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BRANCHING OUT EASTTAKING YOUR SHOW OFF THE BEATEN TRACKEW LOOKS AT THE ORGANISERS VENTURING INTO CHINA'S SMALLER BUT UP-AND-COMING CITIES TO BREAK NEW GROUND Issue 2 | 201273aking a show to a smaller city usually doesn't make commercial sense. But if the show is at the heart of a nation's industry, it can be an ideal way to tap into both a customer market and information resource.France-based organiser Comexposium is taking its Sitevi wine machinery and equipment exhibition to one of China's third-tier cities in an effort to capitalise on the local wine industry.Sitevinitech launches in Yantai on June 20-22 this year, managed by Comexposium's offi ce in Shanghai. The event will be preceded by a launch in Mendoza, Argentina, from 31 May to 2 June. Comexposium has also confi rmed it will expand the brand further in South America by launching in the Chilean capital Santiago in 2013.According to the fi rm, Yantai is the capital of the Chinese wine production industry, which would suggest it's a worthwhile place to host a show in a country with an estimated population of 1,347bn people.Deputy general manager of Comexposium Shanghai, Bjoern Kempe, believes the city's reputation for food and wine makes it a prudent investment for the organiser. He spoke about how organisers should approach cloning exhibitions at the 2012 UFI Asia Open Seminar, which took place in Shenzhen, southern China, in February.Kempe insisted that the Yantai venture would succeed. "Yes, you can bring shows into second and third-tier cities. For example the sales for our show in Yantai have been very good. It's at the heart of the wine production industry in China. We are moving the show to the industry."Bringing the supply to the demand marketAfter the event, he told EW that Yantai is the heart of China's booming wine growing industry, with the Shandong province accounting for more than 40 per cent of the output of China's wine. "The world-famous winery of Changyu based its headquarters in Yantai so we believe this region has a very high demand for viniculture equipments and technologies," he said."We believe in the benefi ts of bringing the supply to the demand market." Sitevinitech is being organised as a joint venture with Vinitech, which has hosted four wine shows in Penglai, China. Comexposium is also partnering with the Yantai Asia Pacifi c Wine Bureau in a bid to attract more industry-versed visitors. BORDER CROSSING"The Yantai Wine Expo has a long and successful history, and every year companies from France, South Africa and Chile are their exhibitors," said Kempe. However, he acknowledges visitor promotion will be a major challenge for the expo."There are diffi culties because Yantai doesn't have a good international airport and other infrastructure benefi ts," Kempe explained. "For visitors from other provinces we really need to deliver more value to make their trip more benefi cial. "Another challenge is the local mentality towards international participants. Often the services are not in the level of international exhibitions so our task is to explain slowly to build up a good partnership in a trustworthy atmosphere and to be very patient in terms of request and timing. "We need to plan ahead as things move slower compared with fi rst-tier cities."Kempe said the show will be promoted in remote provinces like Xinxiang, Gansu, Ningxia and Shaanxi, and the organisers will work further with local government to outline the requirements needed for an internationally organised show.To promote Sitevinitech, an account was opened on microblogging site Weibo which helped the expo gain fans in the last four months. The organisers also engaged a PR agency to provide support for communication in the remote provinces, to follow up with China's 100 largest wineries, write press releases and chase leads with media partners. "We also established good government contacts to all wine-related associations and bureaus in China but also development centres, research and development centres, universities and wine growers communities," Kempe added.Comexposium announced the co-location of its Sitevi and Vinitech shows for the vine-wine and fruit and vegetables sectors last October.The new Sitevinitech brand aims to trade on France's strong food and wine identity in the emerging markets.Sitevi has 700 exhibitors and 45,000 visitors from nearly 50 countries. Vinitech, the international exhibition of equipment and services forvines, wines and spirits and Sifel, the international exhibition of techniques for fruit and vegetables, united to create Vinitech-Sifel in 2010. The last show had 724 international exhibitors from 20 countries and 40,500 visitors, of which 15 per cent were international. Comexposium announced that the joint event will next be held from 27 to 29 November 2012 and will be organised by Congress and Expositions of Bordeaux (CEB), which hosts nearly 300 events a year.SITEVINITECH SHOWS