EXHIBITION NEWS May 2017 - Page 15

NEWS AGENDA: When did exhibitions become so popular? Beware the speculator, says Justin Craig, joint managing director at LiveBuzz, as he speculates that the industry risks becoming the latest plaything for VCs R ecently, I’ve been receiving more and more speculative approaches from venture capitalists (VC) interested in taking a stake in our business. Maybe I should be fl attered. Increasingly however, these calls are giving me cause for concern regarding how our industry risks becoming the latest plaything for the investment community, full of new companies geared for rapid build and exit, and not focused on client needs. I don’t quite know how or when the events sector became so attractive to investors. It’s probably got a lot to do with the amount of valuable, proprietary technology swirling around in the sector nowadays; something which has turned event technology into an industry sub-sector in its own right. But when I see the number of companies making big noises about the amount of investment behind their latest game-changing technology, I get nervous. The relentless promotional blurb, backed by investment mega-bucks, does our industry no favours. I ascribe to the old-fashioned business model approach: Deliver a product or service that somebody needs, and do it in a profi table fashion. If an event-related technology is good enough, it will be profi table within a year or two. Yet investment funds are now propping up new technologies which, I think, are struggling to be profi table. I understand the approach; VCs are speculators looking for the latest sector on the cusp of a growth explosion. But I fV"F@FV"&W6V6R6VBW6WBFRWVƖ'&VЦbW"6V7F"6fFV6RW7Fr&fVFV6vW26VB&RVFW&֖VB@fV&R6W"W'2vFFRGW7G'6VBfVVFR6B&V6W6PWfVB&v6W'>( VG2&RGW&VB'7V'7FFVG2b&F7FfGf"FV6vW2v6fRWfW"WBGW&V@&fBखb6RbFW6RFV6vW2F7V'6WVVFǒ&VVfBg&FRfW7FV@BvRFW7F&Ɨ6FV6VfW2FP7G&VWfVG2666W6W72FVf VVvऒFFWv7G'VvvRGvg&G0FVvf'7FǒW&RFV6w6fBFPWfVG2GW7G'&BF7&6vBV'06R7G&vFf'v&BƖV"&6W70FR7W&f6R( 2V6RWfVBfFPVR7B6r( 227&VF&ǒ6WF66ƖRvF6V6vr&VBFP66VW2R6'WFV6w'WBP6( B'WFR&WV&VBGW7G'6vB@WW&V6RFBB7V66W76gVǒBFPFW'6V7FbFV6v6v&G'@GW7G'rֆr2vW&RRRW &v6V6FǒvFd27FW"F֖w0B&F26vRfW7FVB( 2BFP&WV&VVBFFVƗfW"6'BFW&&WGW&( 0'&w2vR7B`&W77W&RvFB@6vW2FRFV66Цr&6W72FrvN( 2&W7Bf"FP'W6W72B66VW&FVB&FR&V6W2FP&&G&FW"FFrvN( 2&W7Bf"FP6ƖVBvV&6vR'VBW"ƗfT'WFV6w&6FB6RFB7VFV@W2vRBFfFRBfW7BvPvr66frFVvv^( &R7F7VFrfW"3W"6VBbGW&fW"W"&W6V&6BFWfVVB7FfFW2vPFRBv&BvRFRB&fF&R6'B&V6W6RvRWfW"BFW@W'6VfW2vv&B6FW&VǒFVWF&B'G&W67FrFRfW7FVBF"2&CvWBFB'WBFvR&67&VFrWfVG0FV6wfW7FVB'V&&Rv6vVগB'W'7G226W&W2&֖f6F2f"FPVƗGbFRWfVG2vRVFFVƗfW#76&ǒ7FFR6frw&6RFVvVB&PFR&W6V6RbfWr&&v2&VBf FW&W7FVBG&FR'WW'26RFRfW7F 6VG( 2gVG2BvGv&VvF'V66&6Rञ( BG'rFFƲFvFR&7V7G0bfW7FVB&6VBf&2W"6V7F"6RvRBv&( 2BvBV6FFV'WBFW&^( 2vrF&RB&P6RFR&WB&WBFRFW7B6琧FV6wffW&w2WfVB&v6W'2vfRFV"VG2GW&VBW7V6ǒ6R`FRWvW"W2FBvƗGFW'22Bv@FVvVWWRWBf"FRFV6vW0FBfR&VG&fVBFV"v'FFN( 0W7BvBBf6V@'W6W726V6RW&FWw26V#p