10th July 2014

Yes, we all love a good day out. And sure, having hundreds of exhibitors all under one roof does cut time when gathering info as an event organiser. But in our increasingly busy lives, is it still smart to spend your precious time at a trade show, or does venue scouting in a digital format just make much more sense? Laura Richards investigates.

Event trade show pros

button at Old Billingsgate There's no denying just how useful having hundreds of exhibitors in the same place at the same time can be. Trade shows aim to help you gather all the information you need in one place so you can do 12 months' worth of planning and networking in one fell swoop.

At event trade shows you can build on your network of industry contacts as well as having reassuring face-to-face conversations with venue managers. They can help you form a vision for your next big event and you can start formulating plans on the very spot. It's a great way of mapping out ideas and planting seeds for what will surely be a great event in a cool, mainstream venue.

And not only do you get a few hours out of the office to peruse some stalls and scout out some great venues, but you also get to indulge in all the extra offerings a trade show can afford such as seminars, competitions, entertainment, free canapes and cocktail tasters. All sounding good to us, then!

Real results

The question is, does it deliver results? It's certainly not the only channel competing for attention. Using digital platforms can provide you with the same information and more - again, all under one happy roof. As opposed to hundreds of London venues, website databases allow you to browse thousands of unique event spaces for all kinds of occasion. Rather than ambling aimlessly through Earl's Court, Olympia or ExCeL, search online according to your event type, desired area and budget - you'll find instant results. You may even unearth some lesser-known venues and unique event spaces that would never tarnish their cool credentials by rocking up at a trade show.

Digital does it

Instant results mean you can make direct comparisons between similar venues and weigh up the pros and cons of booking a venue quicker than when drifting from event stand to event stand. Get all the cold hard facts in an easy-to-digest format and instantly eliminate any venues that don't meet your crucial criteria (you can't do that quite so easily when politely chatting at a venue's event stand!).

You'll also be able to access all the details you need in one easy to find place - how about adding a bookmark to your web browser, instead of lugging leaflets around an exhibition space?

Finally, you can present all your findings to your team in a straightforward fashion. Send your boss or team all the research needed to impact upon any decision, rather than having to rely on memory and think back to a conversation at a trade show that took place after one of two of those taster cocktails. Download photos and export PDFs. Simpler and more professional, don't you think?

Event trade shows... still got it?

Button at SEA LIFE London Aquarium

At Hire Space we love event trade shows and understand the value in shaving off time in your busy venue finding schedule. But we'd always advocate searching online too. In the digital day and age, you really can have all the unique venue information you need at the click of a mouse. And while searching online may not provide canap├ęs, cocktails and all the other fun bonuses of an event trade show, you'll definitely be able to fit in a trip to your best local bar in the time you save when switching your venue search to online.

To see exactly what we're talking about, visit HireSpace.com now and get more lost in venues than your cab driver would on the way to Olympia. Have a difficult brief? Just let our venue experts know.