page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48

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

EXHIBITION NEWSinterview22APRIL 2011EXHIBITIONNEWS.CO.UKare great to launch, but there comes a pointwhen you need to jettison the launch vehicle. Many of your current shows areconsumer - will you launch trade shows?At the moment we don't have any in theportfolio but it's not because we don't want todo them; it's just that the right opportunityhasn't arisen. We currently find ourselves witha consumer show focus. We tend to findwhen we get into a particular sector, such asfood, that we look to do other things withinthat sector. To what extent has your approachchanged over the years?You've always got to remember that events arevisitor-led. You have to ask yourself: Why is thevisitor coming? Often it's because they want agreat day out and therefore you need features.But you also have to create a market place forexhibitors to sell. It's making sure you get theright balance. How long do you hold onto shows?There have been one or two I've actively sold,but I'm pleased to say most times people havecome to us to buy them. I've been quite open-minded about selling shows and nine times outof 10 if I get approached and the money isright, then I'll sell it. The problem when you sellshows is you potentially rip the guts out of arelatively small business; you certainly take abig chunk of revenue out and you've still gotstaff and overheads. It can take a year or two toget the business back up to the level it wasbefore you sold them. There's also noguarantee that the new products you bring inare going to work. I've had failures and I'mhappy to admit those - some of those havebeen expensive and painful.Is it better to acquire or launch today?In the old days, people would just buy a showbecause it was a good idea and they wanted tobuy profits. Those days are long gone andpeople are much more strategic. There aren'tmany players these days who don't thinkglobally. In my mind, there's no point inlaunching a show in one territory unless youcan take it somewhere else. Thinking globally does present a host ofnew challenges. Our UK industry does prettywell globally. There are people like Clarionwith global businesses, and ITE Groupoperates in some risky territories. You have tospend time in the territories - there is no wayyou're going to build a big business sitting inLondon. You also have to be realistic aboutthe price you can get for a show - themultiples aren't what they used to be. But Ibelieve there are always opportunities for abright idea. There's possibly moreopportunity right now.The big overseas 5 135Art HK: The Hong KongInternational Art FairHong KongAnnual event, launched 200845,000 visitorsBetter Homes and Gardens:Sydney, AustraliaAnnual event, launched 201028,000 visitorsThe Baby and Toddler Show:Sydney, AustraliaAnnual event, launched 2010 15,000 visitorsThe Baby and Toddler Show:Melbourne, AustraliaAnnual event, launched 201014,000 visitorsArt Melbourne:Melbourne, AustraliaAnnual event, launched 200312,000 visitors24What's the toughest part of building abrand experience?I've always been a great believer in creatinggreat graphic identities. The title of the show isalso very important and has to be somethingpeople can identify with. When we startedRSVP, it was about corporate parties. I wasn'tgoing to call it The Corporate Party Show. In the early days, you have to spend adisproportionate amount on marketing to raiseawareness. Our shows are brands; theproblem we have is they're brands that onlyappear once a year. That is the industry'schallenge: To sustain brand value throughoutthe year. What is the difference between eventsand exhibitions?An event has to have a broader base ofcontent. In most cases, there are two types ofshows: What I call a market place, like SpringFair or the Toy Fair, where the retailer or thebuyer comes to source the product and placesthe order. That to me is an exhibition - a fewfeatures but in the main a market place. Wherethere's a problem is the 'looksy', feel-goodshows where the order pad doesn't come out.Yes, inquiries are taken, but no real business isdone. We try now to launch shows with atangible business element to them. What is the biggest challenge facing theexhibition industry?In the UK, the industry has got to do much moreto restore the marketing community'sconfidence in exhibitions as a good medium.There are far too many marketing managers,directors and executives who don't takeexhibitions seriously enough and that level hasincreased in the last few years. I don't know howmany UK shows have folded in the last couple ofyears, but it's got to run into the low hundreds,which can only mean it's because the exhibitingcommunity doesn't want to support it. Thatcomes back to finding a good ROI. While I have total admiration for themanagement of various exhibition centres inthe UK, I still think several are in denial abouttheir location, facilities and what they can do tomake them sexier. What are your top priorities for the next12 months?I'd like to look back at the end of the year andsay we've cemented our position as one of thelargest consumer organisers in Australia with astronger portfolio of shows and a greatreputation. We have 14 now; I'd like to see uswith 20 shows in two years. We are also closeto launching 2 or 3 additional shows in HongKong and the establishment of something inSingapore would also make me happy. At thesame time, we'll maintain the UK business andkeep an eye on what we can do here. EN