If somehow you haven’t seen (We know you have). We visited the London Summer Events Show recently and had a whale of a time. We met loads of interesting people, enjoyed fun workshops and seminars and just had a great two days! One of those interesting people we met was Clare McAndrew the marketing manager of Story Events, the company behind LSES. So we thought we’d put a few interview questions to her about the show!
For anyone who doesn’t know, What is the London Summer Events Show?
The London Summer Event Show is a boutique exhibition that brings together a mix of the best summer event venues and suppliers with hundreds of top event buyers who are looking to gain inspiration for their next event.
The Show seeks to provide a different and unique exhibition experience for its visitors by incorporating complimentary food, drink, theming, entertainment, and goodies into the mix, helping to create a more enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere, ideal for networking.
Why do you focus on only summer?
We found that there was a real niche in the market for a seasonal focused exhibition. There are so many fabulous venues and suppliers in and around London whose offerings are perfect for the summer months ie. venues with outdoor space, street food suppliers etc. and many of them found it hard to reach their key market in the larger event exhibitions in the market. We wanted to create a platform for these venues/suppliers to showcase their offering to buyers looking mainly for summer suppliers, to ensure they gained the most out of their exhibition investment.
What’s your favourite kind of summer time event?
It has to be a summer festival theme. There are so many beautiful outdoor event spaces in London that are perfect for such an event and it’s a great way to incorporate lots of the awesome summer food and entertainment suppliers on the market.
What have you changed from last years event
This year we placed even more emphasis on the visitor experience. The way visitors feel at an event is crucial to its success and most exhibitions are often soulless and daunting to navigate. We wanted the journey through our event to be a fun and pleasurable experience as well as useful and inspirational. We have always placed great importance on the creative, but this year we stepped it up a level welcoming our visitors to a ‘Great British Holiday’ in the height of winter. We added extra elements to the event such as passports and suitcase invites to really immerse our guests before, during and after the event.
Who are some of the big names or companies who you’re working with/ attending this years event?
This year’s exhibitor list has to be one of our best ever, we had some really great brands on board ranging from iconic venues such as View from the Shard, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s Globe, Somerset House and Dulwich College as well as new venues, restaurants, hotels, cookery schools and a brilliant mix of suppliers. This year we launched an area at our event called ‘Story Gives Back’ which following a vote from our visitors offered six small/new event suppliers the opportunity to exhibit for free at our exhibition helping to boost their presence in the events market.
What other events do you have coming up?
Our next event in the London Christmas Party Show in May, which is again a boutique exhibition celebrating all things events related for Christmas.
Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?
One of our biggest challenges is that the exhibition moves venues after each edition, this is to ensure that the venue itself acts as the Show piece. We highly theme the venue so visitors can experience how it would feel dressed up for an event. This obviously presents lots of challenges from and ops and marketing perspective as each time we have to start the event from scratch. Most exhibitions have one home/venue and stay there for years, so there is a lot less work to do on marketing its location and the operations of the event year on year compared to our events.
We love barnyard furry friends as much as the next person, but why is the event’s mascot a Donkey in a beanie?
We wanted our events to immediately feel very different to the more corporate events on the market and decided an animal mascot would be ideal. There are two reasons for this, with an animal you can be a lot cheekier in your marketing. Also we wanted to create a Story behind our events and create a character people could come to love. Why a donkey? Well, Lady Skye represents the summer donkeys that work on the British beaches during the summer. She loves everything about summer and hates winter which is why she wears a pink bobble hat as her Show runs during the winter. Her full name Lady Summer Evelyn Skye (LSES) makes up the letters of the London Summer Event Show (LSES). She is a very social donkey so feel free to get in touch with her via social media as she loves hearing from eventprofs.
Thanks Clare, we loved the show and will definitely be coming next year! Check out the
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