31Exhibition World | Partnershipsimportant not to have a one-size-fits-all attitude whenbuilding a relationship with a local partner. You tend toenter a partnership thinking you'll achieve one thing, butmore often than not you come out with lots of otheropportunities. The partnerships we have in Brazil, and inAfrica with Montgomery, have led to different things."The history of exhibitions is littered with examples ofpeople going into territories and failing badly," he claims."Organisers need to give themselves the bestopportunity for success in any country."Striking up accordSo what makes for a good partnership? Parker says itbegins with identifying an individual rather than abusiness, ensuring that their goals align with your ownand that both parties will bring an equal amount to thetable."Most people we partner with are people we know,people we've worked with, people with who we have builtup a sense of trust," says Parker. "Montgomery in Africais a classic example of this; we've known them for a longtime and we feel we've got a common vision. "The individual, the chemistry going forward, and the fitwith UBM is absolutely vital in defining whether thatpartnership will be a good one or a bad one in thefuture." Ultimately, most international partnerships areformed not only for market entry but for the long term.While some multinationals buy a brand, stamp their nameon it and cut the vendor out of future proceeds, themajority are looking for a long-term sales agent as well asa platform for their brand."We need to be transparent. We act as one business.In Nigeria it really felt like one team and I think it's reallyimportant to engender that attitude," says Parker.It's important to define clear areas of responsibility fromthe outset, and very often this is where partnerships falldown. As Parker points out, "One party often thinks theyTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| April 2011|are doing more than the other, so it's important to have asolid contract in place from the beginning."Assigning responsibilityEstablishing a solid contract from the beginning is vital.And while you shouldn't be thinking about an exit or atermination right at the beginning of the partnership, youneed to have a mechanism by which you can get out.In terms of percentage of acquisition, UBM typicallylooks at a 51 per cent minimum of the business. Andalthough that figure can climb, Parker claims there'sanother factor to consider when establishing thepartner's share in the venture: motivation. "We like toleave the owner with enough of the company to bemotivated to work with us and grow the business."IFSEC in Nigeria is one of parker's best examples ofthe acquisition and partnership model working well. "Wewere sensitive during the transition. It's important to dothat and not just put your mark all over it," says Parker."We've launched IFSEC in Lagos and there are fourother launch potentials for next year on the back of thatexperience."In India, UBM built the show from scratch to a size ofaround 22,000sqm. "It was literally a case of one guygoing over there, starting a business, hiring peoplelocally and building up the infrastructure. It worked in theend, but was it the best route? It was certainly painful butwe got there in the end."In territories where there are significant restrictions inforeign ownership, local partnerships can be the onlyway to go. But many benefits aren't immediatelyapparent to an organiser looking to break new marketswith its brands. Local knowledge can be expensive toobtain without a local partner, and partnerships helpgreatly with government bodies and trade associations,venues and contractors. They also bring culturalknowledge and understanding, not to mentionawareness of factors such as religious festivals."We've decided that the go-it-alone approach is a verydangerous and costly way forward," says Parker. "Ourpreferred route, pretty much all the time, is to work with apartner."If we were in a territory where we couldn't find a localpartner, we'd have to think very hard about whether ornot we'd like to try and go it alone again."Ultimately you form partnerships to make more moneytogether than you could make on your own. It's a simplephilosophy, but one that seems to be working for globe-trotting UBM Live.It's important to check the fine print whenforming partnerships. Here is Parker's listof things to keep an eye out for..Quality of financial data.Dependent on territory, multiple books mean they don't havea great library but they do have a number of different meansof accounting.Official and non-official.Non-compliance of tax. We can't buy a business with taxliabilities..Employment contracts of individuals - that they follow theletter of the law.Partner must be compatible with your vision.There is a dominant partner.Remember, they might not have your level of M&A experience.Price your event in accordance with local rates, not the ratesof the home event.Be aware of local customs, watch out for bribes"The individual's fit with UBM isabsolutely vital in defining whetherthat partnership will be a good onein the future."
Paris| Exhibition World32| April 2011| Understandably, Paris is a premium destination.With a global reputation as one of the mostbeautiful cities in the world, the city's maincompetitors are traditionally other destinations incontinental Europe including Barcelona and Madrid. Now,with the recession behind it, Paris is striving to compete inan increasingly global market.The city hosts an average of 450 shows annually, whichattract a combined nine million visitors and 100,000exhibitors. It boasts 600,000sqm of covered expo spacedivided among 15 venues. The three major venues are ParisNord Villepinte (245,000sqm), Paris Expo Porte de Versailles(226,000sqm), and Paris le Bourget (80,000sqm). Thesenumbers don't take into consideration the museums, castlesand other unique historical attractions that add incentives orextra-curricular appeal to a business visit.Being at the heart of Europe makes it a heavilyconnected city as well, with daily direct flight connectionsto North and South America, the Middle East and Russia."Everybody loves Paris and this is what makes organisingan exhibition in Paris so magic," said Florent Latarjet, deputydirector of the city's promotional body Viparis. With such anarray of sites, it's a wonder any business gets done.However, as home to La Défense, the second-largestEuropean financial centre, it's no slouch. And with Viparistasked with promoting the top 10 event venues, Latarjethopes to see the city's international reputation for workbalance out with that for play."An important investment programme was created and isstill being carried out to upgrade some venues and providemore services to organisers and customers," he said. "Thiswill enhance the experience of visitors and exhibitors."Renovations include an additional 37,000sqm hall atParis Nord Villepoint bringing the total venue space toTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETWorking in ParisEWlooks at Paris' position in an increasingly global marketplace.245,000sqm, and an extensive makeover for the CNITexhibition and convention centre at La Défense, making ita premium location for exhibitions up to 10,000sqm."Paris offers all the ingredients that help organisersmaximise the success of their shows. It is a destinationoffering a mix of pleasure and business," Latarjet said."This is why participation is often high."According to Latarjet, Viparis' goals are twofold:"Maintaining a strong market share in the exhibitionindustry and gaining new international events. Also,investing in venues and new services. As we have a strongposition in the French exhibition industry, this is our duty todeliver high-quality service especially to visitors who arethe customers of our customers."Although Latarjet is not in a position to give an objectiveview of Paris' pros and cons, he does say that the city hastwo hurdles to overcome on its way to exhibitionoptimisation: Reputation and availability.As it is, Paris' venues are so often full that new events canhave a hard time finding slots. This can be a pain not onlyfor organisers trying to break into the French market butalso local companies trying to expand.Although France has one of the highest qualities of life ofany country, frequent industrial action sheds an unflatteringlight. Latarjet expressed concern that France is perceivedas work-averse, although he said it's an unfair judgement."Strikes are a European problem in those times as wecould see some demonstrations in many countries. Therecent French strikes, over-broadcast by the media didn'thave a major impact on exhibitions that were held inOctober. The minimum service that is in place since a fewyears ago prevents us from having situations where there isno transport at all and enables everyone to take somedispositions and to plan things. However, it had an impacton people's perceptions about France."While the city's venue saturation might be fodder for thosewho say the European market is levelling off, its imageendures as a capital of business, culture and quality of life.Viparis VenuesParis expo Porte de VersaillesCarrousel du LouvreParis Nord VillepinteLe Palais des Congrès de ParisCnit Paris La DéfenseLe Palais des Congrès de VersaillesEspace Grande ArcheCNIT Paris La Défense