Maximising Exhibition Potential at RWM 2016

Maximising Exhibition Potential at RWM 2016

Friday September 16, 2016

Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Trade Show

This week, RWM 2016, the UK's largest recycling and waste exhibition, was held in the NEC in Birmingham, UK.  I was supporting two clients at the show - Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd and PK Safety - with photography, stand support and social media.

A selfie on the PK Safety Stand

The cost of exhibiting at an international show is high and there are always questions about the viability and return on investment.  Maximising the potential is vitally important and actually starts months before anyone steps foot on the stand.

The first major international exhibition that I managed was one of the first RWM shows in 1991.  In my role as a Marketing Manager, I was given the task of launching a new product at the show.  In those days, press releases and supporting photographs were printed and sent in the post.  Customer invitations were cards that were also posted.  It turned out to be a great exhibition with one order for over £100,000 secured at the show.

25 years later and, although the basic marketing concepts still apply, the marketing channels have changed dramatically.

Over the past 2 years, I have provided marketing support for Bunting and PK Safety and helped develop their identity in the recycling sector.  This has been achieved through creating engaging social media identities and increasing their levels of communication through blogs and press releases.  For me as a photographer, the foundation of all the social media and press work has been the image and, occasionally, the video.

Bunting HISC Stainless Steel Separator

As we approached the RWM 2016 show, we communicated our presence and announced what we intended to exhibit.  This continued throughout the show and the engagement has been fantastic.  And the marketing doesn't stop once the show has ended, as post show promotion is as important as pre-show work and blogs (Bunting and PK Safety) and mailshots will be distributed today and next week.

During the show I took photographs of the stands, the company teams and what was happening and these can all be seen on a RWM 2016 photo gallery.  These have also been uploaded onto the company Flickr photo galleries.  We also used photos and video taken on mobile devices, which are great for social media.  This activity created a buzz and awareness.

Interestingly, both companies had good shows.  Although the footfall appeared lower than I have seen in previous years, the quality of the leads was high.  And quality is always better than quantity.

What is also interesting is the level of activity on both company's websites.  The marketing activity that we executed not only announced the presence of Bunting and PK Safety at the show, but also increased the number of website visits.  Positive marketing outcomes that have maximised the potential of the exhibition.

Exhibitions are expensive in terms and cost and time, but planning and executing an exhibition-focused marketing plan does produce results.


Paul Fears is a commercial and industrial photographer based in South Wales and working across the UK.  He also provides marketing and PR support for companies, including Bunting and PK Safety.  For more information or to ask Paul a specific question, please contact him on:

Phone: 07909 103789


Via the website 

PK Safety at RWM16

« Back to Blog