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Welcomewww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 5EditorialPublishing Director Liz AgostiniManaging Editor Nadia Cameron Deputy Editor Antony Reeve-CrookStaff Writer Domenic DonatantoniodigitalOnline Editor Sarah O'DonnellAdvertising Manager Jamie LininSubScriptionSCirculation Executive Tim Pardingtonproduction & dESign Production Manager Luke SpaldingDesigner Sarah GarlandProduction Assistant Julia Ball contact uSSubscriptions 020 8971 8268Editorial 020 8971 8292Sales 020 8971 8265 Production 020 8971 8272Published by Mash Media 4th Floor, Sterling House6-10 St George's Road London SW19 4DPTel: +44 (0)20 8971 82821 year's subscription cost is UK £95+VAT p/a Europe £112+VAT ROW £130+VAT.Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publishers.Printed by Pensord Press Ltd. unning an exhibition in the caravan industry - if you're not an association - is a tricky business right now.The latest casualty of the dispute between organiser and association is Ocean Media, which was forced to cancel its 50-year-old Boat and Caravan Show in Birmingham.The organiser announced the historic decision with sadness, its CEO Trevor Barratt said. By all accounts, Ocean found itself in an untenable situation because it lost the backing of six key manufacturers and subsequently the support of their dealers to exhibit. The show has been hanging under a cloud since the National Caravan Council (NCC) announced its intention to start organising exhibitions again and launch a rival London show to Clarion's October International Caravan and Motorhome exhibition at The NEC. The NCC's proposal triggered a succession of events, the first being Clarion's decision to cut its losses and hand over its October Birmingham show and tenancy to the association. This backing down sparked fears for Ocean's February caravan show.Although Ocean fought for and was able to retain its NEC tenancy, the debut of NCC's London show in the week before Ocean's February event, plus the success of its October exhibition, changed the dynamic considerably. And as any organiser will know, once you've lost your top handful of exhibitors, the show is at risk of redundancy. There is no doubt Clarion and Ocean are well-respected exhibition organisers, but I have to give some credit to NCC for running a successful event in October at The NEC. The association had the support of key players in the market and responded to consumer requests to reduce ticket prices. As a result, it recorded a 22,000 visitor increase. But just because the NCC has the manufacturers on-board, does this mean visitors who would go to Ocean's show in Birmingham will happily traipse down to London come February? Or will they choose Clarion's Manchester show in January? I can't help wondering if this situation could have been avoided and the industry better off had all sides had been able to find a way forward together. From NCC's perspective, there were significant long-term concerns with the organisers holding exhibitions for its industry including rising costs for exhibitors and visitors. For the organisers, a lot of power in the hands of six manufacturers made things difficult even when so many other associated product and services providers were behind their events. The caravan industry isn't the only industry where this could happen. The threat of trade associations deciding they don't need third-party exhibition organisers anymore is very real. So what should organisers be doing? Clearly, your relationship with the industry and your exhibitors has to be constantly reviewed, improved and adapted depending on market needs and circumstances. But is there more to do? I welcome more of your thoughts on this issue and ways our industry can move forward successfully. Unfortunately, NCC isn't the only issue Ocean has had to deal with. As this edition goes to press, we await news of who Ocean's next owners will be. Indications are that the core exhibition business will remain intact, so here's hoping the solution to the group's longstanding debt paves the way to a more successful 2012.The threat of trade associations deciding they don't need organisers is realNADIA CAMERON MANAGING EDITORncameron@mashmedia.netFINDING A BETTER WAy FORWARDr