CASE STUDY: FFAIR at Event Tech Live 2021

FFAIR was called in to provide its exhibition automation software to the leading event-technology show, Event Tech Live, saving organisers time and effort alongside some more unexpected efficiencies and new revenue streams.

For Event Tech Live’s director Paul Allott, FFAIR’s automated exhibition platform represented an opportunity to create a single point of contact for distributors, stakeholders and staff for the event. Meanwhile, FFAIR’s shop element provided instant accountability and an easy reference point.

“We have used other platforms before, but this is the first time we’ve had an exhibitor shop included in the package,” Allott said.

“We decided to try out FFAIR, not least because of the trust we had in FFAIR CEO and chief product officer Adam Jones, who we’d worked with when he ran Showplans and led Freeman’s digital division in EMEA.

“The nature of our exhibitors, being rooted in event tech, brings an added pressure to the suppliers we use, so by getting it right this year, FFAIR certainly gained a lot of kudos among its industry peers”

Jones said: “I must admit, it was fairly nerve racking being directly exposed to so many industry friends. But it was a great opportunity to gain some really valuable exposure, which for many would be their first encounter with ops tech.”

Allott and team set about providing for the FFAIR platform, inputting supplier and staff information. “It took just hours to learn how it all worked; we were completely built from start to finish in under eight hours,” he said. “For any future use, it will just take a matter of minutes and we’re up and running.”

“The show team had visibility of not only suppliers but all show orders, including power, internet, lead capture, AV and insurance. In the past, checking the status of an order could mean several emails back and forth, the FFAIR system makes the process more straightforward and direct.”

Allott declared the FFAIR trial a great success, with 76 per cent of exhibitors placing orders through the system, which kept all the money accountable.

“At the end of the show we realised that we hadn’t had many questions from exhibitors compared to previous years. That highlights how the FFAIR platform is easy to navigate. It means exhibitors can quickly find the answers they’re looking for and see if an order has been received, is processing, is in transit, delivered, or collected.”

The system also proved useful to the organiser for keeping track of third party deliveries. Using FFAIR gives visibility of items delivered/collected. If, for whatever reason, an organiser wants to check the detail of an order, the platform stores a photograph, title and description of each item.

The platform’s adaptability is another upside. “Its ecosystem is very responsive and we can adapt certain parameters,” Allott explains. “Assigning tasks to the right departments is useful too, insurance or health and safety, for example.

“FFAIR is in a great tradition of collaborative tools. Once a task is completed, the relevant department approves it and the exhibitor is notified immediately. If further action is needed, the organiser can reject the submission and offer an explanation.”

Praise for the FFAIR platform’s ETL debut came from Katie Whatley, director at PR company 52eight3, who used the system in the run up to the show, managing a number of stands for clients.

“It was clear from the outset, FFAIR’s UX had been designed with exhibitors in mind and, as such, was super straightforward to use with clear deadlines and step-by-step instructions.

“From our experience as event organisers and working on behalf of exhibitors, we would highly recommend FFAIR as an event tech platform for organisers who are looking to streamline the exhibiting process.”

Meanwhile, Jaakko Jalkanen, head of marketing at Brella, said: “FFAIR is the first OEM that I didn’t hate! It was a great pleasure to use. I completed my tasks in a fraction of the usual time and was able to order everything I needed for the exhibition within minutes rather than hours in just a few clicks.”

ETL and FFAIR are already in talks about partnering on 2022 events.