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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

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Expo: was a good learning experience.

The past 5 days have been most busy. Well, last weekend mostly.

I had participated in this expo which was showcasing home products as well as property and land investments at this major shopping mall in KL recently. It was a most enlightening experience for me, as it was my first time participating in an event of this size. My brother already had a prior experience in it, and so did quite a number of my work mates, so they had an idea of what to anticipate.

The first expo they organized could not prepare them for this event, as the number of visitors that came for this expo surpassed the reception they had for their first.

If you had read the dailies recently, you might have read about the expo for the past one week. Yes, awareness of the expo is important. The question is, does the organising company have the budget for the A&P activities for this expo? Are and would they be willing to invest in a huge budget for the sake of the expo? Indeed when it comes to marketing a new product, the first step is creating product awareness as well as a brand name that the people who are selling as well as buying it would have "trust" in it.

Altogether, the entire expo took up almost 6 days. Although the expo was only 3 days, the set-up took up 2 days and the tear-down one day. So the organising committee had to spend almost a week at the exhibition centre just to oversee the operations.

I really learnt a lot about how event management takes place. Among one of the most important key "aspects" in ensuring things go smoothly in hosting an expo is that the organiser has to engage a contractor which can provide good services for the exhibitors, especially in the initial set-up of the booths for the first couple of days. A lot of exhibitors have lots of complaints and technical demands which can only be handled by the contractor. As such, the contractor company who think that they can split half their employees to two separate events will bear the brunt of their own vice.

By the time visitors arrive, of course, it won't be appropriate for exhibitors to complain in front of the visitors. If the contractor couldn't be bothered, and provides a shoddy service, you can bet that companies would think twice about engaging their services in future!

A well planned event, i.e. for example even a kindergarten concert, or an expo, is the culmination of more than half a year's work. The exhibition hall has to be booked maybe one year in advance (or less , if allowed) if the place is a "hot" venue. The organiser has to own and have the product knowledge of what they want to sell, and of course, what other "competing" expos are out there, as well as their marketing and budgeting strategies, as well as a thorough understanding of the venue of the expo.

Finding a good venue to hold an expo is also essential to ensuring that there is continuous human traffic. Physical factors that contribute to its success includes availability and access of transport to the venue, cost of transport, as well as the number of exhibitors, and products sold.

During the course of the event, a lot of "scouts" came around. Quite a number of "big brand" companies were enquiring about the next upcoming expo (which would be in July, but I won't be there anyway!) left their business contacts and wanted to register for the next one. Even "agents" from competing expos came to look.

(Oh come on, don't tell me you won't do that? Have you not seen that Hongkie movie with the Hui brothers, "Chicken and Duck talk?". But of course, they weren't so obvious lar!)

Doesn't it feel good to know that the expo you are holding really has "value" and companies have to be put on the "waiting list"?

I can't wait.

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