Exhibition News March 2019 - Page 71

Julian Agostini True innovation The Mash Media MD looks for the next industry-defining product that will change the face of exhibitions M “Where’s the punk rock of the contracting industry? Who has the appetite and bravery to turn us around?” ost people enjoy receiving a text message. Unlike email, where we are hit from all angles, texts are still relatively personal and come from within our chosen circles. That’s why it feels like a note from the executioner when the text turns out to be from your dentist, reminding you that you are due for a check-up…urgh! It’s possible that I hate the dentist even more now than I did as a child. At least in those days it meant a late start at school or early finish, but now there are no saving graces. The whole experience is still uncomfortable, time-consuming, temporary and inconvenient and there is now resentment added to the mix, borne out of the fact that nothing much seems to have changed in 50 years that I’ve been going. We are blessed to live in dynamic times; a change a minute, everything is delivered at pace. Human nature makes us invent to take away problems and to make it better for the next generation. If there is something that causes us grief, then we create something to make our lives that little bit more comfortable, be it a dishwasher or calculator, sat nav, email, or a clothes folder (I’m not joking about that last product). Perhaps it’s that pace of change that emphasises the fact that dentistry seems to have remained in the era of the caveman. The human race can split an atom, or perform keyhole surgery, but our teeth are still subjected to a high-pitched drill or yanked out by glorified plyers; plaque continues to be scraped away by an iron age tool and your dentist persists, even now, in asking you stupid questions during a procedure when you can’t possibly form an intelligible answer. Of course, there have been improvements – better tooth retention, whitening and other cosmetic procedures – but nothing on the scale that it should have been over the last half century. There is no alternative, however. The changes and developments have to come from within the industry and then competition drives it faster. There aren’t many areas of my world that have developed so slowly over the last 50 years, with perhaps one unfortunate exception. In December last year, Richard Armitage, who completely revolutionised shell scheme and therefore exhibitions in the UK with Octanorm, was rightly recognised as an industry legend and given a special award at the EN Elite Awards. He and I discussed how Octanorm was still fundamental to the industry all these years on and that in fact very little had changed…that’s not a good thing. Octanorm pleased the eye, removed pain, cut man-hours, saved money for the contractor and organiser, made life easier for exhibitors etc., we’ve had nothing to make anything near that impact since. Where’s the punk rock of the contracting industry, who has the appetite and bravery to turn us around? Our industry – here in the UK – is the best in the world. Our organisers are the most ingenious by miles, our contractors are renowned and in demand all over the world, so if any country is going to create waves and redefine the look of an exhibition it’s the UK. So, EN is on the lookout for anything that rocks our world. If you have an innovation, we’ll write about it and I’ll even give you a free stand at Confex Future Focus; that’s how much I’m committed to the cause. You could say I’d give my teeth for a fresh idea that excites our industry. March — 71