one I particularly noticed was a Master Mind like contest where you got to sit ain a black chair and face the questioner for 2 minutes of business-related questions. Some of those questions were anything but easy! Still I managed to remain at second place until I left about 3pm!
I also noticed a lovely idea where the stand was set-up as casino with the winner getting a prize if their number came up – I was lucky and got a half-bottle of Medoc.
Both these ideas were great but both suffered from lack of strategic marketing forethought.
The Mastermind stand could have made more of the Mastermind approach with louder music, appropriately dimmed light and more questions as I heard them being repeated later in the day. They would also have benefited from wearing black T-shirts with “Mastermind Challenge Stand XYZ” written on to advertise it as they went around the rest of the show.
And the one I loved the most was the stand that had a Lamborghini offered as a prize. Only for a weekend though! Still I guess I could make do…
The people around that certainly played the prize for all it was worth and I’m quite sure they got a lot of interest from businessmen in particular.
And yes, I did know what they did – recruitment!