I note of late that some of the major expo contractors are talking about how costs have risen due to staff availability and the cost of fuel and how those costs need to be passed on. They are asking expo owners to lock shows in for the rest of 2022/23 with a considerable increase in budget that seems to go well over these cost increases.
Some are even withdrawing their services from shows they no longer deem profitable and are leaving other shows without services.
I question how these contractors are now selling their via a FOMO attitude.
I get the line about not having enough staff, but I don’t get the link to some of the absurd price increases, other than that some are trying to recover two years of losses accrued during covid. The increase in staffing costs has a lot to do with how they let staff go during covid and are now paying a lot more to staff they are headhunting from their competitors. So because of their previous business decisions everyone now pays more?
So here is my question; given the economy is predicted to recover very slowly and could even deteriorate further, will the employment situation sort itself out by the end of this year?
But more importantly, if in 2023 the staffing issues are sorted and the cost of fuel drops, will these suppliers reduce their over inflated prices to the organisers who have had to pass those increases onto the exhibitors or absorb and suffer losses as quick as they have put them up? And of course the rental price list for exhibitors which have all been jacked up by double digits, will these roll back?
Surely the justification around the lack of staff disappears then so too does the reason to charge so much.
I want to share some insights from a book I read a few years back The Art of Being Chosen by Martin Butler. Here are some key points some may like to take on board.
- Always remember there’s nothing that you sell that can’t be bought elsewhere.
- In effect, this means you’re in the business of ‘being chosen’.
- To be the truly preferred choice you need to wrap whatever you sell in some form of uniqueness.
- The best form of uniqueness is to ‘stand for’ something that emotionally engages and inspires your workforce and customers.
- What you ‘stand for’ is called your Brand and most successful businesses acknowledge this as the genesis of their success. ·
- Listening is free and a necessary ingredient if you want to be chosen.
- Brand, don’t be branded. If you don’t go out of your way to grab the agenda of what people think you ‘stand for’, they will make something up for themselves – and that’s a stupid thing to allow.
- No business can realistically expect to be chosen if it’s not trusted.
- And certainly no business can expect repeat business if it is not trusted.
- That’s why trust is at the heart of all successful brands.
- Marketing has historically been one of the most tempting areas to breach the trust contract with customers.
- As in life, trust in business is hard earned, easily lost – but it’s worth the effort. Sustainable profits can’t be made without it.
- If the people who work in a business don’t get it; how can their customers be expected to?
- More often than not, the attitude and aptitude of individuals is more important than their knowledge.
- Neuroscience tells us emotions in the decision-making process are more powerful than logic. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that the businesses being chosen, being trusted and being visionary enjoy success by putting emotional understanding at their centre of gravity. Something that can only be appreciated and delivered by ‘people’.
- Visionary thinking is about capturing a spirit of tomorrow and actually translating it day in and day out.
- Galvanising businesses to move with, and ahead of the times.
I need to declare I have nothing but respect for all the contractors we work with as all have acted with fairness and integrity and through open and transparent communication understand that together we need to get through, no one should win more than the other and our clients should be our highest focus.
So will any of the suppliers who have increased pricing anywhere between 20-40% come out and say they will reduce prices when the situation changes? Have they got the same ethical and professional standards they want the industry to believe they operate under?
Around 2012 a similar market situation arose and two years later prices found a new low due to competition; its great leveller. Maybe there is now an opportunity for new players to enter the market and be supported, as clearly there is a market need. So then competitiveness forms part of the industry rather than greed. I am not suggesting we need to find a new low but currently we are outpricing ourselves and it will take far longer to fully recover, so is it an excuse and a profit raid or if legitimate let’s see who will table the price guarantee?
If it helps Coles has a jingle around down, down – maybe use it!