Working hard on AVEX

There are signs of some optimistic buzz centred around AVEX. Talking with the team at the Automatic Vending Association, AVEX 2009 is shaping up to be a great exhibition – effective, worthwhile, value for money with a topping of added fun.

Some 90 per cent of stand space is already sold; there’s a change of venue; new timings and duration; plus a promotional campaign that includes closely targeted advertising and mail shots to ensure that the show attracts the right exhibitors and visitors.

Helping the exhibitors

For exhibitors, there is a choice of smart shell schemes available to suit all budgets and simple upgrades, so exhibitors can achieve an individual look without compromising on quality or the budget.

The revolutionary interactive stand plan provides the ideal promotional tool; AVEX is one of the first UK shows to adopt this. It gives exhibitors a great opportunity to promote what they do and has direct links to their websites, encouraging visitors to visit their stands. The interactive stand plan is already receiving more than 500 unique visits per week and is certain to build as June approaches.

Developed specifically for exhibitors, special AVEX banners are available for online use, with AVEX links on many affiliated websites to drive traffic to the AVEX website (eg: NEC, NAMA, EVA, Vending International etc).

The AVEX Team is working with exhibitors to help them reach as many of their prospects and customers as possible. Initiatives include access to AVEX lists, web listings and the ability to register for AVEX using personalised registration pages on exhibitor sites.

Attracting the visitors

In fact, the visitor advertising campaign was launched at the end of last month, along with visitor registration, focussed on reaching the operators, caterers, specifiers and buyers.

It is critical, of course, to attract the right people to the show, and the organising team is talking to the leading publications to ensure that prospective visitors from facilities management, hospitality sectors, operators, caterers and buyers are aware of AVEX, receive personal invitations and are encouraged to attend. Every element in the promotional toolbox is being used- eshots, weblinks, direct mail, advertising, telesales, SMS messaging, personal contact, working with other associations (vending, water and others at home and overseas), PR and editorial coverage.

The AVA is working with fellow industry bodies as well as those representing specifiers, and adopting a targeted advertising campaign ensures they maximize every opportunity.

A visitor brochure will coincide with visitor registration and build on information already supplied to prospective visitors. To expand the existing visitor database, data has been purchased on influential people not already listed, including a number of facilities managers and vending purchasers.

Eshots are already proving valuable, and the team has email details of people from the sectors they want to attract. The data is opt-in, so the targets have already agreed to be contacted and will therefore be receptive to what is sent. They are also talking to the specifier publications which offer email broadcast facilities to maximize coverage.

As an additional incentive for visitors to come to the show, Vending International, in association with the organisers, is publishing a special AVEX Cheque Book, with which visitors can redeem exhibitors’ AVEX offers simply by visiting their stands and presenting the relevant cheques.

Several publications including specifier magazines such as Cost Sector Catering and FMX Magazine, have already included AVEX in their 2009 features list. Press releases are being translated into the various key languages to encourage coverage by overseas magazines.

Latest news is that there is already a host of people who have asked to be registered! AVS has confirmed that they will be holding a members meeting at the NEC the day before the show and the Vending 21 Club will be meeting at AVEX. Seminars are planned to be held on the show floor and the AVA AGM will be held at the show.