Wheat from the chaff?

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Despite its obvious drawbacks, the recession offers opportunities for organisers able to exploit new technology and strong branding. To discuss how to make the most of our businesses in a weakened marketplace, 18 industry leaders gathered at the UFI congress in Zagreb at the third UFI CEO Think Tank; a forum set up to establish what is being done in response to the economic challenges. The think tank comprised organisers and representatives from 14 organisations, collectively organising 1,500 exhibitions and representing an annual turnover of more than €4 billion. Moderator and CEO of German consultancy JWC, Jochen Witt, says the economic squeeze has pushed organisers to “re-examine their business models, streamline their management structure and rationalise their event portfolios”. But, developing creative business models to meet the demands of exhibitors and visitors also has the unexpected advantage of creating new levels of loyalty among these audiences, he adds. While overall exhibition business profits decreased in 2009, cost-cutting measures allowed the industry to hold steady on most exhibitor costs. Global commercial director of Reed Exhibitions, Nick Forster, shares a view common among the think tank participants, that “recession gives you a chance to examine what’s sustainable.” "This is a time to reduce risk and exposure. But it’s also a time to seek new business opportunities through joint ventures and cooperative relationships." Geographically, the weakest industry results are currently being seen in Europe, North America, Japan, India, and Russia, while strong results were noted in China, Brazil and Turkey. However, in most cases organisers said that their leading trade fairs remained stable, or even exceeded expectations, regardless of their location. Generally speaking, trade fair success mimicked overall industry patterns with  negative results noted in sectors including automobile manufacturing and real estate, while positive results were found in exhibitions in the gas and energy sectors. To overcome adversity, think tank leaders highlighted targeted cost-cutting, headcount reductions and the negotiation of more flexible labour agreements. Many new build programmes have been delayed, while the industry continues to invest in staff training and information technology. Data management systems aimed at improving customer Relationship management and giving solid ROI feature heavily in most companies’ plans. Executive chairman of Belgium’s Artexis Group, Eric Everard, says: “This is a time to reduce risk and exposure. But it’s also a time to seek new business opportunities through joint ventures and cooperative relationships."Outgoing UFI president John Shaw summarised the group’s findings.“As a motor for commercial opportunities, the global exhibition industry will continue to play a key role in support of economic development in the future.”
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Elsewhere on EN

N200|GES partners with Gleanin on socially-driven event registration

N200|GES partners with Gleanin on socially-driven event registration

Event registration, lead retrieval and event intelligence firm N200|GES has announced a strategic partnership with social software company Gleanin.
UBM sells Ecobuild

UBM sells Ecobuild

Futurebuild Events Ltd, which has been set up by Ecobuild brand director, Martin Hurn, has acquired Ecobuild from UBM.
Industry gears up for Confex 2017 next week

Industry gears up for Confex 2017 next week

There is only one week to go until doors open at International Confex 2017!

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.
2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

Sarah Mayo, marketing director EMEA, Freeman and FreemanXP talks about her new role, playing golf with Westlife and the skills needed in our industry.

Latest News

N200|GES partners with Gleanin on socially-driven event registration

N200|GES partners with Gleanin on socially-driven event registration

Event registration, lead retrieval and event intelligence firm N200|GES has announced a strategic partnership with social software company Gleanin.
UBM sells Ecobuild

UBM sells Ecobuild

Futurebuild Events Ltd, which has been set up by Ecobuild brand director, Martin Hurn, has acquired Ecobuild from UBM.
Industry gears up for Confex 2017 next week

Industry gears up for Confex 2017 next week

There is only one week to go until doors open at International Confex 2017!

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.

Latest Opinions

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.