Liz Clark – Comment

Liz Clark - M.D - LizianEvents
Liz Clark - M.D - LizianEvents

Today Liz Clake the MD of LizianEvents Ltd has chosen to make a comment about a reoccurring issue. Liz has decided to write this article prior to the full assessment of The Lincolnshire Well Being Show which is to be published on Friday:

Poacher and Highjacker Beware!

Before the actual review of last weekend’s Lincolnshire Well Being Show at the Epic Centre, I felt the need to write a few words about something that occurred at two recent Well Being Shows.  

As you all know, I don’t tend to have a voice here on LizianEvents News, preferring to communicate with you by emails and bulletins leading up to the shows and on the floor of the shows themselves.  However, following a couple of incidents, there is a need to write this piece.  

LizianEvents have been organising Well Being Shows for six years now, Market Rasen Festival Hall, and Nottingham Trowell Parish Hall, although small venues they gained popularity with both visitors and community members indeed, and many visitors from those early days remain loyal to LizianEvents to this day.  

On two occasions in the recent past, I’ve had to speak out during an event to protect the Community’s and our investment.  Yes, I speak of investment.  I’ll explain:  before the doors open at a Well Being Show, be it Trowell Parish Hall, Newark Showground or Lincolnshire Showground, an enormous investment has already been made.  Firstly, we book the venues, Community Members book their places at shows, financial investment is made by the paying of invoices for their stand spaces; myself and Jon spend days upon days out and about promoting all events, not only is that a huge commitment of our time that we invest but the cost of promoting runs into many thousands of pounds – printed material, postage, fuel and costs of two people spending two days a week solely on promoting and raising awareness of LizianEvents Well Being Shows.  Then there is the online presence:  website costs, not to mention the hundreds of hours that Ian puts into writing articles, maintaining both websites, creating and editing profiles, collecting media and creating and editing photographs, interviews, videos all to promote the shows and the Community who will be at the shows.  

Then we consider the Community Members, after booking and paying for their stands, there is then the time they’ve put into preparing for the show, buying and making stock, pricing, display materials, adding the events to their own websites and social media pages, the sharing of posts, committing their time, travel and accommodation expenses.  You’ll agree that all parties invest heavily in the Shows.  

So we’re now at the Trowell Parish Hall and the Epic Centre Lincolnshire Showground in October and November 2018 just a few weeks apart – and at both shows, it was brought to my attention that ‘poachers’ were on the floor.  As soon as I was aware of this I confronted the individuals concerned and informed them in no uncertain terms that their presence was not welcome, how dare they hijack the platform created by LizianEvents and paid for by the Community Members – yes Hijack is the right term – no one has the right to  enter a venue with the intention of poaching information, promoting their own shows and events, promoting their own products and services it will not be tolerated.  It is wholly unethical and the message is to any who think they will come along to a show in the guise of a visitor in order to promote their own events ‘YOU ARE NOT WELCOME’ and will be asked to leave.  It is written within the Information pages on the LizianEvents website that once a visitor attempts to sell their book, or asks a community member to book on their shows, they are no longer a visitor they have broken the terms and conditions of entry.   

It was mentioned that I ‘should have let it go’ – my reply?  No, it’s right that I act as I did, to protect you, the Community and your investment.  Your time is valuable at the shows, you are there to sell your goods, promote your services, engage with clients and visitors, not to spend time listening to someone try to persuade you that their shows are the best thing since sliced bread and you can book now for the next event.  The message is clear, the platform created by LizianEvents for the Community Members is just that – it’s for the Community Members and be sure, there’s no room for hijackers at a LizianEvents Show.  

It is unacceptable for anybody to enter onto the floor of our shows and promote their events, attempt to trade, or coerce others in any way.  You see, the point is this, you can’t go into somebody’s house, use their telephone, use their facilities and hope to be welcomed.  You’d never go to an Elton John concert and have Rod Stewart touting for business at the door.  You’ve never walked into a Tesco store and had Aldi reps telling you to ‘come and shop with us’.  The fact is, YOUR investment pays for the event, and all of the organisers’ expenses, never forget this.  When somebody enters the Well Being Show and trades or touts for business they are literally taking the money you have invested out of your pocket.  

Right at the beginning Ian and I chose to ask other organisers not to attend our shows, this policy will never change.  We respect other people’s work and efforts, we run things our way and we have our rules.  We are community driven, although there are some who attempt to dispute this.  Anybody who was at the Lincolnshire Well Being Show last weekend could never doubt how the Community driven Well Being Shows work.  Anybody who believes they can be like a poacher or a hijacker and promote their shows on the back of YOUR investments is seriously misguided. 

Liz

Liz Clark (M.D LizianEvents Ltd)

2 COMMENTS

  1. In many respects your post does not do justice to your achievements.

    Promoting, organising and running any event is hard. They do not just happen.

    Visitors are not destined to attend. They have to be reached prior to the event. The promotional material and proposition needs to be sufficient to entice them to come. The venue needs to be credible. There needs to be sufficient exhibitors to make the show look the part. But that is not enough, the exhibitors need to be sufficiently diverse, their product or service sufficiently attractive, their price sufficiently affordable, and they themselves sufficiently credible, that the visitor stays, spends, and returns for the next one. If one or more of the above fails, the event fails. That alchemy is not written down anywhere, it is honed by trial and error. There is no secret formula, no magic trick.

    Even when the above is achieved, any promoter is only as good as the last show. If visitor numbers are poor, if exhibitor mix is poor, if exhibitors feel unappreciated, if exhibitor sectors are over supplied, if visitor spend is low, if exhibitors lose money, if organisation is poor, exhibitors do not return. Nor do the visitors. It is tough.

    Lizian events have demonstrably succeeded by presenting successive, and repeat, shows. Well done. That is not easily emulated.

    • Thank You Garry for this concise and accurate observation. There is little doubt that exceptional organisation skills are required to build an event. My feeling will always be that the Visitors are influenced by the quality of the Community. As you know I walk the floor at the shows and I listen, watch and interact. This guides me to the reality of the progress of the show. And it guides me to the way Visitors perceive Members of The Community. For example: Jane received amazing feedback for her presentation, therefore she has left an impression not only for herself, but for the standard of the talks. This is the reason Visitors return. We can always produce first class events, although the event needs brilliant people to ‘make the show live’.

      We are entering a second stage of our work as organisers. I do not expect everyone will see the possibilities of what we are nurturing. However: there are many who do see our ability to fulfil promises and that ‘The Organisation’ is dedicated to promotion, integrity and ethos.

      We are not playing a game: We are following a plan drawn up nineteen months ago. And this means we are half way though the first stage of the establishing the platform of The LizianEvents Organisation.

      There have been some who question the direction we are taking the shows. And of course they have chosen to leave The Community. This is expected and a healthy sign.

      However: we see that there is a real faith in our design and ability. Yesterday, we announced a MBS style show in 2019 – This immediately received 20 firm bookings. With thirteen months before this new facet of our events business opens its door. We can have no doubt there are many people who subscribe to the ethos and ability of our endeavour.

      Many thanks for your input Gary, not only do I respect your comments: I consider them as an important factor when making decisions – Ian

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