There has been a lot of talk around suppliers walking away from shows with little notice even with long term relationships; in other cases some have used it as a way to force pricing up.
Venues have been more interesting. At first they crammed in every booking they could get, and then realised they didn’t have the staff to support those events and so started capping event bookings.
I have previously raised these issues. However, I have recently had an experience with a venue that confounds me.
In Dec 2021 they were keen to show they were open and running, by announcing “look at us we are open” and promoting our event. This venue has now knocked back our booking for the same time this year quoting staffing issues.
I get that we are all stretched and this sort of reaction has a lot to do with previous decisions many have made. However, whatever happened to honour, relationship, trust and loyalty in the new order that is governed by contracts and rules that often make no common sense and inhibit us delivering our events.
Here is an email I received this week from an exhibitor about a venue (different to one who screwed me on a booking for later this year) and to be fair it’s not just the service companies running roughshod.
Sent: Thursday, 14 July 2022 4:33 PM
To: Gary Fitz-Roy – EXPERTISE <email@example.com>
Subject: Rampant Inflation
I know you said the (venue removed) had increased all of their costs.
XXXXX just called them to book a coffee machine and barista as usual.
$1300 a day for the first 3 hours, then $294 per hour
AND another charge for every cup of coffee!!
XXXXXX has sourced a coffee cart from a café, and we will cut the cost in half. (the venue are) OK as long as the coffee cart has a council permit which we will arrange.
The costs paid in 2019 at the same venue for the same service were $1,250 a day for 8 hours. So this year, comparing same on same, 8 hours is now $2,623 a day or a 109% INCREASE and that excludes coffee and extra charges. I know for a fact this venue has NOT increased their staff wages by 109% over the last two years so why such a big increase? The exhibitor has done the same thing each year for years; loyalty to exhibitors means nothing to them as well. This means exhibitors will devise ways to bring their catering in and go out to buy lunch, the venue then loses, so it’s just straight out dumb business practise.
All of the above are in favour of the venues who then have their own set of rules, and there is no guarantee they can even service the coffee cart as it depends if the staff turn upon the day! Surely what’s good for the goose should fit the gander?
Currently the industry can best be described as a fragile ecosystem, all the parties from organisers, venues, suppliers, exhibitors and buyers all need to co-exist and support each other, as soon as one is out of sync the ecosystem of the sector is affected, we are seeing it with the closure of custom stand builders and many other suppliers.
Loyalty will come back into play in 2023 and 2024 when I predict a major downturn in exhibitions will hit and the tables will turn as suppliers and venues will have a set of new loyalty rules because they need the business, I hope they remember the bed they have made for themselves and remember we all have options and smart operators will always find a plan B, meaning the unhelpful may be left holding very little!
I’ve been part of this industry sector for over 40 years. A sector that was all built on relationships, loyalty, and a handshake, and your word was your bond. Maybe it’s time to get out as the new Johnny come latelys have no understanding or appreciation of what many before them sacrificed to build the centres we have that they now rule and exert rules they have made up, the various systems for building, new electrical options, and more. Our forefathers understood loyalty and as they have all nearly disappeared I really wonder what’s left and what would they think?
And yes I do have a solution to my December dilemma but we need to keep calling out double standards and over pricing.
Ponder the passage below starting with “Which means, to succeed……near term also”