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EXHIBITION NEWSfeatureTrade associations and exhibitionorganisers can be great partners. Bysupporting an event, an association cangive access to industry-leading exhibitors,provide market insight and influence theirmembers to attend. In return, associationsget the benefits of experienced exhibitionveterans, not to mention a terrific opportunityfor broader branding and publicity.However, things can go sour. In the last year,we've seen a number of examples of industryassociations taking events out of the hands ofprivate organisers, or withdrawing theirpartnerships and launching their own show.For an organiser, suddenly losing the supportof the association can be like having thecarpet pulled out from under you.You've seen several of these covered in ENin the last year or so. The gaming,construction, diving and caravanningexhibition landscapes have all undergonesignificant changes due in part to theorganiser's relationship with associations.One association which hugely impacted thefate of an exhibition comes from within the UKgaming industry. Clarion bought AmusementTrades Exhibition (ATEi) from Britishamusement industry BACTA in 2006, signing athree-year, non-compete agreement. However,when that had expired, the association cameswooping back and launched a directlycompetitive event in 2009. The decision split the market and resulted inClarion holding ICE Totally Gaming at EarlsCourt and catering to the bigger-game casinomarket, while BACTA occupied the electronicgaming market with the EAG Expo at ExcelLondon.Late last year, Dive Magazinegot the incentiveit needed to launch The Big Scuba Show atLondon Olympia after gaining the support ofthe British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). TheAssociations are stepping up to the plate and organising their own events.Should organisers be alarmed? MIKE TRUDEAU assesses the threat. 24APRIL 2011EXHIBITIONNEWS.CO.UKassociationHonourby