Exhibition World | FeatureTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET27support and are therefore more deeply entrenched."Getting local support is important," he says. "That can befrom market trade bodies, government agencies or othergroups and associations that operate in the chosen market."Law and custom"Every country has different regulations, tax structures,work permit requirements and more important legalconsiderations," says Shashoua. "The rule of law isdebatable and enforceability seldom succeeds whilepersonal relationships tend to be more important inachieving results than contractual obligations. This is themain reason why big exhibition groups rely on acquiring anexisting locally-operating exhibition company at asubstantial price as the preferred route, using the localcompany as the launching pad for their other titles."Having a local office will make your job much easier.Local employees will know local law and custom, befamiliar with the tax system and have routes aroundgovernment issues. Depending on the country, having alocal office can help you overcome barriers to entry likesupplier rates and international taxes."There are two ways of internationally launching," saysDunne. "The first is cloning and taking an existing brandoverseas. The risk here is the possibility of damaging anestablished brand. The second way is creating a newevent, in which case the risk is that it doesn't have a trackrecord so it might not work."Conventional wisdom says launches are loss-making butI don't believe that. With the first option you are more likelyto make a profit than with the second. I say you don't dosomething unless you can make some money out of it."Research is probably the single most important factor toDunne. Not only does he emphasise researching the targetmarket, but also everyday things people take for granted."You have got to take into account tradition, public andschool holidays, religious events, and even the weather,"he says. "You don't want to try to launch a show in themiddle of monsoon season!"As a company, ITE Group is an old hand at launchingshows into other territories. "One of the benefits of ournetwork of offices is that we can launch locally-run eventstoo," says ITE head of marketing, Richard Wightman. "It isnot easy to organise an event from a remote location in acompetitive market. That's one of the reasons whyinternational organisers who do not have an establishedpresence in our territories chose to partner rather thancompete with us."It is impossible to say which is the best method forlaunching an event in new regions or countries. Issuessuch as the competitive environment, brand quality, marketconditions and the cultural fit between potential partnersare all very influential. We do have a preference for workinglocally and supporting globally, but whether this is actingindependently, or with a local partner, depends on anumber of variable factors." To sum up, research and infrastructure are the two mostimportant aspects of launching a show abroad. Differentcountries can vary from the established UK norms at everystep of the way, and having extensive on-the-groundresearch will help you foresee and plan for any gnarly legal,cultural or bureaucratic stumbling blocks.Also, although it isn't impossible to launch into a newcountry without a local office, it appears to help immensely.If you don't have this luxury, look for support from localauthorities or trade bodies.With unprecedented growth in the BRIC markets, the timeis right for looking at how to cut yourself a slice of that big,piping-hot pie.| February 2011|Florent LatarjetPaul Dunne"You always start by size of prize.That's always going to be theprimary consideration. But also, do you have the infrastructure andabilities to break into it?"
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