Liz Clark’s Sunday Thoughts – As you read this article, the Lincolnshire Well Being Show will be five days away. Who knows where this show will take The Community? It will be a stepping stone to the next event, as each subsequent show takes us all into unknown territory. 

The unknown is how Visitors will receive the show and can we make enough impression to encourage them to support future Inspirational Well Being Shows. We know assuming success is a folly. The need is to watch every aspect of the show and talk to Visitors to discover what they want. And then fulfil their requirements: it is not a case of formulating a plan and thinking the idea is going to work. Why do you think Ian walks the floor for the whole event? Why do you think he carries his recorder and uses video and still cameras throughout the events? We accumulate information and media for promotion and there will be no let up in learning about Visitor needs. Information is the future of The Community’s Well Being Shows.

We have clearly defined parameters: Always using the same venues designed for the purpose. If you are going to run an event, make damn sure it is in a building fit for purpose. Six years ago Ian and I made this aspect a priority aspect of the Well Being Shows: We have written about dedicated venues on many occasions: We will continue to make this aspect of the Well Being Show’s a number one requirement. Our long term objective is that precious Visitors only need to see the  name LizianEvents Well Being Show to know the will enjoy the brilliance of The Community concept.

Secondly, we promote the shows to a degree where NO ONE can ask: ‘What have you done to promote this event?’- And we take the promotion further: Visitors to the shows have the opportunity to take flyers for all the 2019 remaining events, they can also share LizianEvents News articles. And with tens of thousands of words written every month about the shows and Community Members on LEN the shows are connected 365 days a year.

Long Term Choices are Working:

In the early days, we barred Community Members from being accompanied by their children. A concept which caused great consternation with many people: Ian and I returned to screenshots taken at the time and goodness there was some venom fired across our bows. And years later? The shows grow and time and again Community Members thank us for the rule. From the beginning; we insist on every Community Member continuing to trade right up to close of play at five ‘o clock on Sunday. We have lost exhibitors over this rule and again most thank us for the practice. And years later? The shows grow and time and again Community Members thank us for the rule.

We begin to see the Community offering positive comments on the prudence of working close to our Nottingham base, now many realise the sense of this approach. I will not write about the logistics of the choice: but it is a policy which is paying off for The Community and Visitors. Make no mistake we will dig our heels into our home bases and work with the venues to produce a fantastic portfolio of events. And as they grow, all involved will benefit from being part of this organisation.

We will not be extending the reach of The Well Being Shows any further for the moment. There are many reasons for this choice, but one reality is, the events country-wide are saturated, with hybrid events. Visitors in other areas cannot see OUR identity, and the word wellbeing is diluted, it would be dangerous to assume there is a thirst for new events. The fall in country-wide attendance of shows is due to poor identity and Visitor dissapointment. Ian and I predicted the need for real identity; not a dilution of the genre three years ago: Adding a name to an event is something done in the hope of attracting more Visitors. You can dupe them once or twice, but they’ll decline in numbers when the show does not fulfil its promise. And what has happened? You know the answer…

I love the way Vegan show organisers stick rigidly to fixed parameters. There is no mistaking the boundaries. And the Vegan Community prefer to congregate with their friend and fellow Vegans. This specific identity is what makes their events so well attended and popular. I also love the way the Vegan Community do not compromise their ethos and belief. A good friend of mine Lena, who is a Vegan says: “Your shows don’t interest me, Liz: I have my events to attend”. And yes! We do have Community Members who sell Vegan products at The Well Being Shows. However, their products encompass Vegan standards and also appeal to none vegans. We would never attempt to ‘fool’ the Vegan Community by using their identity when advertising The Well Being Shows.

We have firm rules about people who let THE COMMUNITY down:

They are no longer with the Well Being Shows. I’m not interested in anything other than the success of The Community and the Well Being Shows, and this means making hard choices. In consequence, there will be those who do not like the core values of the shows. However, be clear, it is the future success, which is the priority, and the future success is founded in looking after our Visitors and Community. It is no use claiming to be a ‘spiritual person’ or ‘life coach’ if you cannot live up to the image. Moaning, knocking and demeaning people says more about the person making the statement than those being attacked.

A previous exhibitor applied to rejoin The Community this week: At first, the feeling was to email the application form, and then my mind changed. For what reason? Because the exhibitor began to sleight another organiser! Now be clear, I have no interest in what others do OR if they are successful or not, but I know the reality of making a show work. It is difficult, and once the feeling of exhibitors in soured, there is no way back. And we do not wish to have anyone who is a griper or under-miner at The Well Being Shows. You see, whatever grievance someone holds, it is their concern. (Of course the reason I listened to the demeaning of the organiser was that the exhibitor had lost money).

The exhibitor als0 told me the shows were ‘finished’: stating: ‘people were waking up to the reality of too many shows and too few Visitors’. And: ‘organisers should insist on exhibitors staying to the end of the show – they don’t care about the exhibitors’ I replied:

‘We all know there are too many shows with too few Visitors: This is why LizianEvents is consolidating: not expanding. Reinforcing ‘The Well Being Show’ identity is our priority. Hoping a new show will attract a new untapped source of Vistors, demonstrates a reluctance to face the truth of the situation. As for packing away before the end of the show, we have always enforced this rule’ – The conversation ended.

We do not know how next week’s show will fair: Be sure will accurately report on the show the following week. The recorded talks will be on our iTunes platform. LizianEvents News will continue to publish daily articles. We will respect our Community with being transparent and honest with our plans for the future. Ian and I will talk to Visitors over the weekend and ACT upon their ideas and suggestions. Our Shows are far from finished. And while we have a Community who are beginning to see the possibilities The Well Being Shows have for their future, we will thrive.

No doubt some will continue to attack or attempt to undermine the future of The Community-driven shows. The interesting aspect is, they do not publicly voice their opinion: what do they fear? Tens of Community Members coming to our defence? Whatever is said: there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind this organisation is relentless in pursuing objectives and making events as profitable as possible for all who become part of The Community. Ian and I guide you all to know LizianEvents is run on a firm business footing. There are no apologies for prioritising the financial health of the business. The healthier the economic foundation, the better the shows become: it is a waste of time ‘knockers’ using this aspect to evidence we do not ‘really’ care about The Community. The reality is the reverse; profits reinvested in the shows make them a better Visitor experience, better facilities and information are where much of the profit is assigned. Without profit, we cannot invest in the future of the Well Being Events.

If you read this article and choose to be part of The Community. Be clear in mind: The need to self promote and become active within The Community has never been more critical. I ask you to imagine what would happen if one hundred people shared the posts on LizianEvents News and The LizianEvents Facebook Group every day this coming week? Magic would happen, and you would enjoy a landmark never to be forgotten.

See You At The Lincolnshire Inspirational Well Being Show

Liz

Liz Clark – MD LizianEvents Ltd

☞Lincolnshire Well Being Show Information☜

2 COMMENTS

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

    One of my very best bosses had a saying, “Don’t be fair, be factual”. One of my favourites sayings is “The voice of the people is the voice of God”. I admire Lizian’s statistical analysis, what we might imagine to be true, and what is true, can be different. The same is true of the importance of gleaning feedback. Lizian’s zeal for both is impressive.

    Your commitment to defining your brand, and sticking to it, is wise. As is establishing a roster of venues and dates which visitor and exhibitor can rely upon. You are right that no-one can challenge the effort you put into promoting the shows.

    It is absolutely right that exhibitors should stand until closing time, those trading suffer psychologically, and materially by early closing. Yet the reason why that happens at some shows, not Lizian, also has to be acknowledged – footfall has evaporated, there is no money to be made. The important thing is not the rule, but providing a volume of visitors who can sustain exhibitors to closing time. If the cause is not removed, the symptom remains.

    Shows live or die by a simple test – are they any good? Your constant re-evaluation and renewal puts you in good shape.

    I firmly believe that the major issue facing MBS events currently lies without, not within. Other festival / fayre propositions have upped their game. I have recently attended a music festival outside Worcester which attracted around 10,000 and a village music festival, run by scouts, which attracted 2000. The variety of stalls, food and refreshments, and entertainment, at both, beat almost all MBS shows. The organisation was terrific. The public’s perception of what they should find at an event is rising. Not all MBS events have matched that change. Lizian are in the vanguard of addressing this.

    You are again right to say that the attitude of members to shows is pivotal, “you either think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you are correct.”

    I continue to be impressed by the volume of self- promotion, exhibitors undertake. If each exhibitor at Lincoln personally persuades just one person extra to visit the show, that is a hundred extra visitors, perhaps an extra 20% on the day.

    The conundrum for all exhibitors and organisers is that although social media can be very effective at reaching an established audience, it is weak at reaching those who don’t come, for a variety of reasons. That is where the challenge, and opportunity, lies.

    See you all at Lincoln, and, bring a friend… we are.

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