Get Noticed. Make An Exhibition Of Yourself

Issue 86

Saward Marketing & Events will show you how. It's a tricky question that a lot of companies and individuals struggle to answer. How do I let people know what I do? How do I promote myself? How do I attract customers? Does anyone know, after the COVID lockdown, that I'm fully up and running again?

They’re not simple questions to answer but…thankfully, there is help at hand. We’re lucky here in the North East to have a vastly experienced events and marketing company who’re also experts in project management and PR.

Their name? Saward Marketing and Events.

When we spoke to their director, Jack Saward, we were lucky to have caught him. He’s just got back from a month working in Munich (some of the team were in Bologna at the same time) and he was already packing his bags before setting off on another project. Put it this way, he’s so busy…and so popular…that he had to turn down work during the World Cup in Qatar.

“This last year has been incredibly busy,” said Jack. “I’m lucky in that I have a background in both the public and private sector so I’d like to think I know what works and how to attract the right sort of attention. The key aspect is ensuring that our customers get the best and most relevant exposure for the market they are targeting. A scattergun approach rarely works…you need to be focussed.”

Jack has been involved with events and marketing for over 25 years. He started off as a 10yr old earning pocket money from his father, who worked in the same industry, packing gift boxes for corporate events. Since those early days, he’s worked on projects here in the UK, across Europe, North America, China and Africa. He’s also got a list of contacts which would make bigger companies seriously envious. He’s used to working in both tight, compact settings, and in huge indoor and outdoor locations.

“We’re not always heading off to glamorous locations. One of our biggest events of the year took place in a quarry near Buxton in Derbyshire. It’s an event which gives the quarrying industry a chance to show what latest products are available. We helped several clients plan, source, build and staff their exhibition stands, some of whom are based here in the North East.

A similar event was Scotplant 2022 which rates as Scotland’s biggest construction equipment trade show. A few weeks earlier, we’d been in Coventry working for another of our North East clients, Snorkel, at the Executive Hire Show which is a national exhibition for the tools, equipment and plant hire industry.

We’ve also been in Birmingham at the NEC where we organised and built a stand for Bravi Platforms, one of our Italian clients…we’ve actually delivered three projects for them across Europe this year. There was then the small matter of the Commonwealth Games which I worked on during the build and eventually dismantling stages. The list goes on…we just haven’t stopped this year.”

Jack is one of the most self-effacing people you could meet. He’s more than happy to give advice on how a company should promote themselves…point them in the direction…tell them where to find the best contacts and what they should expect.

“The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how much money can be wasted by businesses. For example, if a particular business intends exhibiting at a conference or running an event on a regular basis, they shouldn’t spend a fortune producing signage which has a date on it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been dismantling a stand and walked past piles of banners and hoardings which are being sent to the tip when, with a bit of advanced planning, could have been given a second life or a second home back in offices and factories. One recent 23m banner graphic is now up in a factory in Germany for one of our clients so that any visitors to the factory will see it too.”

And if you need proof that people value Jack’s opinions and advice, look no further than the fact that he was invited to speak at this year’s International Confex conference at the ExCel Centre in London. For the last 39 years, Confex has ranked as the UK’s leading exhibition for the events industry. His podcast has also now been listened to across all six continents and 65 different countries…not bad for something started to keep him busy during COVID.

It all comes down to experience and Jack and the team have got masses of it. Been there…done it…and, if not, he’s got someone in his phonebook who has.

When it comes to exhibitions and events, you’re in safe hands with Saward Marketing & Events. They’ll help you make an exhibition of yourself….in the right way of course.

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