Exhibition News April 2019 - Page 30

Feature A nyone who follows Ed Tranter on social media might be unsurprised to learn that his first major launch as an independent organiser is The Rugby Show, taking place at Ricoh Arena. “I’ve been a passionate rugby fan for some time, which is fairly well documented,” he agrees. EN is meeting with Tranter at International Confex to learn more about life after three years as managing director of MA Exhibitions, where he grew Mark Allen Group’s exhibition business from a handful of events to a thriving international portfolio of trade shows. Tranter’s reason for leaving MA Exhibitions was simple: family. “I decided I was going to leave MA Exhibitions largely 6based on my children,” he tells EN. “Being in Dubai or Miami sounds very glamourous and is a lot of fun but I’m fond of my children and actually want to see them. “With all the growth at MA Exhibitions that clearly wasn’t going to happen. You need to draw a line and so I did. Once I decided to do that, I had to think about what I was going to do.” After leaving MA Exhibitions, Tranter started consulting, but was eager to get back to creating and running events. “At my core I’m an organiser,” he says. “I launch and run events, that’s what I do and that’s what I love to do. I love the energy that 30 — April A new test Ed Tranter, founder of 73 Media, on tackling a consumer show with the launch of The Rugby Show Ed Tranter the industry has, I love the creativity, I love the fact that we can innovate and take things that don’t exist and turn them into a living, breathing organism.” He had two main reservations when it came to starting work on The Rugby Show: no other shows existed to serve that market and his own passion for the subject matter. “The first thing you think is ‘there must be a reason why no one’s done it’,” he explains. “Then you remember that actually that’s what everyone thought about everything you’ve ever launched, and yet you launch it and it works. “The second is, if you really love something, you have to think, ‘am I doing this because I love it or is there a business here?’. You have to have a transactional value to your audience coming in; if you fill a hall with exhibitors they expect to see something, not just people walking around in rugby shirts who aren’t going to buy anything.” The answer was to approach the launch in much the same way that he would approach a trade event. “Everything starts with research,” Tranter explains. “The research has been slightly painstaking and very involved. “I look back and when I played club rugby we would start drinking as soon as the game finished. That was the culture. For this new generation it’s about fitness and body care and mindfulness, all the stuff that never crossed