The Southport Flower Show is not only a fixture in the British horticultural calendar as the largest independent gardening shows, but also as one of the largest outdoor events in the NorthWest each Summer. If your business targets customers who are local to Southport and the NorthWest who are affluent and between the age of 50 and 75 then you should definitely consider how you can promote your business at the Southport Flower Show. With an estimated 80,000 paying visitors this year across its four days, the Southport Flower Show is an opportunity to reach an audience who are otherwise hard to target. The typical Flower Show visitor is a retired gardener. They have money to spend on their garden and home, but are less likely than most to be using social media.
But would it make sense for you to promote your business at the Southport Flower so? If the answer is “Yes”, how can you get involved? Should you be an exhibitor, advertiser, sponsor or just be a paying visitor?
Current Exhibitors at the Southport Flower Show
You can learn a lot by considering which other companies promote themselves at the Flower Show. Which companies are there year after year.
In 2017 there was one surprise exhibitor in Tesla. As far as I’m aware they’ve not been there before. It was interesting to see that it was obviously a test for them, they paid for one of the smaller stands, and all they had there was a couple of sales people, one car – the Tesla Model X – and a few bits of marketing material. Compare that to Mercedes or Toyota dealerships who had large stands with multiple cars and a team of sales people. It will be interesting to see if Tesla is there in 2018, and whether they have spent more money on a larger stand. You can understand why Tesla decided to test out the Southport Flower Show, with the Tesla Model X priced at £71,000 there’s a limited audience. Tesla’s aren’t quite ready yet in the UK to become the business person’s car of choice yet due to perceived limited mileage range between charges, so the potential customer with the money and less mileage needs is the retired business person.
Some of the regular exhibitors can be put into the following categories:
- Plant nurseries and garden centres
- Food and drink brands
- Small household goods
- Home and garden furniture
- Holidays and Leisure
- Jewellery and beauty products
- Mobility aids
- Clothing and fashion accessories
- Pet products
- Luxury Items
But don’t let that current list of exhibitors limit your thinking. If the target audience is right for you, and you can promote your product or service at an event for the public, it’s better to be the only exhibitor in your category rather than be there with all of your competitors!
How to maximise sales at the Southport Flower Show
Don’t be afraid to do something different. Consider doing something like this:
- Take bookings
- Free prize draw to collect names and contact details
- Hand out promotional items
- Give away vouchers
- Do a time-limited offer just for the Flower Show
- Provide a discount code for people who visit your shop in Southport during the next 30 days
- Do special offers
- Give away a free item with every purchase
- Show discounted prices
These are all pretty standard promotion ideas but actually, there was a real lack of them at the 2017 Flower Show. Most exhibitors are just stood there with their products for sale at their standard price. If you can incentivize customers to buy or at least pay a deposit during the show you’ll come away with much higher revenue from the show.
Case Study: All Seasons Electric Bikes
Last year one of Southport Marketing’s client’s, All Seasons Electric Bikes, decided to exhibit at the Southport Flower Show, after we encouraged them to do so. We came up with the idea of handing out a voucher to every enquirer offering them £100 discount off the retail price of the products if they made the purchase at the stand or online during the four days of the Flower Show. This definitely boosted sales and also encouraged customers to talk about the offer with others, so that we received requests for the voucher.
How much does it cost to exhibit at the Southport Flower Show?
If you have decided to exhibit at the Southport Flower Show then you do need to consider your budget and space requirements. Stands start at £400 +VAT for a small 3m x 3m uncovered stand. That’s not something I’d recommend having exhibited outdoors before. Even though the Southport Flower Show is in AUgust it is prone to rain. In 2016 it rained for 3 of the 4 days, and in 2017 2 of the 4 days. So you are going to want a covered stand ideally, so the basic covered stand is £756 +VAT providing a 3m x 3m stand.
If you need a bit more space for your products you can have stands which are 6m x 3m, 6m x 6m, 9m x 3m, 9m x 6m, or even larger if say you’re a car retailer or outdoor furniture retailer.
You then need to add in the other costs, such as if you need electricity to your stand, the cost of your printed displays and Point of Sale stands if you don’t have them already, transport, accommodation if you need it, staffing costs, etc.
To find out prices for the 2018 Southport Flower Show you can contact Joanne Taylor who manages the show exhibitors at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 01704 547147. Or visit
The Southport Flower Show Website Trade Section for more information.
If you need help with the design of your stand, promotional items or marketing collateral, or would like to consult with an expert on what promotions to use – contact Southport Marketing.
Different ways to promote your business at the Southport Flower Show
If exhibiting at the show isn’t right for you, or you haven’t yet got the budget to spend on it, then why not consider some other options:
- Sponsor the Southport Flower Show – your sponsorship adverts can appear around the show ground or elsewhere within Victoria Park while the Flower Show is on.
- Visit the Southport Flower Show (£24 on the day or cheaper if booked upfront), and visit the exhibitors to discuss business-to-business products or services.
- Run a Southport Flower Show Promotion during the period of the Show to raise some awareness of your related products.
Keys to Success at the Southport Flower Show
Some of the keys to making the Southport Flower Show a success for your business are:
- Come up with a unique promotion related to the show that will encourage customers to buy today
- Have credit card payment facilities
- Have a plan for if it rains
- Have back up stock just in case you run out
- Don’t try and cover all 4 days yourself morning and afternoon, use employees or friends to help cover the whole show
- Don’t be scared to approach potential customers and tell them about your business.
The Southport Flower Show can be a fun way for you and your employee to promote your business and meet customers face to face. If the rain holds off for all four days you’re likely in for a very good sales boost, but even so, with tens of thousands of visitors you’ll get your brand and products out there in front of your target audience, and you’ll likely still be seeing the results of that months later.