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Gold Coast show starts on Friday

Friday, the 18th of April sees the start of the 2008 Visual Impact/Image Expo Gold Coast show. The show will run for two days and looks set to be a great show with all the major exhibitors putting their heart and soul into providing an interesting and valuable time for the delegates.

With the move to the Gold Coast Exibition Centre last year and continuing again this year, the VISA committee, who now organise the show themselves in partnership with Ken and Stan from Image magazine, maintain that the move to the Exhibition Centre was a very positive one and bodes well for the future of the show.

Marketed as a Queensland show with an opportunity for delegates to bring the family to the Gold Coast and to charge all or some of the costs to the ATO as legitimate business expenses, is a smart marketing move by VISA.

Like all good exhibitions, it gives the exhibitors an unprecedented opportunity of being able to wave the flag and of course the chance to show off those dazzling new products and remind delegates of the value of the older products.

Perhaps the most important reason exhibitors choose to be there is simply the opportunity to chat to customers face to face and exploit other networking opportunities which present themselves. This is the winning argument for many of the exhibitors.

Likewise delegates have the opportunity of networking as well as having the chance to see and possibly 'play' with all the new equipment on offer.

Also on the positive side is the fact that the exhibition is growing and has proven over the years to be very popular with all parties which bodes well for the future of this exhibition.

I just hope they will not repeat the very loud and disruptive announcements that took place at last year's show at frequent  intervals.

An observation though from this potential exhibitor: The exhibition has tradionally attracted about 1000 visitors each year which brings into question whether this show actually provides value for money for the exhibitors when one considers the cost of exhibiting compared to other graphic arts shows.

For a non VISA member wanting to book a 3 x 3 standard booth with shell scheme (carpet, lighting and electrical connection), the basic booth cost is just under $4000.00 for the two days..

This equates to an average exhibitor cost of $4.00 per delegate. But bear in mind the basic booth cost is usually the smallest cost in exhibiting. Staffing costs, the fact that staff are not doing their normal duties, the logistical cost of moving machinery to and fro, hiring furniture, insurances, etc., can combine to make the booth cost insignificant.

Pacprint, the largest of our regional graphic arts shows which runs for five days, by camparison, attracts an audience of well over 10000 delegates and the basic booth cost of a similar 3 x 3 standard booth is about $10000 and this also includes furniture hire. So equivalent costs are only about $1.00 per delegate.

One of the founding principles of the VISA organisation was to reduce exhibition and magazine costs for the beneft of the sign industry and now that they are doing their own exhibition organising and not obligated to pay hefty organiser's fees and also being a 'not for profit organisation', one would hope that they will look at their own exhibition offerings and compare costings with other leading shows serving the graphic arts industry.

I will look forward to meeting up with many friends on Friday.

Brian Stickland
Wide Format Online magazine