Leading exhibition industry figures have commented that discounting prices should not be used as a method to secure revenue.
The commentators, speaking to EN for the November edition of the magazine, agreed that discounting has a two-fold effect of giving a less sound base to make a profit and could spread fear among exhibitors that the show may not succeed.
The promotion of a debut event is one area where, despite the City’s warnings of a second economic dip, discounting can be particularly damaging.
“For a new show, perception is everything,” said Niche Events chief executive Peter Jones. “If a show is cheap only because it’s being held for the first time, it will make exhibitors nervous. Do not offer a discount on the space. The moment you do an individual deal, and word spreads, people will start asking why.
“The only way to bring the rate down is to offer them smaller exhibition space.”
Brintex event director Bill Butler advocates paying close attention to how exhibitors are perceiving the market.
“You need to find out what the market is prepared to pay,” he said.
Brian Wiseman, a consultant at Wise Guys Consultancy said the key is to get prices as high as you can without frightening exhibitors away.
“Don’t go in too low otherwise you can’t reduce prices in the long term,” he said.
For more on this story, read the November issue of Exhibition News.
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