Exhibition News October 2017 - Page 35

FEATURE Global goals Germany Stephen Brooks, chairman and owner, Mack Brooks Exhibition Group: The infrastructure and quantity of venue space there is greater than anywhere else bar China. The attitude towards Germany has changed, the opportunities are there for medium-sized privately owned companies to do well, if you’ve got a niche product. And culturally speaking Central Europeans love exhibitions. The Messes are the best venues in the world. Austen Hawkins, managing director, f2f events: We launched a consumer show, Allergy and Free From, after we talked to a number of venues. One of them took our business plan, immediately launched against us and went after all our partners. We opened a vegetarian show, only the second one in Germany of any size and within six months ten more had launched against us! I think there’s now 20... there’s been many many magpies. The lesson we learned was that we didn’t tie our partners down to exclusive contracts hard enough. According to the AEO, events companies in the UK are ‘number one’ in the world when it comes taking ideas and new launches overseas. At the recent AEO Conference, a panel shared their knowledge of exploring new territories in ‘Culture shock – international experiences’ We see a lot of opportunity, but also the aforementioned challenges. A good 60% of our business is still in the Middle East... it’s always political in the region – people ask how long will it last? the answer is we don’t know! Kate Chambers, managing director, Clarion Gaming: The portfolio I manage is largely regulated, so we’ll go to any well- regulated countries. This year we’ve taken the plunge with a big event in Johannesburg. It was a case of ‘if we don’t take the opportunity, someone else will’. “Get certain things wrong and you can kill a show” There’s the opportunity there to reach out into Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda etc. People see South Africa as a gateway to the continent. Incidentally, South Africa is internationally recognised as one of the safest countries to fl y into at the moment! Far East and rest of world... Africa and the Middle East Chris Hudson, president dmg events: dmg is well established throughout the Middle East and much of North Africa. Iran was, for us, a ‘market of opportunity’. However, it’s also a risk. Sanctions, clearing money from that region can be diffi cult, for instance. CH: We thought Japan was a completely alien market where no-one speaks English, but that was absolute rubbish, it’s one of the best markets we’ve been to on the planet to do business. Our costs in Japan were incredibly high, probably the highest ever, of anywhere, especially for services. However, taking our show there was one of the best experiences for our customers. The takeaway for us was that none of things we worried about turned out to be true. English is spoken, the venues are great, the service is brilliant – you just pay more! We also made a mistake or two. We launched in the middle of cherry blossom season – the most expensive time to stay in Tokyo! But the team stayed on for two weeks afterwards and did Mount Fuji. We’re really big fans of Japan. KC: We went into Brazil and built a team there but the event itself was run from the UK. There were some suprises. Who knew they always play the national anthem before you open the conference? If we hadn’t had a local offi ce we wouldn’t have known and could have been embarrassing. SB: British organisers have done well, not because we always get our cultural adaptations right, because we don’t. It’s because we are regarded as polite, accommodating and seen as trying to do the right thing. We’re quite attuned to etiquette and I think that takes you a long way. There are a lot of faux pas potentially, many of them won’t, but there are ones that can kill your show… such as opening hours! Get that wrong and you kill a show. Trouble is these things can vary by degrees, by place, by sector. In Turkey for instance there are a lot of different open/shut hours, depending on who you ask. You’ll never get it all right, but you live and learn. Again, it’s that the Brits are good at apologising and getting it right next time. Having problems with your email marketing? We’ve listened. Let us help you deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. We’ve launched JET Connect - cutting-edge email marketing software featuring a wide range of intuitive tools to build dynamic emails that improve the deliverability of your campaigns and simplify the management of your data. Call 01865 892345 or visit www.jonas.events exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2017 35