Exhibition World | Feature31Case studyHansen uses BPA's recent audit of the American ThoracicSociety's (ATS) 2010 International Conference in NewOrleans as one example of why this 'fear factor' is misplaced."The way the event came to audit was a textbook exampleof the industry best-practice system working properly," saysHansen. At the behest of the Exhibitor Advisory Board, theevent managers approached BPA at the 2009 edition of theInternational Association of Exhibitions and Events' (IAEE)Expo! Expo! and asked for audited data for its 2010conference and exhibition participants."This was a great educational opportunity foreveryone, and showed the ATS' commitment to itsexhibition clients. There were press releases in the on-site show office declaring ATS' commitment to audit theevent, and the association did a great job in beingtransparent throughout the process."According to Hansen, stakeholders involved in theevent were pleased with the results, and ATS didn't seemuch drop-off between unaudited and audited figures."This is the best example to date of the process by whichaudited data can be provided to the entire exhibitorpopulation," he says.The futureAll show organiser members of UFI must provideregular updated audits of tradeshow attendance andexhibition space data for at least one internationalexhibition as a requirement of membership. Today over866 exhibitions around the globe have earned the "UFIApproved Event" label."The business climate is constantly changing. It'svery important to stay ahead of the curve," saysHansen. "By listening to the membership andcolleagues in the industry regarding their own businesschallenges, we create more effective services to meetand exceed those challenges and needs."The Trade Show Exhibitors Association is beingproactive on the exhibitor side and other Americanassociations including the IAEE, SISO and ESCA areoperating from the show organiser and supplier side. Allassociations have initiated forums and meetings toextend open, constructive dialogue between exhibitors,show organisers and suppliers for change."When exhibitors create critical mass and ask in aunified voice, organisers will have no choice but toprovide the information. Organisers who provide thisdata to their clients on a proactive basis will be creatinglonger-lasting and trusting partnerships for years tocome."Auditing is key to the growth of our industry. As a toolto win over finance officers debating whether or not toattend your event, the benefit of transparency can besurprisingly easy to see.What have you got to hide from independent auditors?THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| Nov/Dec 2010|"Organisers would make showsinvaluable to their loyal exhibitors withthe audited data because, on top ofloyalty, a deeper trust will formthrough the act of being transparent."
"Europe is a fat cow, it can't grow any more,"says Roger Shashoua, the man responsiblefor co-founding international organiser ITEGroup and making a fortune from migrating exhibitionsinto the emerging markets. Shashoua should know. He made a name for himselflaunching exhibitions in the emerging markets of China andRussia. His first Expofund capital investment vehicle, heclaims, made a return of over 200 per cent on a seven-figure investment. Now the entrepreneur is looking to enter a new arena withExpofund II, investing not in the acquisition and redirectionof distressed assets, but in the acquisition and sale oftrademarks and brands. He's also looking to create an"online market for the exhibition industry".The new venture, Global Market Brands (GMB), works asa facilitator for companies looking to take their brands fromthe mature markets of Europe and the US into unfamiliarterritory. In basic terms, it will protect a company'strademark and brand in the market it's looking to enter, thenmatch it with receptive companies or associations capableof working with the company to successfully launch itsbrand in that market.Expofund II remains the financial engine that makes eachproject possible."There's simply no growth in the mature European marketat the moment," reiterates Shashoua. "The only growth forany business, long-term, is in the BRIC markets: Brazil,Russia and its regions, India and China."But with the economic crisis, no one wants to risk theinvestment. UBM and ITE are strong enough financially tobe able to get into these markets, but even then they canonly cover the tip of these enormous markets - you'd needa hundred such exhibition companies for India alone."Shashoua co-founded ITE in 1991. "When I went intoRussia, no one wanted to go into Russia with theirsuccessful shows. But ITE's success was based on alicence of just four brands." Healso began his Chinesebusiness in 1981 in the samemanner, eventually selling it onin 1989. However, despite theprevalence of people enteringand leaving markets all overthe world, Shashoua saysthere is still no market onwhich to trade brands andtrademarks. So perhaps it is this final part of his new venture that willraise the most eyebrows: the creation of an auction site fortrademarks and brand names. "There is no online facilityfor those who want to sell or invest in brands, and the timinghas never been better," he claims.The plan is to provide a forum where anyone who wantsto acquire, sell or licence a brand can enter and startbidding for it. "The Chinese, who are exporting everythingworldwide, are dying for Western brands to stick to theirproducts so they can sell them," he says.Around 30 years ago, Shashoua ran a patent licensingcompany in the US. "If you had a patent and didn'tknow where to sell it, you would come to my company -Patent International. It became the largest patentlicensing register in America, with 66,000 clients. "The problem was, there was no Internet exposure at thattime; everything had to be done in hard copy or by Telex. Icouldn't see a viable model at the time, so we sold thecompany."But I came back to this concept because of the presenteconomic crisis," he says. "It works because it givespeople a way to profit from their existing brands without riskor investment. It's like saying 'I'll buy some of your shares,and then I'll make a market for them so that people can buyand sell these shares'. It also gives them an exit."Shashoua is now at work setting up the auction site.Initially the business will run like a conventional auctionhouse such as Christie's in London, but in time people willbe able to bid, just as they can on Ebay."For the industry, no question, the timing is absolutelyright for the purchase, sale or licence of trademarks andbrands. An auction site where people can buy and disposeof brands, bypassing Expofund, is the logical next step,"he concludes.With eight clients already committing their brands,according to Shashoua, he expects Expofund II to be fully invested by the end of the year. It seems he is off to agood start.Interview| Exhibition World32| Nov/Dec 2010| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETIMEX is taking its brand abroad next yearOn the brandwagonRoger Shashoua, the founder of Expofund, talks to EWabout his latest venture;helping companies to launch their best-known brands in the emerging markets.Roger Shashoua