The Elevate show in London was the first attempt by a new team to launch an industry focused fitness show in London.
We decided that for us it was worth exhibiting because of the central location and the opportunity to meet customers based in the capital.
Cutting to the chase we all felt that for us the show worked really well. Exhibitions are in general a stressful, exhausting and very expensive experience (at least for a firm at the point of growth we’re at), so we need to be pretty sure that it’s all worth it.
The problem is, our products are large, they need to be experienced first hand and we want to project our brand in an exciting way.
This means a substantial stand floor area is required, which comes at a cost. This means we have to be a bit more hands-on than ideal in order to save precious cash.
So, we design the stand, create the graphic panels, build the necessary structures and products, load them onto the van (usually) drive the van to the venue, unpack, build the stand, test and clear away packaging… before the first day has even started!
Actually manning the booth and meeting customers, running the leaderboard and games that we use to demonstrate the products and attending the seminars is useful and interesting. It’s the part when you learn whether the effort you’ve put into a new product will be repaid by enthusiasm and hopefully orders.
But then comes the de-rigging, packing up, loading the van, fighting with all the other stand builders to get to the lorry queue and driving home - to then unpack again, take the van back and work out what we’ve left behind…
And then the real hard work starts - following up the leads, going through feedback forms, assessing opportunities and working out what we can learn from the event.
Elevate was in Olympia, in an upstairs room so we had to use a goods lift to transport the materials to our booth position. First impressions were that the room felt a bit small (it had a lowish ceiling) but that it had a good potential.
Lots of the bigger brands either had their own booth or had a sponsorship role so it didn’t feel too small in that sense, and we were delighted to see that our stand had a similar floor space to brands 20 x our size.
Once things got going we had a steady stream of people visiting and taking part in our leaderboard challenge - win a bottle of wine for the highest score on the Pro-X Club.
This was a new product launch at the show - the Pro-X Club is a lower cost but still fully featured version of our top of the range Pro-X Elite, and we wanted to put it through its paces for the first time in the hands of real life users.
We were delighted with the results, since with all new products there is a risk of embarrassment if things fail or break. Nothing went wrong and the feedback from customers was really encouraging.
Next year Elevate is back - so the organisers obviously felt things went well for them - but at a new venue - ExCeLExcel, London.
We had an incredibly positive reception so it seems highly likely we’ll be back at the ExCeL next year. Better make sure our stand is bigger and better than ever!