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FAIR IS FAIRJEAN- FRANÇOIS QUENTIN SPEAKS TO MIKE TRUDEAU ABOUT GEO-ADAPTATION AND EASYFAIRS' SECRET TO SUCCESSt might not be completely fair to say EasyFairs is - like European airline EasyJet - the low-cost carrier of the exhibition world, but it's a tempting comparison. The minimal, cookie-cutter form and the low-cost, low-margin business model boosted by premium services for an extra price bears a resemblance to low-cost carriers. Remember this though: Other low-cost airlines market themselves not only as the cheapest airfare in Europe, but also the most reliable. And if it's reliability your exhibitors are looking for, you could do worse than take a leaf from EasyFairs' book. Coiling for a period of intense but measured expansion, the Issue 8 | 201181organiser is preparing to breach the levies and pour into Latin America, India and Russia. EasyFairs CEO Jean-François Quentin and marketing director Julian Kulkarni were kind enough to share how - and why - the company is moving in this direction."We want to grow, we want to go into different sectors, we want to go into different geographies," says Quentin. "But I think you should start with what you have in your portfolio. The customer focus is also fundamental. I think the success of any big company in this sector has to be customer-centricity and I think we sometimes forget that."Attack of the clonesQuentin defi nes two differing approaches to geocloning: Mono-geocloning and multi-geocloning. A mono-geocloner is a company with a single show concept that it exports to multiple countries. Art Basel is an example of this. A multi-geocloner on the other hand, is a company that has multiple different show concepts it spreads around. EasyFairs uses this model and its Packaging Innovations and Solids and Maintenance brands are two examples. There are also several levels of geocloning companies: National, continental and global. EasyFairs is a single-continent multi-cloner, because although it pushes more than one brand of show into different countries, it remains within European borders. This may be about to change. Quentin tells EW the company has had offers of partnership from companies in Mexico, India and Brazil. All of these are promising geographies under the close scrutiny of international organisers.So how would the tried and tested EasyFairs method change in a move to Brazil, Mexico or India? "The basic methods would remain the same, but as the countries in question are so vast, it may well be possible to geoclone a brand such as Packaging into many different cities in one of these countries or regions," says Kulkarni. "Due to time differences we may consider building excellence centres in regional hubs with strong partners. We would use the same methodology and adapt it locally. The technology works in any language or character set, so we would continue using this. But of course we would keep the core concept the same while looking for new concepts locally that can be cloned."Filling the gapsFor some organisers the world is like the old boardgame Risk, wherein the player gathers resources and then pours into another country, BORDER CROSSINGwiping out the competition and using the momentum to move across one border after the other. This however is a war of attrition and spreading a show brand too thin will have a negative effect on the parent shows. Remember, in a specialist market exhibitors talk to each other. For EasyFairs the approach is more studied and patient. The company has offi ces in 10 European countries where teams monitor markets and look for opportunities. The company also analyses the calendar for exhibitions that might compete with one of its brands, then studiously avoids them."We don't necessarily compete directly but we fi nd market gaps by looking at competitive shows," says Quentin. "It's about looking at the calendars of these shows and then it enables us to launch. If there is a strong show in a country every three years, we could still use our brand as a complementary show in intervening years." When EasyFairs does move however, it moves fast.Of dogs and riddlesIn a presentation at this year's UFI European Open Seminar in Ghent, Belgium, Quentin made a distinction between four different types of shows: The stars, cash cows, dogs and question marks of the widely used Boston Consulting Group matrix. Each is measured on two axes: Market share and market growth. Cash cows are shows with high market share but low market growth. Stars are those with high market share and high growth. Dogs are the ugly ducklings of exhibitions: Shows with both a low share of a slowly-growing or even shrinking market. Question marks or riddles occupy a small share of a fast-growing market."When we started with EasyFairs in Europe, we looked at some of the dogs and question marks that other organisers had and said 'that's where we are going to launch our shows'," Quentin said. "What was a dog or a question mark for some of the other operators became cash cows for us because of our business model. What's good for us may not be good for you."Kulkarni explained to EW that the shows EasyFairs looks for are exactly the kind that other organisers might look to be rid of. "This is an example of where some show concepts were in the past attractive for a big national show with Geocloning: The launch of an established show brand in a new country, tweaked for the local market but recognisably the same show.Mono-geocloner: An organiser with a single show concept that it exports to multiple countries.Multi-geocloner: A company with multiple show concepts which it moves to several countries.Star: A show that has a large share of a fast-growing market. Often your most promising and exciting show.Cash Cow: An exhibition that has a large share of a slow-growing market. Very reliable.Dog: A show with a small share of a slow-growth market. Consider divesting or disbanding these shows to streamline the portfolio.Question Mark: A show with a small share in a high-growth market. Tantalisingly promising, but requiring a decision to either cultivate or be divested. 90%Proportion of EasyFairs growth that comes from organic business including show launches and geoclones. It costs the company less to launch shows than to acquireTHE VOCABULARY OF GROWTH