When one imagines events or exhibitions, one can’t help but picture hordes of people, large crowds, long queues and plenty of diversity. So you may be surprised to learn that in terms of current trends, large events or exhibitions aren’t always necessary.
In fact there is a global industry movement towards smaller events, experiences or exhibitions that are far more specialised or niche. Today, it’s all about getting personal.
“People don’t always want to feel like they are just one in a crowd, they want to feel like a product, event, exhibition or business is talking directly to them and their personal needs and wants. They want an experience – something that makes them feel like they are unique and understood,” explains Andrew Binning, President of EXSA.
Niche events thus can make the audience member or attendees feel more at home, as well as allow for stronger communication. With less people and a more on-point message, it’s bound to hit home. This can be more useful than trying to perpetuate more messages to appeal to a larger and more diverse audience in certain circumstances.
Depending on the content, people may enjoy and remember a smaller event, says Andrew. They allow for stronger engagement and networking, bringing together like-minded individuals with similar interests. A niche event gives attendees a more beneficial platform, especially if it is industry-specific.
What’s more is that people are more likely to engage with each other on a personal level, experiencing each other as people first rather than simply other event attendees. Smaller events are less formal and stiff, creating a friendly, warm and welcoming atmosphere. Friendships, relationships and longer conversations are thus likely to occur, ensuring your event or exhibition is considered a hit.
While there is a time and a place for large events – especially for South Africa’s diverse population, businesses and offerings – there too is a place for smaller, more niche events.
Niche events can be far more cost-effective and less logistically taxing. With technology and innovation, there are incredible ways to capture the attention of a specific group of people. It’s a chance for creativity and collaboration in the industry.