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Exhibition World | News Analysis THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET| April 2010| 9 UBM finds its form U nited Business Media's ties in the emerging markets have helped stem the decline in its events business. According to company results for the year ended 31 December 2009, the company's events business saw revenues drop by just 1.5 per cent, a fraction of the decline experienced by its competitors. By comparison, Reed Exhibitions experienced a year-on- year revenue downturn of 21 per cent, and Informa saw a revenue decline of 27 per cent. Overall revenue for the organiser and media company declined by almost £ 40m to £ 847.6m, and adjusted operating profit dropped to £ 171.2m from £ 173.5m, but UBM's events division now accounts for 51 per cent of adjusted operating profits, up on 47 per cent the previous year. The company attributes the halt in events business decline in part to a " very strong" second half of the year in terms of biennial trade show performance, with revenues up 55 per cent on 2007. David Levin, the company's CEO, said UBM has " reshaped" its businesses towards market opportunities " that provide sustainable growth revenue streams". He explains that much of UBM's effort over the past year was in progressing the company's long- term strategy to build its business in emerging economies. The strategy, he claims, is proving successful. China, India and Brazil now contribute more than a fifth of UBM's adjusted operating profits and nearly 14 per cent of its revenues, representing revenue and adjusted operating profit growth of more than 35 per cent. The company has also further engaged its virtual leanings with the relaunch of Comdex, its technology exhibition. TechWeb, a division of UBM, has announced the revival of the exhibition, taking place on 16 - 17 November, on UBM's Everything Channel website. The site offers technology marketers a link to global brands and market intelligence, and viewers will be able to interact with online content, or other online participants, as they would at a face- to- face event. The last Comdex was held in Las Vegas in 2003. At its peak, the exhibition boasted 2,300 IT industry exhibitors and 200,000 visitors. Many of the media company's greatest strides are being made in China, where regional division UBM Asia is teaming up with its Chinese exhibition organising arm United Business Media's exhibitions arm unveiled a number of initiatives in 2010 that have helped it out- perform its competitors. UBM Trust to help develop signage exhibition, Sign China 2010. Established in 2003, Sign China has grown alongside China's advertising market, which increased its value 13.5 per cent to US$ 74bn last year, according to CTR market research statistics. President and CEO of UBM Asia, Jime Essink, says the joint venture continues UBM's strategy of " focusing on sectors and markets with exciting growth potential." The partners of UBM Trust made it clear that its intention is to use the new joint venture as a platform for further business development in China and beyond. UBM Trust MD, David Tang, says the event will now take further advantage of UBM's global reach and professional show management expertise to become " an important catalyst for the development and upgrading of China's advertising industry". In the UK, UBM events division UBM Live has bought E Commerce Expo to boost its presence in the e- commerce, Internet retailing and digital marketing sectors. The media giant paid an initial cash consideration of £ 0.6m for the event. ECE, which last year attracted 4,000 attendees, covers all aspects of e- commerce including acquisition, conversion, fulfillment and retention. The two- day event generated revenue of £ 0.8m last year. David Levin Comdex goes virtual

US View| Exhibition World A bill signed into law on 4 March by President Obama is aimed at boosting international business and leisure travel to the United States. The Travel Promotion Act calls for creating an 11- member board to develop and implement a global marketing campaign and also educate international travellers about the visa application process. Unlike many other nations, the United States never had a national travel promotion board. The new law aims to reverse the downward slide of global travel to the States. In 2009, the US drew 2.4 million fewer visitors from overseas than in 2000, a hit to the US economy of roughly $ 509bn in total spending and $ 32bn in direct tax receipts, according to the US Travel Association ( USTA), which lobbied for passage of the legislation. Oxford Economics, a UK- based consulting firm, estimates the initiative could draw nearly 1.6 million new visitors each year to the US and generate 40,000 jobs. Trade shows held in January showed signs of good growth in attendance but lagged in net square feet and exhibitor counts, according to the TSE Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics, released 1 March. Based on the 18 major shows held in January and surveyed by TSE, attendance grew 4.2 per cent to a total of 571,236 participants. However, the benchmark for exhibit space slid 14.9 per cent to 6,738,625 nsf and exhibitors fell 5.3 per cent to 17,609. However, there are continuing questions about whether attendance growth is sustainable. Joblessness is still a major obstacle to a full recovery in both the economy and exhibition industry. The legendary COMDEX will make a comeback this fall as a virtual trade show produced by Everything Channel, a United Business Media company. COMDEX was known to draw up to 200,000 attendees and 2,300 exhibitors in its heyday. At the height of Washington's February blizzard, we saw an example of the potential of social media and the tech- savvy trade show industry: A group of snowbound attendees threw together an impromptu conference to replace the event that had been cancelled. When weather forced the American Society of Association Executives ( ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership to pull the plug on its 2010 Technology Conference & Expo, a cadre of about 75 attendees and exhibitors holed up at the Renaissance Washington in downtown DC and refused to surrender to the elements. The result was UNTECH10, an ad hoc conference- by- committee that provided a forum for presentations and discussions for the attendees and online participants. The live and virtual components were up and running literally within hours of the idea being born, and were accessible through a show website that hummed with the Tweets, webinars and give- and- take that are the hallmarks of event- related social media. UNTECH10 was no virtual trade show. It lacked high- visibility sponsors and a digital exhibit hall, but the content webcast by Peach New Media included a sizable chunk of what would have been discussed at the ASAE event had Mother Nature not interfered. The idea that a physical show that is forced to cancel can be instantly reborn in a digital format is a new frontier for organisers, exhibitors and attendees. By Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group. US news round 10| April 2010| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET