Hashtag Events, the UK’s leading event organiser of business shows for SMEs around the UK and Ireland, are thrilled to announce its partnership with FFAIR, a pioneer in cutting-edge exhibitor management software. This strategic collaboration aims to revolutionise the small business event industry by introducing a seamless and efficient solution for exhibitor management.
As event organisers increasingly face the challenges of streamlining operations and enhancing exhibitor experiences, the need for innovative software solutions becomes paramount. Hashtag Events, known for its commitment to delivering exceptional events, has recognised the immense potential of FFAIR’s exhibitor management software and is excited to integrate it into its operations.
FFAIR’s advanced software offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to simplify the exhibitor management process. With its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, event organisers can efficiently handle exhibitor registrations, stand assignments, invoicing, communication, and other critical tasks. By leveraging FFAIR’s state-of-the-art technology, Hashtag Events aims to enhance operational efficiency while providing exhibitors with a seamless experience.
“We are thrilled to partner with FFAIR for our exhibitor management software needs,” said Andrew Charlton, CEO at Hashtag Events. “Their cutting-edge platform aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to our clients and exhibitors. By integrating FFAIR’s software into our operations, we can streamline the exhibitor management process and provide a smooth and hassle-free experience for all stakeholders.”
This partnership will enable Hashtag Events to optimise its exhibitor management workflow, automate manual processes, and significantly reduce administrative overhead. With FFAIR’s robust tools, Hashtag Events can focus on delivering high-quality events while ensuring exhibitors receive superior support throughout the process. Delivering 24 business shows in 2024 and a new set of over 20 regional networking and masterminding groups, this evolution is critical.
“We are delighted to join forces with Hashtag Events,” said Adam Jones, CEO and Chief Product Officer, at FFAIR. “Together, we aim to transform the exhibitor journey to one that is simple, rewarding and enjoyable. By combining Hashtag Events’ expertise and FFAIR’s innovative software, we can create a streamlined, transparent, and efficient platform that enhances the experience for both organisers and exhibitors.”
This partnership marks an exciting milestone for both Hashtag Events and FFAIR, as they pioneer a new era of exhibitor management software in the events industry. By embracing technology and collaboration, they are poised to reshape how SME events are organised and executed, setting new industry standards.
Andrew Charlton FCIM – CEO Hashtag Events
Adam Jones – CEO and Chief Product Officer FFAIR
In the past few years, small businesses have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. They are a critical component of the economy, providing jobs and contributing to the growth of their local communities. With the rise of entrepreneurship and innovation, small businesses are receiving more recognition than ever before. And as a result, there has been a renewed interest in business shows that cater to the needs of small businesses.
Business shows have been around for decades, providing a platform for businesses to showcase their products and services, network with other business owners, and gain valuable insights from industry experts. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in focus towards smaller businesses. Many business shows are now specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses, providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a highly competitive market.
One of the biggest advantages of attending a business event is the opportunity to network with other business owners. Small businesses often face similar challenges, and it can be helpful to connect with others who have faced similar struggles. Business shows provide a space for business owners to meet and exchange ideas, share experiences, and collaborate on potential partnerships. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that may not have the resources or connections of larger corporations.
Business shows also provide an opportunity for small businesses to showcase their products and services to a wider audience. Exhibiting at a business event can help increase brand awareness and generate leads, which can ultimately lead to increased sales. In addition, many business shows offer opportunities to present to potential investors, which can be crucial for small businesses seeking funding.
One example of a business show that caters to small businesses is the Small Business Expo. The expo travels to various cities across the United States, providing a platform for small businesses to showcase their products and services. The expo also features workshops and seminars led by industry experts, covering topics such as marketing, social media, and business development.
Another example is the National Small Business Week, which is held annually in the United States. This event features a series of events and workshops aimed at providing small businesses with the resources they need to succeed. Topics covered at the event include financing, marketing, and management.
In addition to traditional business shows, there has also been a rise in virtual events catering to small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to pivot to online platforms, and as a result, virtual events have become increasingly popular. These events offer many of the same benefits as in-person shows, including networking opportunities and access to industry experts. However, they also provide the added convenience of being accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
Virtual events can also be more cost-effective for small businesses. Attending an in-person business show can be expensive, with costs including travel, lodging, and exhibit fees. Virtual events eliminate many of these expenses, making them a more affordable option for small businesses with limited budgets.
Despite the many benefits of attending a business show, it is important for small businesses to approach them strategically. Before attending a business show, it is important to set goals and determine what you hope to achieve. This may include generating leads, networking with other business owners, or learning about industry trends.
It is also important to do your research and choose the right business show for your specific needs. There are many different types of business shows, each with its own focus and audience. For example, some shows may be geared towards specific industries or business sizes. Choosing the right show can help ensure that you are able to connect with the right people and gain the most value from the event.
In conclusion, the resurgence of business shows for small businesses provides a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect with others in their industry, showcase their products and services, and gain valuable insights from industry experts. With the rise of virtual events, attending a business show has become more accessible and represents a great ROI.
See our profile on Eventbrite for details of our shows or contact us for more information.
Being a part of a mastermind group can offer numerous benefits to entrepreneurs such as the opportunity to learn from the experiences and perspectives of others, receive feedback and advice on their business strategies, and hold themselves accountable for achieving their objectives.
By participating in a business mastermind group, individuals can expand their network, gain new insights and ideas, and develop the skills and knowledge needed to take their business to the next level. Additionally, being a member can provide a sense of community and camaraderie, which can help alleviate the isolation that can often come with running a business.
Overall, a business mastermind group can be an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow and succeed in their respective industries. Check out our new SmartWorking Groups for details on how to join.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, navigating the complexities of running a successful business on your own can be challenging. But what if you had a community of like-minded individuals to support and guide you along the way? That’s where a business mastermind group comes in.
A business mastermind group is a gathering of individuals who come together to support each other in achieving their business goals. The group typically consists of 6-12 members who meet on a regular basis, either in person or virtually, to discuss their challenges, share their successes, and offer feedback and advice to one another.
One of the key benefits of being a part of a business mastermind group is the opportunity to learn from the experiences and perspectives of others. By being a member of a group comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and industries, you can gain insights and ideas that you may not have otherwise considered. This can help you to develop new strategies, overcome challenges, and identify opportunities for growth.
In addition to learning from others, being a member of a business mastermind group can provide a sense of accountability. When you share your business goals and strategies with a group of peers, you’re more likely to follow through on them. Plus, your fellow members can hold you accountable and provide support and encouragement along the way.
Finally, being a member of a business mastermind group can provide a sense of community and camaraderie. Running a business can be isolating, but having a group of peers who understand the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. You’ll gain a support system of individuals who are invested in your success and who will celebrate your wins with you.
There are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the group is a good fit for you and your business. Ideally, you want to be a part of a group that consists of individuals with complementary skills and experiences. You also want to make sure that the group’s culture and values align with your own.
Second, be prepared to commit to the group. Being a member of a group requires time, effort, and energy. You’ll need to attend meetings, actively participate in discussions, and be willing to offer support and feedback to your fellow members.
Finally, be open to feedback and willing to learn. A business mastermind group is a space for growth and development, so be prepared to receive constructive criticism and take action on it. Your fellow members are there to help you succeed, so make the most of their insights and expertise.
In conclusion, a business mastermind group can be an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow and succeed in their respective industries. By joining a group of like-minded individuals, you’ll gain new insights and ideas, receive personalised feedback and guidance, expand your network, and develop a sense of community and camaraderie. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, consider joining a group today. Contact us for more information.
In the last twelve years of exhibiting at business shows, I’ve experienced great success and in the early days, some failures due to my inexperience. In this post, I’ll share my checklist of things to take to every exhibition, the contents of my “emergency box”, and quite a few tips for having a successful day at any business show.
First, my exhibition checklist.
I always take the following items to each business show to “dress” my stand with the intention of attracting visitors and generating a list of potential leads.
The last item on the checklist is what I call my Emergency Box. You won’t not find any sticking plasters or bandages in it, but it does include items that have helped me fix pop up stands and generally save the day. This is especially important if, like me, you’ll be travelling a far distance to the business exhibition.
Emergency Box checklist
So that’s my checklist and emergency box for every exhibition. Yours might be a little different, but you should find mine as a good starting point to ensure you can set up a good stand for the event.
I’ve explained what you need to take to a business show as an exhibitor, now let me share 16 to make sure you have a successful day.
Get help at your stand. Although you might be able to cope on your own, you will find it much easier to have two, or possibly three, people on your stand. This will give you the opportunity to take a break or speak to other exhibitors while still having a functioning exhibition stand.
Arrive at the venue on time. This doesn’t mean just before the event is due to open to visitors, but when it opens to exhibitors so that you will have plenty of time to set up and correct any problems you may encounter.
Don’t leave early. Most exhibitions finish at 3.00pm, and although there may be a fall in visitor numbers over lunch, some attendees will deliberately come just for the afternoon. Packing up early is disrespectful to both visitors and exhibitors. Furthermore, you might miss speaking to that one person who could be your best new client.
Get connected at the venue. At some of the venues, you might not be able to get a good mobile signal due to poor network coverage. Fortunately, most venues provide free public Wi-Fi, and where possible, Hashtag Business Events will provide the SSID and password. If necessary, ask one of the HashTag Business Events team.
Don’t just talk to the room. Now that you’re connected to the internet, get onto social media, and let people know you’re at the event. When on Twitter, include the event hashtag in your tweets and two incredibly useful things will happen. The HashTag Business Events team will show your tweet on the venue’s display screens and retweet it to their tens of thousands of social media followers. Giving you extra exposure to those who couldn’t come to the event.
Speak to other exhibitors. It’s not just the registered attendees who are potential clients, that’s one reason why it’s useful to have more than one person on your stand. If you discover that other businesses in your niche have booked a stand, don’t get defensive or annoyed. I’ve found it can be an opportunity to make contacts, share information, and even collaborate.
Use professional exhibition material. If you’re going to spend time and money on a stand, don’t scrimp on leaflets, brochures, and promotional material. All those items promote your business brand and will reflect on your credibility. People visiting your stand may not have heard of you before, so they’ll form an impression of your business based on what they see at your stand. If they like what they see, they’re more likely to stop, chat, and ask questions about how you can help them.
Make sure you’re noticed. At most exhibitions, you’ll be provided with a 6ft table with a white tablecloth, and a couple of chairs. That’s identical to every other stand, so consider being different. You can fill the space behind you with pop-up banners and displays. Then replace the white tablecloth with one that’s a different colour or even printed it with your own company logo and corporate message. It’s not as expensive as you might think and a worthwhile investment if you plan to attend a few exhibitions.
Take photos and record video clips. At any business exhibition, the first thing people do after setting up their stand is to take photos and/or record short video clips to post on social media. You can also use video clips to tell your business story, provide updates, and share client testimonials. In fact, if you some of your customers come to the event, it’s a great opportunity to get them to record a video testimonial. It’s not wasting valuable time at the business show, you’re creating a good sales tool that can be used repeatedly.
Give people a reason to stop and engage with you. You can give away something valuable, although that doesn’t mean something of great monetary value. It should be something that has value to a potential customer visiting your stand. It could be a branded promotional item, but an industry report or checklist might be even more valuable to a client. For instance, if you’re an estate agent, give away a checklist of all the things a buyer/seller needs to do would moving business premises or home.
Collect contact details. You’re at the business event to find new sales leads, so make sure you collect the contact details of people visiting your stand. To do this effectively, give people an incentive to hand over their business cards or contain details. You could run a prize draw for a bottle of bubbly, chocolates, etc. To enter, you could ask people to drop their business cards into a box. However, to avoid any friction later, ensure they understand that by entering the draw they consent to be contacted.
Don’t be a nuisance. I’ve come across some stands that play product videos, and I would encourage you to do so, but do not turn up the sound to the point where it becomes annoying to neighbouring stands.
Get out from behind your stand. Sitting behind the table at your stand is imposing a barrier between you and potential customers. If you need to stay behind the table, at least stand up, which demonstrates you’re interested in speaking to those visiting your stand. If you have two or more people at your stand, ensure one of you is on the other side of the table. It’s easier to engage with visitors and feels more friendly.
Put away your phone. For the five or so hours of the business show, you are an ambassador for your company or product. Sitting at your table and scrolling through your phone doesn’t demonstrate enthusiasm for your product or service, so why would anything stop and chat? You may be out of the office but it’s still a workday, so let people see that you want to talk.
Don’t ignore people. Some people visiting your stand will never become customers of yours, but don’t make them feel unwelcome because you don’t know who they know. I have been contacted after an event, sometimes many months later, because a person I had spoken to recommended me to a friend or colleague. That’s how I ended up working with the University of Strathclyde’s Genealogical Unit on the “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” event at the SECC in Glasgow. So be nice, it frequently pays dividends later.
You’re not finished at the end of the event. I’ve heard some business owners say that business exhibitions don’t work for them. That’s largely due to the amount of time and effort they were willing to commit to exhibiting. Business shows aren’t about selling on the day. They are a means to generate interest and leads, selling comes later. At the event, you should have collected a list of contact details, after the show you need to follow up on each of those leads. Without the follow-up, you’ll not maximize the return on your investment.
I have found that I get the best results from business shows and EXPOs when I treat them as part of my sales funnel. This includes making an effort before, during and after an event. If you do the same, you should have a positive experience and will want to book again for next time.
Use my Exhibition Checklist and Emergency Box Checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. You might not need everything I’ve listed, or you might need more, but the checklists are a good starting point.
Finally, as well as generating sales leads at the business show, remember to use the event as part of your online marketing efforts. Use your phone to take photos and video clips at your stand to use during and after the event. If you need more information about creating content see my article: How to create trade show social media video posts.
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Tosh Lubek spent 30 years working in broadcasting prior to setting up Tosh Lubek Productions in 2010. He has won number of awards in the UK and New York for his work. Tosh has been a regular exhibitor and sponsor of the video booth at Hash Tag Business Events across the UK, giving visitors the opportunity to record professional videos for their social media channels. Since 2020 Tosh has been busy creating and publishing a portfolio of websites, DIY Video Studio, Kitchen Acorns, and Backyard Passions.
After a busy 2022 as the exclusive Print Sponsor and Supplier of Hashtag Events Business Shows, we’re delighted to confirm that Aitken Design will continue as Print Sponsor until the end of 2023.
Event Delegates at all of our events across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland will be able to sample the delights of some of the finest coffee in the world courtesy of our new sponsors.
When you attend any business or corporate event the first port of call is usually to find a coffee. Just like any business workplace, happy event delegates at one of our events are productive visitors and it has been shown that your employees or team can be 12% more productive when they are well cared for, making them engage more and grow their businesses more, much better for a business show!
Now you can head directly to the Nespresso Professional exhibition stand after you check in to the event and claim your favourite free tasty drink. friendly experts from Nespresso Professional will be on hand to help select a perfect blend and roast to suit your taste buds and they will also be able to give you advice on the best coffee machine and pods for your office or workplace.
Check out our list of up-and-coming events and where you can meet your local Nespresso Professional sales adviser at www.hashtag-events.co.uk