Liz Haselden, Aquarius IT’s Marketing Manager, who over the course of her career has attended and visited hundreds of trade shows, is looking forward to getting fully back on the show trail this year. She explains here why, and why these events provide so much more than just sales leads alone – how they open the door to a world of insightful ideas, and drive innovation.
I guess we’re not the only ones but, the Aquarius team have received numerous emails over the last 12 months or so containing comments from stand builders, exhibition companies, event organisers and sales people suggesting that exhibitions are back and more popular than ever! Our experience from 2022 backs that up. Over the last 12 months, we’ve been lucky enough to have travelled the country and visited numerous exhibition centres, golf courses and hotels as sponsors, visitors, speakers and exhibitors.
Whilst at the CV Show, ITT Hub and Road Transport Expo last year, it was evident that visitors were pleased to be out and about again, checking out the latest tech, vehicles and software. Each show promised something different, and they all delivered – see my previous blog on this ‘Show Time – Starring The Young, The Old and the New’.
During their time on the stands with us, it was good to have the opportunity to catch-up with customers and industry colleagues, discuss how the industry has moved on since COVID and have honest discussions about the pitfalls and benefits of some of the latest industry legislation updates. I’m sure this will be the same this year, with the introduction of another tachograph in August.
What we love about shows is the personal connection and every event last year allowed us the time to demonstrate all the new features in the software – and showcase Asset Maintenance for example which we introduced at the start of the pandemic, so it was really its first time out at an exhibition last year.
As a team, central to what we do is listen and work with our customers, and exhibitions, trade events, award ceremonies and corporate days all give us the opportunity to share ideas, gain insight and respond directly to comments and suggestions about the software. From speaking and listening to customers, and understanding their day-to-day challenges, we gain many new ideas – so many golden nuggets.
“Behind every innovative product idea is a golden nugget of customer insight.”
In line with this, it is important for us that the whole team, especially the newer members and apprentices, get to experience some of these events so that they can connect with customers and gain their own insights. Our technical, sales and support members will each look at things from their own different perspectives and expertise, and this 360° approach is fantastic for spurring innovation and promoting team spirit.
Exhibitions also give us marketers the opportunity to gain feedback, and sense and observe customer reactions. An example of this was towards the end of last year, when Euro Bus Expo gave us the perfect, and most timely opportunity to showcase our new logo and brand identity in all of its glory – and I’m pleased to say the reaction was super positive.
Looking forward to 2023, due to the expansion of our software portfolio and alliances, there is a world of untapped opportunities and alongside this comes a plethora of new and different events that are catching our eye – as well as opportunities to keep on celebrating and championing the industry. Wherever we choose to exhibit this year outside of the aforementioned traditional road transport shows, the team will be doing it with a smile because we know we will gain those golden nuggets of insight that will keep driving our innovations – and our customer’s businesses.
By Liz Haselden, Aquarius IT’s Marketing Manager