Asvibrant as it is, some commentators believe theEuropean exhibition market is quicklyapproaching saturation. Not only that, butfollowing the recession the emerging BRIC markets(Brazil, Russia, India and China) are beginning to lookmore tempting to organisers of international exhibitions.No matter which country you launch into, you will facechallenges. Breaking into a new market requires a lot ofpreparation and often a local partner. EWlooks at the best way to be prepared for aninternational launch. So, when do you know a show is ready to launch abroad?According to Roger Shashoua, chairman of Global MarketBrands, hands-on entrepreneurs who see a gap in a market can choose the timing themselves. "You must check therisk/reward ratio, forget to compete in Europe and be thefirst in a market where the majors are not active," he said."If you have excellent established brands then the showsare ready to be launched. Either you license them or youlaunch them in the biggest growing markets, like the BRICmarkets. Doing nothing is counter-productive."Shashoua says the risk of launching too early is minimal,and the long-term rewards will far outweigh the risks. "Onthe other hand," he continues, "the perils of launching lateare that your trademarks - no matter how well established- become obsolete or are taken over by others when thetrademarks expire or are copied under differentclassifications."For example, you may have trademark protection under'exhibitions' but another may use this trademark by filingunder classification of 'events'. The laws of India, Chinaand Brazil are vastly different from those of Europe.Trademarks in emerging countries expire after two yearsof non-usage so you can see the danger."Unlike Shashoua, ViParis' deputy director FlorentLatarjet believes there is still room for well thought outbrands to enter the European market, or at least the Parismarket. His company promotes Paris as a showdestination and helps organisers overcome the hurdles oflaunching in France."Many organisers might think that Paris' exhibitionmarket is saturated and difficult to enter," he says, "but itis an open and active market with around 100 operatingorganisers and an average of 30 launches every year."One distinction is the amount of freedom provided toorganisers when they hire an exhibition hall from us.Organisers can choose any suppliers they wish for set-up, cleaning, security etc, and this might be difficult forthose who are used to working with venues who don'tallow this. We can help you meet local networks ofcontractors and suppliers, sort out visas, and find dealswith hotels and transport."Feature| Exhibition World24| February 2011| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETCrossing the borderLike a plant, when a show swells to a large enough size it might send sporesto faraway places. Mike Trudeaulooks at the ways to find fertile ground and makeyour international garden grow.
Exhibition World | FeatureTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET25Where to?How do you decide where to go next? According to TheoLingmont, director of RAI International Exhibitions,organisers decide where to launch by first asking threequestions: "Is it a BRIC country? Is it a country where wealready have another international show? Do we have alocal partner?"First of all, you need a professional team with internationalfocus, knowledge of the industry and personal contact with themajor clients within that industry," Lingmont says."Furthermore, you need up-to-date market knowledge throughresearch, a professional local partner for a joint venture, acommunication and marketing plan, and a professionaloperational team that can support the local partners."Paul Dunne, MD of UK organiser Emap, says hiscompany is on the verge of internationalising. Late last yearsaw the launch of education technology show BETT MiddleEast, the company's first event outside the UK. This makesEmap perhaps the timeliest example of an organisermoving its brand into a totally new territory."We chose Abu Dhabi because they were willing tocommit," says Dunne. "When you are playing with a 27-year old brand, you have to make the least riskychoices. "In the Middle East and particularly in Abu Dhabi, they arelooking to raise their education technology to Westernstandards," he continues. "They had a stated objectivefrom Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, crownprince of Abu Dhabi, last year that he wanted to rebuild andrefurbish 300 schools in a year."This combination of political will, market demand andsupport from local authorities indicated a rich marketwaiting to be tapped.Mark Snell, group director of UBM Live, agrees thathaving local infrastructure in place is one of the biggestdeciding factors of where to launch a show. "You always start by size of prize," says Snell. "That'salways going to be the primary consideration. But also, doyou have the infrastructure and abilities to break into it?"UBM Live last year launched its Technology for Marketingand Advertising (TFM&A) brand in Shanghai, the firstedition of the show to take place outside the UK. As aninternational publisher and organiser, UBM already hasmore than 50 shows in China annually, so it has a goodfoothold for launching new products. However, the sheersize of China means it can support more than one of eachtype of show nationally, where multiple shows wouldquickly come into direct competition in the UK."It is where the majority of the marketing community is,"said Snell. "Shanghai is the business capital of China. Indiais the next port of call, and Brazil is an interesting market tous, so that will be looked at in 2012 or so."The basicsOnce you have identified a market and decided to goahead, how do you go about laying the groundwork forlaunch? This is the biggest question, and there are a fewthings you'd do well to look at before charging ahead."It isn't a question of size," says Messe Frankfurt chairmanWolfgang Marzin. "It has a lot more to do with having anefficient global sales network. We generally organise tradefairs where our subsidiaries are also located."It makes perfect sense to establish a subsidiary if a tradefair needs to be organised locally, for example. In additionto networking with local partners and associations, it issomething that is vital to organising our events optimallywhile also creating tailor-made interface points and tradingplatforms for all sorts of business relationships.""Doing your research is important," says Dunne. "It isn'tjust about market research; it's about looking for localcompetitors. They can be a real hindrance. It's also aboutunderstanding the lifecycle of the event." He adds that whileinternational competitors can be harder to take on from abrand point of view, local competitors tend to have more local| February 2011|Roger ShashouaMark Snell"If you have excellent establishedbrands then the shows are ready tobe launched. Either you license themor you launch them in the biggestgrowing markets. Doing nothing iscounter-productive."