INDUSTRY VIEWwww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 37RECESSION, RIOTS AND THE RESURGENCE OF THE AEVAEV's outgoing chair Graham Stephenson shares his impression of how the exhibition industry has developed during his tenure and why collaboration is more important than everhave been very fortunate to hold the position of chair for the AEV during the past two years. My term of offi ce will have ended by the time you read this article. They have been equally challenging and exciting times. We have the Olympic Games almost upon us; the single biggest event to take place in the UK. It is one most of us will remember and opens business opportunities we are all seeking to embrace. From conversations within the AEV, we seem to have been very successful securing Olympic events for many of our member venues throughout the UK. Yet we have also seen the challenges of civil unrest in many of our major cities. This has gone hand-in-hand with a deepening recession and widespread spending cuts. All of this will, no doubt, have an effect upon the industry in some form or other. They make uncomfortable bedfellows at a time when we will be the focus of attention on a global scale.But crucially for the AEV, it is how the association used its resources and member commitment to deliver key benefi ts for members throughout these times that has shone through. When I began my tenure, the board took the decision to go 'back to basics'. We looked at what we delivered and greater steps forward and more quickly than if they acted alone. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the cross-association technical committees where collaboration has been sought to grapple with the ever-complex electrical issues. Our most recently formed working group for instance is looking at Wi-Fi connectivity at exhibitions and how the industry can collectively overcome shortfalls in this area.In addition, having an association security working group has never been more relevant. With the Olympics drawing near, the eyes of the world will be focused on this country and its event venues and health and safety must be of the utmost standard. To have a platform allowing venues to address issues of day-to-day security as well as larger scale one-off events provides great comfort when the need arises. The group is well connected into the appropriate channels. The AEV is in a strong position with record levels of engagement and participation. Being chair has been a challenging role but it's also been fun, engaging and full of great people. I pass on the role to The NEC's MD Kathryn James with confi dence we will continue to go from strength to strength.IStronger collaboration enables AEV members to take greater steps forwardwhat the members valued then focused on doing more of the same.The 'basics' we performed well were twofold: Saving members time and money, and generating a sense of community for the UK event venues and with our sister associations the AEO and ESSA. These have remained our primary drivers and the engagement from members has proven the decision to sharpen our focus on both correct.Another area of achievement is discussion. In 2008, the AEV was running three working groups that met fi ve times annually and engaged 58 individuals from member venues. There are now double the number of working groups in place. These have met 13 times so far this year with 168 individuals participating. This participation has been UK-wide following our decision to hold various meetings and groups at venues across the country - something that's especially important when we are being looked at collectively in light of the Olympics.Saving time and money has never been more important to all organisations than in economic times such as these. With shared knowledge and best practices, we can help reduce costs. Having stronger collaboration has enabled AEV members to take
BUSINESS CLINIC38 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukothing stands still for very long in the global exhibition industry. The leading organisers in the mature economies of the US and Western Europe are on their guard against nimbler, smarter and more focused events launched by upstart competitors. The largest consumer event in the UK, Ideal Home Show, took a battering from the newer and fresher Grand Designs Live (GDL). This ultimately resulted in the acquisition of Ideal Home Show by GDL organiser Media 10. We have also seen Emap's Interbuild collapse after a long, slow death in the face of David Wood's sexier green building show Ecobuild. This was then acquired by UBM.AMR believes there are other industry sectors where dominant events have become stale and where the organisers are vulnerable to attack from someone with a newer, smarter model. In their defence, some of the biggest events are pouring money into 'content' - animation, visitor attraction and entertainment. Emap for example is pumping £1m into Spring Fair International and REFUSING TO STAND STILLNIn his fi rst column for EN, John Pringle from AMR International analyses the state of the exhibition industry and organisersorganisers continue to experiment with all things digital mainly as a supplement to existing exhibition brands. Increasingly, digital events appear to be covering their costs. Organisers will continue to look for the model that generates signifi cant additional profi t, while upstarts may also consider digital launches against tired incumbents. Serious growth in mature economies is possible by targeting emerging market sectors. Hot industry topics with burgeoning events potential are green building, green energy and Internet retailing. 'Matchmaking events' are another way forward: Clever events enabled by good customer data that facilitate the matchmaking of exhibitors and visitors pre-show. These events focus on the quality and seniority of visitors and push the revenue model away from traditional stand space towards meeting rooms, networking and sponsorship.Private equity seems to have gone a bit quiet in the exhibition industry and those who paid high multiples for a number of major portfolios pre-recession now fi nd themselves struggling to justify the investment. There are exceptions, of course, with Providence Private Equity in the US paying a multiple of several for Daily Mail and General trust's (DMGT) New York Gift Fair and the wider George Little Management portfolio in August. In contrast, the biggest organisers are falling over each other to grab a slice of the booming exhibition industry in high growth markets such as Brazil, China and the Gulf. AMR's Globex report (the global exhibition organising market: Assessment and forecast to 2015) forecasts exhibition growth in some 'emerging' economies will average nearly 10 per cent annually to 2015.The push is being made both through acquisition and geocloning. Among those with a penchant for acquisition is Informa, which paid a multiple in the low teens for Brasil Trade Shows Partners Participacoes (BTS) to get a foothold in Brazil. But even in these markets, the ground is shifting under foot. There is a trend away from traditional manufacturing export events towards shows with more of a retail/consumer focus. And organisers are beginning to explore the next tier of emerging economies in anticipation of the next China or Brazil. Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and others are on the radar and receiving attention from the major players.With all this happening, it is a good time to be a strategy fi rm focusing on the exhibition sector!- John Pringle is a director of strategy consultancy group AMR International and heads up the company's events team. AMR believes there are other industry sectors where dominant events have become stale. UK HR professionals use workshops, manager coaching and special projects to develop their leaders. UK organisations are higher users of these than the global average. . Coaching from internal mentors is more widely accepted and utilised by UK leaders (48 per cent) than those worldwide (45 per cent).. Computer-based learning such as web-based training (37 per cent) and virtual classrooms (22 per cent) are used less frequently by UK leaders than leaders across the globe.. Only 20 per cent of HR professionals in the UK rate their ability to fi ll vacant leadership positions (bench strength) as strong or very strong.. 81 per cent of leaders in the UK reported individual performance expectations were tied to corporate goals and strategies.. 57 per cent of UK leaders reported performance management systems took into account not only what but how their objectives were achieved.KEY FINDINGSEFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP Just one third of UK leaders rate the quality of leadership as above average in their own organisations, a new report claims.The latest research from talent management consultancy DDI and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK Highlights: Global Leadership Forecast found 36 per cent of UK leaders and 18 per cent of UK HR professionals rate the quality of leadership as 'high' in their organisations. Despite this, 20 per cent of leaders and 24 per cent of HR professionals rate their leadership programmes as ineffective.The survey was based on responses from 56 HR professionals and 367 leaders in the UK, which was then compared to 12,423 leaders surveyed worldwide. Three key leadership skills were identifi ed to ensure success in the next three years:. Driving and managing change (according to 69 per cent of leaders);. Making diffi cult decisions (according to 34 per cent);. Executing organisation strategy (according to 32 per cent).Three drivers of leadership quality were also highlighted in the fi ndings: Leadership development, talent management and management culture."Leadership development budgets remain tight, particularly in the UK, yet effective leaders make a real difference to the success of organisations," said CIPD head of HR practice development Vanessa Robinson. "If UK organisations are to continue to be successful on the world stage, then leaders need to be equipped with the key skills that our survey identifi ed." According to CIPD, UK organisations should focus on opening up decision making in their organisation and creating a set of shared and meaningful values for their employees. Talent should be another important focus. The institute claimed effective succession, or 'grow-your-own' tactics, will be increasingly important given the signifi cantly high failure rate of external hires nationally. DDI MD Steve Newhall said the fi ndings were not surprising given the massive pressures leaders faced during the recession. "The report tells us that leadership really does matter and good leadership makes an immense difference to the success of the organisation," he said.