Expowest Cornwall 2020 went ahead as planned, just a couple of weeks before the country was placed in lockdown – which was quite a close call! Since then of course the world economy has come to an almost complete standstill. Cornwall, relying so heavily on tourism, may be especially hard hit. But the reality is that every region has been massively impacted, if in slightly different ways. Looking on the bright side, when lockdown is eased, people are going to be desperate to get out of the house and take a holiday. Many will be reluctant to fly, and airlines will probably take a while to recover so the Cornish economy is likely to do very nicely whenever the Corvid clouds clear.
Putting all these speculations aside we’d like to share with you some feedback from this year’s show. Understandably, with the uncertainty at the time, visitor numbers were down somewhat, but the feedback from those who did make it is all very positive.
A whopping 93.2% of respondents said they’d recommend a colleague or related business to attend the show next year. 96.3% also said they plan to visit again next year so we expect high attendance levels in March 2021! 82% also said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the variety of exhibitors. One of the main reasons for visiting the show, and exhibiting, is to find new suppliers and customers. We’re delighted to report that 58.1% of visitors found between three and ten new suppliers, with 66.5% of visitors placing orders at the show or shortly afterwards.
There was a terrific buzz in the venue and exhibitors were very enthusiastic on the day. Here are some of the soundbites we got as we walked around:
John Tinsley of Admaps of Cornwall said “We’ve been doing this show for many years and it’s the only show we do. It’s a crucial part of our season where we launch this year’s products and engage with customers. All the visitors are potential advertisers and we get a list of all the exhibitor contacts, so this show is great for getting new customers. Also, when existing customers see all our products in one place this encourages them to advertise on additional maps.”
Kate, Head of Operations at Devon Distillery reported that “The show has been great, it allows us to connect directly with the kind of clientele who are likely to purchase our products. Also a wonderful opportunity to network with the other exhibitors …share ideas, inspiration, contacts – very social event and you meet lovely people.”
Caroline Carter, Account Manager at Business Cornwall magazine said “This show is a key part of the Cornish business calendar and enables us to engage with an audience that we don’t see at some of the other shows we attend. It has been a great place to launch our latest publication, Talking Tourism”.
Graham, owner of Kernow Software was happy that “We’ve met some potential new bar, restaurant and café customers for our table management systems, done some very useful networking with other exhibitors and have already booked for next year’s show.”
Thanks to all those visitors who replied to our survey, and for your comments. Here’s are a few to give you a general flavour:
“The show keeps us in touch with existing suppliers and we usually pick up a few new ones. We also found a new ice cream flavour.”
“We thought that this year’s show was one of the best, with people willing to offer tasters. We now have four new suppliers and we are delighted.”
“It shows the choices available and allows us to touch, test, try and taste the goods, produce or service before buying.”
“We attend to see new trends in products and take the opportunity to benchmark other suppliers over our current suppliers.”
This feedback is invaluable to us as we plan things for next year, so if you have anything to add, please do leave us a comment here. If you weren’t there this year, why not come and see what the show is like in 2021?
Next year the show will be open on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th March. After this year’s economic and social interruption it will be a great opportunity to restore the momentum and get your business forging ahead again. So get those dates in your diary and register to attend now. We’ll keep you informed about how the show is shaping up – see you next March!