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How do you think the exhibition industry will change over the next fi ve years? Face-to-face is increasingly recognised as a vital part of the marketing mix in a more digital world. I believe the need will continue to be important. This is a global industry. Everybody is looking beyond their own shores and while I do not believe that virtual exhibitions will ever take the place of live events, the use of online has become highly complementary and supportive of face-to-face. I believe the two should continue to be refi ned to be mutually benefi cial to each other. I see some real challenges ahead, particularly arising from the increased global economic and political volatility. We must be ever mindful of how unexpected events, natural and man-made, may affect our plans. The response of Reed Exhibitions Japan to the recent Tsunami and earthquake was an inspiration to us all and a lesson in what can be achieved when we set our minds to it. Technology adoption will continue to develop at an astonishing rate. Mobile apps and mobile Internet support is rapidly becoming a critical component of exhibitions. It's about providing an enhanced experience for visitors and exhibitors from searchable directories to creating a personal show plan guiding visitors and optimising their time. For exhibitors this translates to increased quality of engagement through targeted leads and easier exchange of information. This change in technology and opportunities it gives us can't be underestimated. The rising cost of energy will impact on travel and consumer behaviours and we have to watch its affects carefully. Nevertheless I have a very optimistic outlook for the exhibition industry. Of course our success is built on securing and retaining talent. It's a big issue for a company our size and while I don't see anything out there that's a risk to our business strategy, one thing that could slow it down would be recruiting and retaining staff. It's the same for other organisers. What do you do when you're not working?I spend on average 50 per cent of every week out of the country. The time left is devoted to my wife and children. . 1978: Joined Clapp and Poliak as a sales executive. 1982: MD of Cahners Exhibitions, part of Reed Elsevier. 1994: President of Reed Exhibitions Europe and Asia. 1996 to present: Chairman of Reed Exhibitions worldwideTHE BIG INTERVIEW34CAREER HIGHLIGHTS THE CUSTOMER'S EVER-EVOLVING DEMANDS HAVE CHANGED THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS AND THE TYPES OF PRODUCTS THAT WE OFFER