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interview EXHIBITION NEWSEXHIBITIONNEWS.CO.UKAPRIL 2011 21What's the common thread behindSingle Market Events shows?My forte and our main theme is that we createevents. Over the years, I have been responsiblefor coming up with 40 or more. I'm probablybest known for starting up the BBC Good FoodShows and I've been involved with LondonFashion Week for 20 years. We also created theBrand Licensing Show and the Bar Show. In recent years we've taken our formula andapplied it first to Australia and then Hong Kong.I was lucky in developing a series of Australianfood shows because I met Jamie Oliver, whowent out there just over 10 years ago for thefirst time to do a book tour and who told methat if we took Good Food Show out toAustralia, he'd come with us. Within a month,I'd met up with a former colleague out there topropose a joint venture [JV]. We took the UKmodel and staged the first Good Food Show inMelbourne. Jamie kept his word and came out,and 35,000 people came. At that stage, no onehad that kind of format out there. I wanted to do my own thing, rather than havea partnership, so I created Single Market Eventswith the idea of also doing the Affordable ArtFair internationally. We do the event in Sydneyand Melbourne and over the last 10 years havegradually grown the Australian business. Lastyear was our most successful year for launches. What are some of the latest showsyou've launched in Australia?We took The Baby and Toddler Show format toAustralia in 2010, first to Sydney, thenMelbourne, and we've recently announcedplans to take it to Perth and Brisbane. It wonBest Consumer Show at the Event andExhibition Association of Australia Awards lastyear, which was fantastic. Both shows haveshown growth of about 400 per cent. About three years ago, we entered into a JV withBrand Events and set-up Brand Events Australia.Up until a year ago, we owned 50 per cent of thebusiness and helped launch Taste of Sydney,Taste of Melbourne and Top Gear Australia. Last year we saw an opportunity to do anupmarket home show and launched BetterHomes and Gardens Live. That was hugelysuccessful with 28,000 people in Sydney. Wealso have an event in London called FashionLondon Weekend that's going to Australia. Wehave been invited to stage an event inconjunction with L'Oreal in Melbourne'sFashion Week in May and already operate anevent in Sydney. We also have Art Sydney and Art Melbourneand we are talking to two other companies abouttaking UK formats global. I spend 3-4 months ayear in Australia and have 30 staff there. Will you continue to launch shows inmultiple cities?One of the lessons we learnt is not to run beforeyou can walk. It's better to try and get a showwell bedded in and well established. You wantthe industry to ask you to take it somewhereelse. That's what happened with The Baby andToddler Show and Art. The big difference inAustralia is huge interest from the marketingcommunity in buying exhibitions as a medium.I think it's partly because exhibitors are gettingtheir return on investment: The cost ofexhibiting in the UK is much higher for anumber of reasons. But it's also becauseAustralians love face-to-face marketing: Theyenjoy it, they're very good at it and they workmuch harder on the stand and are proactiveabout generating leads. What's the split between Single MarketEvents' UK and international business?Sydney is bigger in terms of turnover andnumber of staff, but that's only because of therecession in the UK - there was no recession inAustralia. Off the back of Australia, we went intoHong Kong with the Affordable Art Fairs. Inthree years, it is the largest in Asia as quoted bythe Financial Times, and last year had 45,000visitors. It has given us the opportunity todevelop other business in Hong Kong. How important are JVs to you?JVs are important for getting to market quickerand sharing some of the risk. But one has to bevery open-minded about partnership andaccept they are a bit like a rocket ship - theyTim Etchellshas earnt a big reputation for developing show models. Hetalks to EN about his experience opening doors to international markets.Creative thinking