By Simon Cooper, Interpoint Events
Incoming Director of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry Mr Paul Woodward, was in Sydney Thursday (Dec 3) to open the Exhibition & Event Association of Australia annual conference with a positive message about the future of Australasian exhibitions.
Woodward emphasised the enduring strength of exhibitions in a changing media world and highlighted the fact that despite the GFC and a decline in the number of exhibitors, the number of visitors to trade shows worldwide in 2009 had increased.
Woodward noted the Australasian market for business trade fairs had more than doubled in the past five years with particularly strong growth in China and India.
He also highlighted the fact that although Australasia had been the first to experience the effects of the GFC in events, it had also been the first to recover. Citing recent UFI research from organizers worldwide he said that 83% had reported a decline in revenues for 2009 with 50% indicating a decline of more than 10%. However 63% of Australasian organizers expected to see revenues increase in 2010.
Woodward noted a trend among successful for events for quality and measurement and said that exhibitors were increasingly looking for an ROI from their participation. “Right time, right place meeting the right people” is the future he said.
He concluded by saying that although marketing spend across B2B media platforms had declined in 2009, the decline had been most significant in the print media. Digital’s share of marketing had increased slightly whilst trade show revenues had remained steady at around 42%. Exhibitions are continuing to prove a “simple and effective way to do business”.
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