Today, we’re talking to Matt Briggs, DMN’s Sales & Marketing Director, about the future of the exhibition industry and how he believes it will change for those working in it, in particular suppliers like DMN.
Q1. If you could tell us who you are and what your role is at DMN?
I’m Matt Briggs, and I look after the Sales and Marketing for DMN. I also sit on the board and help with overall business direction and strategy.
Q2. We understand you have been making some changes at DMN, why?
DMN has been around for nearly 60 years but now has the energy of a startup. We have enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years.
This growth presented us with a challenge to ensure that we were delivering what our clients want now – and (crucially) have the ability to deliver what they want in the future.
So last year we took time to speak to clients, suppliers, ex-customers and so on, to find out what difficulties they face in their industry. By understanding their current challenges and anticipating what they are going to need in the future, we can start taking the steps necessary to be better positioned to support them.
Q3. What was the outcome?
The outcome was fascinating, with some amazingly honest conversations. This honesty and insight made it extremely beneficial. We learnt a lot.
In simple terms, clients want excellent service and quality builds for their stands, but, as ever, budgets are tight.
More specifically, clients know buying cheap is a bad idea, and they are willing to pay for the right service. They want ‘value’ for money, but this does not merely mean low cost.
More important to them (and their reputations) are outcomes. So value really means trust. What appeals to customers are companies that are offering a partnership. Built on a collaborative relationship and a service that protects and develops their brand.
Companies offering this type of added value service are more desirable in today’s market than those who merely provide value via cost reductions or reducing service
Q4. So what is DMN doing in response?
Our solution is to refine our service and output and make it a more intuitive, comprehensive and flexible service.
To do this we are currently driving changes across the three most crucial areas of the business: quality, creativity and manufacturing.
To ensure our service is market leading we are developing more focused project management systems. These will enable us to work more closely with our customers at every stage of the process. They will also ensure our customers benefit from our knowledge and expertise more readily, by building real relationships built on a complete understanding of their requirements.
To drive this improved service, we are also bringing our creative teams closer to the clients. This will help us deliver the personality and values of their brands in more inspirational and imaginative ways.
Our creative team will know our customers and their brands personally, and their ideas and concepts will reflect that. So for both service and creativity, we are removing hurdles within the process to make it work for our customers, instead of just us.
Then to make this more refined process benefit the customers at all stages, we are also overhauling our manufacturing base.
Initially, we are investing in our in-house manufacturing processes to drive efficiencies in all areas. Helping us guarantee that what arrives on site continues to deliver value and quality to our customers.
It needs to be said, that this is not a cost-cutting exercise, quite the opposite. It is about ensuring what and how we produce stands is optimal at every stage. So that we have the best staff and tools to succeed.
With this in mind, we are introducing state of the art technology and technology partnerships and also recruiting and using only the very best possible talent in the industry.
Additionally, as part of our continued growth and to follow the international nature of the industry, we have also begun expanding our operations across Europe. So we have started by building some extremely close manufacturing partnerships around Europe to help reduce the costs of exhibiting in Europe for our customers. And the plan is to grow this in the future.
Q5. What can a customer expect from DMN in the future?
For new or existing customers, DMN will become a company who understands the changing trends in the world of exhibiting, branding and retail.
Our quality and service will continue to improve, as it always has done because we will remain focused on the needs of our customers.
Moreover, to do this, we will provide all our customers with a capable, creative, confident and experienced team that can deliver on exciting concepts and also bring them to life. All supported by real relationships based on market-leading project management, ideas and manufacturing.
Also, we are aiming to drive value for money, with cost savings for customers wherever we can. An example of this has been our European partnerships helping us provide up to a 25% reduction in costs when exhibiting abroad.
For us, there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in exhibitions and delivering brand experiences. DMN look forward to guiding our clients through the possibilities and delivering jaw-dropping experiences.