EN talks to Brenda Hobday about her new product Showshoppa, which creates a long-term buying platform for event visitors.
The idea of creating a marketplace where exhibitors sell to visitors long after the show has closed seems an obvious one, but bizarrely ShowShoppa is one of a few dedicated platforms that does just that.
It couldn’t come at a better time, when many organisers are looking for intuitive ways to support their customers’ needs in the absence of events. The platform allows exhibitors to upload images, as well as other key information about the products they want sell.
It’s a powerful platform that compliments selling space by bringing exhibitors closer to buyers, and locking your exhibitors firmly into your brands.
ShowShoppa also helps encourage exhibitors to sign up early and attracts new exhibitors hungry to generate additional revenues.
It also, to some extent, negates the issue around lead generation because the software can be linked to the event. This ensures visitors that want to buy 3-6 months after the event can still do so. It also opens up the door to new buyers who may not have visited your event, but still want to buy from your exhibitors.
Exhibitors can ‘test the market’ with new products. Smaller exhibitors with no online presence have the ability to create their own online shop within the event shop, creating more unique interest and driving more peripheral traffic. Organisers can even include links in ‘Show Tweets’ to their event Show Shop.
Hobday, who has 30 years of experience in the event industry and currently owns Boss Events, said: “We are hugely excited about the launch of the new ShowShoppa platform. With my exhibition background we have been able to design this system specifically to meet the needs of event organisers. Steve Olesansky, our CTO, has the technical knowledge and the team to put these requirements into the system.
“Not surprisingly interest in ShowShoppa has multiplied tenfold since the Covid-19 crisis – it’s an ideal time to launch your own Show Shop. As event people we are all in this together and need to find ways to strengthen and sustain our industry. We’ve changed the business model to make it easier for event organisers to launch their own Show Shop, with a free to set up model that can then build as more exhibitors come on board.”
Hobday has worked on a raft of B2C/ B2B events, including: RHS Flower Show Chelsea, BBC Good Food Shows, The Game Fair, The Boat Show, Automechanika, Haymarket and Diageo. She also launched Natural Product UK Expo, The Garden Show and Money Matters.
Hobday added: “ShowShoppa is a marketplace platform for organisers to extend their ownership of their market sector. ShowShoppa creates a new, year-round revenue stream whilst increasing exhibitor engagement and expanding the visitor database. Created by experienced event professionals and developed by our in-house technical team, ShowShoppa has been designed specifically for event organisers to leverage their event brand whilst retaining overall control.”
The product also has a handy analytics tool to help organisers and exhibitors track sales and monitor traffic.
Hobday explains that Showstoppa can help with rebooks further down the line because the organiser can demonstrate the success of the application.
The company is currently in talks with a number of leading exhibition organisers that are keen to generate new revenue streams for their customers and bring them closer to their events.