I also wanted to apologise… I’m here to say ‘sorry’.
Let me explain from the very start…
Memo Events is now in its third year and I would have never believed, back in the autumn of 2011, that it would have grown to this size. And it continues to grow, thanks to the support of each and every one of you who have chosen to exhibit or attend one of our events. Thank you.
I started this business during the recession. I had no money. I was living back with my parents. I had no money. I’d just closed down a previous business that almost made me bankrupt. I had no money.
My journey began when I attended a networking event. I met with some great business people who helped inspire me to get back on my feet and start again. I went back to my office, picked up a copy of the Yellow Pages and dialled a random number. I spoke to a bloke at a waste management company and invited them to exhibit at my first ever event.
To my surprise – they booked. I hadn’t decided on a date. I hadn’t booked a venue. I hadn’t arranged anything… I simply had the motivation, the drive, and the ambition to get something started.
Six weeks later, the Hampshire Business Expo was held. It took place at The Innovation Centre, now our head offices here in Basingstoke, in November 2011. It was a resounding success.
Why? I asked myself the same question. The answer… because we got people there. In less than six weeks I somehow managed to promote an event and got over 300 businesses all in one place, on one day, under one roof. And that’s what you, our customers, are buying from us… people and place. A place to meet people. Not just anybody, though. The right people. Your target market…
At the expo, I spoke with Linda Cheung from CubeSocial. She encouraged me to start a new business organising business shows – and it was that encouragement that I needed.
The very next day I registered the domain name, set up a website and started planning my next event… I was inspired… I had been inspired at my own event. And that it why they exist.
The events we have since organised, include shows in Portsmouth, West Sussex and more recently in Southampton, have all grown from the feedback I’ve received from you. It’s been your comments and suggestions that have helped shape and grow my business. Again, thank you.
But let me bring you back to why I am writing to you.
As the business has grown, I’m very well aware that some of you have been disappointed by some of the decisions we have had to make… and I’m about to share with you a very important decision that I have had to make quite recently.
Firstly I would like to apologise to everyone who was affected by the postponement of our North Hampshire Means Business event and the West Sussex Business Expo. However, sometimes we have to make these decisions, and we would never postpone an event for the sake of it.
Occasionally, we have to move dates around to benefit the majority of exhibitors and those planning on attending the events. I know this can upset a small number of people, of which I am sorry.
I am also saddened to share with you, that after much deliberation, that we are also cancelling our National Business Show, which was set to run in March next year. This has been one of the hardest decisions to make in recent times. The reason for this, is because we couldn’t attract enough exhibitors. We had plenty of interest mind, lots of visitors registered to attend, but not quite enough to fill a show of that size.
After making the decision, I spoke with Catherine Roberts. She’s our amazing bookkeeper and helps keep all the accounts in good shape. We discussed at length the future of the business and retouched on our Unique Selling Points. I told her that we’re excellent at organising great quality events and exhibitions, which you wouldn’t find outside of London. And then the penny dropped…
At Memo Events we pride ourselves in organising the UK’s best regional and local business shows. It’s what we’re good at… and quite honestly, it’s what we enjoy doing. And it’s something we’re going to do more of going forward.
In fact, I can go further, because we have some big plans for next year to compensate for some of the mistakes and changes we have made. Enclosed with your letter are all the confirmed exhibitions we are organising for 2015. We’ve even launched a brand new event called The Southern Marketing Show which we’ll be holding in May at The Ageas Bowl, following the feedback we received from both visitors and exhibitors.
Going forward we’re also going to improve our customer service and the quality of the events we organise. We’ve even updated our online exhibitor area – which we think you’ll love – and we’ll be bringing back the Monthly Memo, our glossy magazine, as so many of you have requested!
We already know we put on a good show, but in 2015 I really want to make them better. These aren’t our events… they belong to you and the other businesses that attend. And I’d like your help to see how we can make things better.
Our purpose is to make our events the best they can be and more successful… to attract more visitors, which ultimately will help you and your business.
As I said earlier, I recognise the importance of networking and advertising. Advertising; because that’s primarily the reason my previous business failed, and networking; as that’s where I’d met some great people who encouraged me to start up again in business.
Over the next few months, you will also notice some changes to the people that work at Memo Events. Running my own business, I have had the enjoyment of recruiting for my own staff. But on reflection, interviews can be misleading, and in the past I have sometimes employed the wrong people that haven’t helped with the service we provide. But I can confirm, I’m here to stay.
Our renewed commitment to growing our events and helping you to grow your business will be evident over the next couple of months, especially in the early part of the New Year.
However, in the meantime, please let my team – and me – know if there is anything we should be doing at our events or could be doing better, and especially if you have a problem because we would like to sort it out for you.
Thank you for reading this letter and getting this far. Hopefully you’ve learnt a bit more about our business, my story and why we are happy to organise these events for you.
All the best over the festive season and I look forward to seeing you next year!
Until next time,
Managing Director, Memo Events