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Aussie Expo Sector Defies Economic Slowdown

By Ian Neubauer

A number of prominent Australian expos have reported visitor numbers that far outstripped organiser predictions of a slump as a result of to the economic slowdown.

They include the Australasian Oil and Gas expo in Perth, at which attendance doubled compared to 2008; the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show in Sydney and the Australian  Motorcycle Expo in the Gold Coast, both of which reported a 75 per cent rise in attendance; Sydney’s Franchising Expo, up 33 per cent; the Brisbane 4×4 and Outdoors Expo, up 25 per cent; Fine Food Perth, up 14 per cent; and AIME 2009, Melbourne’s premier MICE expo and tradeshow, which saw attendance climb 10 per cent.

Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), president Matthew Pearce, whose organisation published the data, said in some cases visitor numbers had shown strong growth despite organisers cutting the length of expos by one day.

“During tough times everyone is looking for the competitive edge that the supply of new products will provide. Exhibitions offer a cost-effective – and measurable – way for sales teams to get their new product offerings in front of their customers and write the business at the same time,” he said.

“Overseas research has told us that exhibitions perform extremely highly during times of recession and certainly our experience so far this year is that as a marketing channel, exhibitions are very robust.”

The EEAA also claimed exhibitors were reporting “very strong sales” and large orders that surpassed expectations, but did not provide data to verify the claim.

The reports also fly in the face of those against those emerging from China, where the expo sector shrunk 25 per cent this year compared to 2008, according to local sources. To read the story, click here.

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