An Indonesian Perspective

August 8, 2016


Blogger: Aage Hansen, President Director Deutsche Messe Venue Operations, Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE)

Indonesia is one of the countries in ASEAN which has great economy impact and massive industrial growth. There are currently over 252 million people in Indonesia, and this country is developing rapidly in many sectors, one of it is the automotive sector.

Indonesia is the second-largest car manufacturer in ASEAN after Thailand. And it is predicted that within the next decade, Indonesia will take over Thailand’s position as the major car manufacturer in ASEAN region.  This also supported by the big population of Indonesia and the car ownership ratio in Indonesia which is lower than other ASEAN countries. The Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo) projects Indonesian car sales to grow to two million vehicles by 2020 and to three million by 2025.

Gaikindo stated that during year 2015, the domestic car sales  reach 1.013.291 units.

One of the key factors behind this success is the ability of the manufacturer to use the exhibition market as their sales and marketing tool during this slow period. For example, during 2015 the Gaikindo together with more than 20 car brands occupied a 91.000 square meters of exhibition area at ICE for 11 days. This exhibition has become one of the most successful automotive show in ASEAN and has become a benchmark for other events and shows. This year, the same event will once again held at ICE with more than 96.000 square meters area and 32 participating brands. It is is also supported by OICA, the world’s automotive industry organization.

The growth of Indonesian automotive sales is predicted between 5-7 percent by 2016. The growth also depends on the Indonesian government regulation about the fuel pricing and vehicle tax.

Building on global promise

August 1, 2016


Blogger: CATHERINE  BERNARD-DARLET, Communications Director Construction & Agriculture Equipment Business Units, Comexposium

Thailand’s capital will soon be the stage for the global construction community, when the second-largest construction machinery and equipment show in the world – Intermat – makes its South East Asian debut.

The French organiser of the exhibition, Comexposium, joined forces with Impact Exhibition Management in Bangkok to create an event conceived to set the ASEAN construction industry on a course towards higher standards, greater success and improved global recognition.

The event originated in Paris but will draw more than 1,500 leading contractors from across Asia, displaying their products and services for an estimated 16,000 visitors when the show officially opens its doors at Bangkok’s Impact exhibition centre in June 2017.

And where better to stage an event for the international construction industry, than a country with such high levels of investment in civil engineering and infrastructure projects?

At sea, development at ports such as Lam Chabang will complement the Satul Sea Port and Songkhla Sea Port development in the south. Laem Chabang’s port is an international standard, environmentally-friendly port and when expansion is complete in 2019, will soon be delivering faster services and shorter waiting times for visitors, becoming the main gateway port of the Greater Mekong Sub Region trade and competing with Singapore.

By air, development of the country’s main airport will take the total capacity of visitors from 47.9 million in 2011 to 60 million by 2017, while Bangkok’s other main airport, Don Muang, will grow to accommodate three large business terminals.

Equally there are major infrastructure development projects on land including the integrated highway linkage development, a four-lane highway with expansion into the outer regions, as well as rural road development. After all not all events take place in built-up urban areas.

The ASEAN Economic Community ranks as the world’s third largest economy. A significant amount of Thailand’s success as a destination for trade shows and business events lies not only in successfully connecting the world to its population of 70 million, but to the surrounding region’s 600 million inhabitants. For this to happen effectively, Thailand’s business event network must be supported by physical networks.

Those keen to see the result of such international infrastructure partnerships need only look at Thailand itself; the result of the exhibitors’ and buyers’ conversations can be witnessed by all and Intermat’s move to Bangkok is a vote of confidence for Thailand.

UFI President’s contribution

July 10, 2016

Sergey Alexeev_February 2016

Blogger: Sergey Alexeev, UFI President

The first ever Global Exhibitions Day, held on 8 June 2016, mobilized thousands of industry professionals around the world. With the support of UFI’s unique network of 56 national exhibition associations, Global Exhibitions Day successfully highlighted the exhibition industry’s important contribution to the global economy. I would like to thank each and every one of you who made this success possible, together with all the other industry professionals who joined the many, many activities that took place on that day!

Our UFI team in Paris recorded GED activities in 60+ countries on 8 June. From Hong Kong to Bogota, from the UK to South Africa, our industry was connected across the world. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn have been buzzing with activity over the past month. Countless photos, videos, GIFs, media releases, articles and discussions were shared and the hashtag #GED16 was used widely. One single video posted in support of GED alone reached an audience of 60,000 viewers in under 24 hours.

For a long time, many people in our industry had felt that it would be great to have a day where the exhibition industry celebrates itself and sends a joint message about the importance and the strength of the industry not just in one country but worldwide. I am stunned by how massive the global support for Global Exhibitions Day has been, and still is. It was about time to celebrate our industry and everyone working in it, and I am proud that I have had the opportunity to supervise and support this great initiative in my term as your president.

Already on the day, I talked to many friends and colleagues in our industry about what the next step might be. And I am very happy that everyone agreed to go on and continue celebrating Global Exhibitions Day in the future. So please mark your calendars for next year’s date: 7 June, 2017.




I cannot close this without reflecting on the role UFI has played in making Global Exhibitions Day a reality, and why I am so proud of our association. Who else in our  industry can bring together people from 60+ countries, and work with national associations all around the world to make such an initiative happen with only a few months of preparation! This is “the power of UFI”, as the big connector of our industry globally. With great events like the European Seminar in Basel a few days back. With great research, like the Global Barometer, set for release again this summer. With great new initiatives like the Next Generation Leadership Grant. And to these we can now add Global Exhibitions Day.

While in Basel, we selected the UFI 2018 President – and I would like to congratulate our colleague Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano, on his election. UFI truly is special, and being UFI President is extra special! Thanks also to René Kamm and his team from MCH Group for hosting UFI at their fantastic venue!

As many of you around the world head off for vacations, I’d particularly like to wish the UFI team in Paris a wonderful summer and some well deserved off time!

Four Questions to Help Increase Your Exhibition’s Relevancy

July 8, 2016

Steph for blog

Blogger: Stephanie Selesnick, President of International Trade Information, Inc.

I read a LinkedIn blog by former UFI MD Paul Woodward written following the UFI European Seminar last month, and it inspired me to delve deeper into where exhibitions fit in the mindset of our exhibitors.

In spite of what most of us think, our exhibitions and events are not our clients’ whole world. If we’re lucky, our exhibitions and trade fairs are a good-sized blip (week) on their annual sales and marketing radar. So that means, aside from booking space and making travel arrangements to our shows, for 51 weeks of the year, exhibitors are concentrating on whatever is going on in their own industries, selling and manufacturing products, etc.

With so many marketing options – the internet, native advertising, print, direct mail, and social media, exhibitions must focus on increasing relevancy to clients. Here are some questions to ask when evaluating if your budget share will stay on the radar – or will it be lost to something shiny and new?

Where does our event fit into the industry’s sales process?
Sounds crazy, but so many show organizers lose sight of this important fact. Is there a better time of year for your show? Will relocating to a different city, country or venue make it easier for quality buyers to visit your show during their buying season(s).

Are our exhibitions where product launches are still done? If not, why not? What can your organization do to bring back the product launch?
Launches are good barometer of a show’s relevance, regardless of what naysayers think. According to CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research in the US, the number one reason people attend trade shows are to see what is new. Shows that understand their place in the sales and marketing cycle provide real time opportunities for exhibiting companies to make a big splash, helping their clients be successful. They help the industry stay healthy and grow.

Does our show encourage the industry’s new companies to participate?
Are new companies stuck by themselves in small perimeter stands or is there a special place designated for them – at a lower price (think New Product Pavilion)? Are they highlighted in press releases to trade press? What other special marketing opportunities are you providing (matchmaking) – or are you just offering the same old boring sponsorships?

 Are our exhibitions providing something more than a 3D catalog to our exhibitors and visitors?
The Internet is everywhere. Everyone is used to comparison-shopping online for personal items, so, logically it follows they are doing the same thing in business. What else are we bringing to the table besides buyers and sellers under one roof? Unique networking or matchmaking opportunities? Experiences? Amazing education? Industry disruptors and trends?

This is the time to be realistic about our business. If we are not providing the basics, then all of the other bells and whistles are irrelevant. What other kinds of things can your organization do to increase relevancy?



July 6, 2016


Blogger: Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director.

These are momentous times. On top of all that is driving our industry’s agenda, from digitalisation to transformation, now comes the result of the British referendum where the majority of voters stated their desire for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Our industry media is full of reports, comments, and speculations about what might come next – and you’ll find UFI’s position, published hours after the results were known, on this Blog. If you want to join the discussion, please do so on UFI’s social media channels.

In the days just before this referendum, we held our annual European Open Seminar, or European Congress, in Basel. From a tour around Art Basel to the launch of the UFI Running Club, from networking events and enlightening congress sessions to a grand birthday party celebrating 100 years of the MCH Group, a lot of activities were packed into the three-day conference. The sidelines of the event also turned into a gathering of many eventtech companies, networking and sharing offers and ideas. If you want to revisit UFI Basel, you will find photo galleries at Session videos will follow soon, as usual, and will be available in the member section of the UFI website.

With the Basel event now successfully closed, UFI is increasingly focusing on the 83rd UFI Congress next November in Shanghai (#ufishanghai). Please check the UFI website in the days to come, as we will launch the Congress website, including a registration platform where you can sign up. This year’s Congress theme will be “Ripples – The Exhibition Industry in Transformation”.

83rd UFI Congress Shanghai WEB banner

Over the past 25 years, the exhibition industry has benefited from globalisation; from markets and cultures opening up. Now, times are more complicated: digitalisation is changing businesses globally at an ever-faster pace. The political climate in vital global markets is also changing – stability is being replaced with uncertainty. Most of our keynote speakers are already signed up, and I look forward to sharing more about the Shanghai programme and the Congress activities in the weeks to come (and yes, there will be a UFI Running Club in Shanghai, too!), as we work through the next few month both in China and in Europe to prepare the event.



At ease a long way from home

July 4, 2016


Blogger:  Jaruwan Suwannasat, Director, Exhibition and Events Department of TCEB

The passage of the exhibition attendee, organiser, exhibitor and buyer, is not a straightforward one. Attendees must book flights and reserve rooms at hotels near to the venue, apply for visas, make plans for the potentially complicated transit of goods, and on arrival conduct themselves in accordance with the varying cultural sensibilities.

From the early stages of marketing and audience development, to the involvement of contractors and venues, through to auditing and post-event analysis, the organiser and its national affiliates must walk with the visitor hand-in-hand.

In Thailand the business events (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, or MICE) industry contributes 0.8 per cent to our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This may seem modest, but when you consider the fact our national GDP figure is more than US $387bn, the numbers become more significant.

This figure is attributed to both the direct and indirect drivers of revenue arising from international exhibitions and business events. For example, the host city benefits directly from the hotels bookings, the rental of the venue and the contractors required to make the event happen. Indirectly it benefits from the peripheral jobs created to accommodate the events: the extra hotel staff, the additional restaurateurs and bar-owners, as well as those who facilitate extra-curricular activities such as tour operators and civic attractions. Then there is the inbuilt impact; the visitors spending their money at the event.

In exhibition-specific terms from economic impact study, the total expenditure in 2015 was estimated at 53.1bn baht (US $1.51bn). Interestingly, the total estimated value-added expenditure was 24.4bn baht. In 2014 the average delegate spend was 138,840 baht, with each event adding value of 253.6m baht in 2014; again both estimated. And let us not forget that in 2015 alone the exhibition industry in Thailand led to the creation of an estimated 43,865 jobs.

Between 2010 and 2015, Thailand’s events were regularly attended by our regional friends from Malaysia, Japan, China, Indonesia and Singapore. In total 88,620 of them (48 per cent of the international visitor total) walked the floors at our exhibitions.

However, it is crucial to our success as an industry that we also cater for those who may need a greater deal of information, reassurance and security if they are to feel comfortable travelling so far to attend an event. These are the visitors that we must provide with the tools to do their business at our events, secure in the knowledge they are being well cared for.

Digital companions such as our ‘Biz Thailand’ mobile app, which serves as a gateway for MICE travellers conducting their business in Thailand, become just as important as buyer/seller matchmaking, when it comes to creating a successful event far from home.

A successful exhibition is as good for Thailand, as it is for our visitors.

How exhibitions engage with people online and what the millennials expect of them

June 27, 2016


Blogger: Christoph Spangenberg, Corporate Communications, MCH Group

Every brand can become a love brand online. What companies have to do to achieve this and what the millennials expect of exhibitions was explained by marketing expert Huib van Bockel and behavioural scientist Tessa van Asselt at the UFI Open Seminar in Basel. The theme of this year’s meeting for the exhibition sector: The Challenge of Change.


Picture: Huib van Bockel

How do companies reach potential customers in the Internet? How do they develop a loyal following online and in the social media? How do the millennials, who were born between 1980 and 1995, wish to be addressed and, much more importantly, what do they expect of exhibitions? The majority of companies are currently facing challenges such as these. At the UFI Open Seminar from 20 to 22 June 2016 in the Congress Center Basel, marketing and industry experts discussed not only digitisation and business transformation but also safety and security at events.

When brands are loved online

“If you do something that people value, they will love you for it. Be a brand that gives value to something”, says marketing expert Huib van Bockel, formerly marketing director at Red Bull and founder of the Tenzing energy drink. This means: deliver helpful and emotional content that prompts people to look into the product. At exhibitions, this can be interesting content on exhibitors, their products and their mission, for instance. “Every business can have a high-level commitment online”, says van Bockel.

“It won’t work without a consistent message”

Nike is a good example. Instead of heavy-handedly advertising their products, this sports giant produces content that people consume voluntarily and that supports Nike’s mission: animating people to do more sport and go running more often. “It won’t work without a consistent message”, says van Bockel. What is also decisive is to reach people straightaway. “Online, companies have only one second to convince users, otherwise they will continue scrolling.”

Van Bockel criticises the provision of advertising for users on the basis of collected data. At some stage, the users will simply block these brands – either with a tool, such as an ad blocker, or mentally. Simply being present on social media is also not enough. “It is not about being on Social Media, it is about being social.”

Concluding thoughts from Huib van Bockel for the exhibition industry:


How exhibitions reach the millennials

They have the highest purchasing power of all the generations and are frequently the most important target group for marketers: the millennials. This includes everyone born between 1980 and 1995. Anyone wishing to reach them has to understand them.

The millennials are marked by conflicts and do not build up trust so readily, they are optimistic realists and have grown up in the knowledge that they can achieve anything they want to, explains Dutch behavioural researcher, Tessa van Asselt. Millennials are constantly online, engaging in discourse with others in their networks. 93 percent take their smartphones to bed with them. The millennials’ expectation of brands and products is that they should make the world a somewhat better place.


Picture: Tessa van Asselt

“Enhance the experiences”

But what does this mean for exhibitions and events? “Millennials want to actively participate and not just listen”, says van Asselt. They want to be given skills and knowledge, and share this with others. They are searching for experiences and adventures instead of for possessions and wish to be surprised as they search. Exhibitions are in a good starting position here: “Exhibitions are so important, because people buy experiences”, says van Asselt. Her tip: “Do stuff that enhances their experiences and involves them” – in as personalised a manner as possible.

What this can look like was explained by internet-of-things expert Bernd Heinrich, from the openBerlin Innovation Center Cisco. Cisco staged so-called hackathons at a company exhibition. Hackathons are collaborative software and hardware development events where people jointly develop useful, creative or entertaining products within the duration of the event. The idea proved to be a success: the hackathons increased visitor numbers many times over and, at the end of the exhibition, various prototypes had been finished, a number of which were then jointly further developed.

At the end of the second day of the seminar, the MCH Group’s big anniversary gala dinner was held:


Picture gallery of the event is available online.

Blog originally published on 6/23/2016 at:



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