Event industry exhibition International Confex has launched a loyalty scheme to encourage visitors to pre-book meetings with exhibitors.
The concept, say organisers UBM, is different to the hosted buyer programmes employed by rival shows such as IMEX and EIBTM in that buyers are not forced to meet with a certain number of exhibitors, they can just arrange to meet with those relevant to their needs.
“Exhibitors want confirmed meetings, particularly international ones, but we wanted to find another way of doing it,” said Jonny Sullens, portfolio director, International Confex. “The loyalty scheme buyers can enhance their experience by booking meetings. They will have colour-coded badges according to how many meetings they have booked, ranging from blue for basic visitor up to gold and their experience around the show changes accordingly. We might pay for their lunch, pick them up, host them where necessary or help them with travel and there will be separate lounges.”
He added that exhibitors would maintain total control over who they meet with, as well as having the opportunity to see which buyers are registered to attend and send requests for meetings.
“Buyers can upload RFPs (requests for proposals) so exhibitors can see what events these people are running. Buyers want these meetings to be useful. We’ll also be able to follow the RFPs and see where the business is placed.
“If we get the loyalty scheme right, I think it will be our biggest success.”
Sullens added that two international exhibitors – Mexico and Hong Kong – had been persuaded to return to the show after an absence last year following the introduction of the scheme.
Pictured: Jonny Sullens