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Tradeshows venture east

Asia has developed a winning formula for its own range of high profile tradeshows traditionally held in the West. Venturing east to meet new audiences and grow their market share, tradeshows that are based in the United States or Europe have steadily expanded their footprint to the other side of the globe. One of the primary reasons behind this move is the positive economic environment and growth in nearly every market in Asia.

As always, timing is critical. For example, Kingsmen has been the official contractor of TFWA Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition since its first run in Singapore in 1995, continuously supporting Tax Free World Association (TFWA) by understudying the show in Cannes – even setting up its Hong Kong office when the show moved there in 1998 and 1999. In 2001, CEMATEX, an organization comprising nine national European textile machinery associations, held the inaugural ITMA Asia in Singapore. Widely known as the ‘Olympics’ of all textile machinery shows, ITMA subsequently staged combined biennial shows with China’s main textile event (CITME) in Shanghai from 2008.

CeBIT, Germany
Elecom at CeBIT, Germany

Other established tradeshow organizers like Deutsche Messe have even created international offshoots of CeBIT, one of the largest digital IT and telecommunications trade fairs in Shanghai (Logistics + ICT Asia) in 2001 to rival its Asian counterpart, Computex Taipei.

“We chose Shanghai as our priority city, in the hope that the dynamic city will attract more industry visitors,” said a representative of organizer Hannover Fairs China Ltd.

Asia definitely continues to be the place where key industry players converge to determine and sustain new areas of growth for their respective industries.

TFWA Asia Pacific Conference Exhibition
TFWA Asia Pacific Conference Exhibition at Sands Expo Convention Centre, Singapore

Vast improvements in MICE infrastructure across Asia within the last five years has become a big pull factor as companies now have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources to stage successful tradeshows, conferences, meetings and events. Major tradeshows from a myriad of industries are turning to cities like Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Shanghai, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City amongst others with their improved MICE infrastructure. Opting for venues, such as Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, IMPACT (Bangkok) and Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre (Singapore), exhibitors and tradeshow organisers seek modern and technologically advanced facilities that offer diverse solutions.

The opportunities for growth in the region continue as several industries and organizations invest in upgrading infrastructure, connectivity and various resources to support major tradeshows. ITE Group acquired a 50 percent stake in the pan-ASEAN professional beauty event series, ‘Cosmobeaute,’ as well as the laboratory equipment ‘Lab’ exhibitions from Malaysia-based ECML Trade Fairs Southeast Asia. After over a decade of cooperation, VNU Exhibitions Europe from the Netherlands and TCC Exhibition & Convention Centre from Thailand entered into a company joint venture forming VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific, based in Bangkok. Industry associations and government institutions are likewise working hard to establish initiatives and schemes to make Asia’s MICE industry more attractive.

“The world is coming to Asia, offering a global service and standard to serve the needs within the region”, says Ho Chiew Peng, director of exhibitions & museums, Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd.

The contributor is the sales & marketing director of Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd, a leading communication design & production group in Asia Pacific & the Middle East.

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