ISSBA have run the Anglia Business Exhibition since 1995, watching it grow from a local Ipswich project to draw exhibitors and visitors from East Anglia and beyond. In 2014 they sought to develop a dedicated website in partnership with Suffolk Chamber to manage trade stand bookings, sponsors and visitors. Then to handle the exhibition stand staff badges, lunches and much, much more.
Central to the site from the very start was an image/map-based booking system that allowed the ISSBA team to add and manage the maps, the stand overlays and linked stand provision and booking information. The team are largely volunteers and given how busy we all are in small businesses, the Free Rein team helped initially manage the content and bookings as well as setting up the social media identities.
The system has been tweaked each year to try and give exhibitors more control over their own bookings as well as supporting extensions to interact on specific social media platforms. The system has reached a point where the only intervention required by Free Rein is to clear out the database after each year and upload the data set for the new event stands (largely to get a lot of data in quickly).