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EEAA NEWS | JOYCE DIMASCIO
n business events, the exhibition and event
sector is highly commercial– nimble, global
and strongly connected to all industries –
from services to technology, agriculture,
medical science, food, hospitality, retail and
technology. The list goes on and on.
But who drives the growth of the exhibition
industry? Like all sectors of the economy, it
relies on positive business and consumer
sentiment. This triggers investment, exhibitor
participation and visitor attendance. But if we
peel back these high level factors, who is
responsible for stimulating real growth?
The answer: the entrepreneurs.
The role of entrepreneurs in the exhibition
and events industry is vital. Globally, the big
“organisers” are looking to the ideas of the
entrepreneur. International mergers and
acquisitions expert, Steve Monnington of
Mayfield Media Strategies discussed this
topic at a recent Exhibition and Event
Association of Australasia (EEAA) conference.
He proposed that the industry relies on
entrepreneurs and that they are the drivers of
growth and opportunity.
He said that more than 90 per cent of
shows were created by entrepreneurs and
then acquired by the big organisers. Around
the world, growth is entirely predicated on
acquisitions, he says.
Within the EEAA, our members are always
looking for new opportunities. They look to
global trends as well as Australian
entrepreneurs for growth opportunities.
It’s entrepreneurs who are driving the growth of the
exhibition industry, says Joyce DiMascio.
Our recent member survey indicated there are eight new events to be launched this year.
Another three events are in development for potential launch.
We know that our organiser members are always looking to grow the expo market. This is
what drives our dynamic, commercial and highly diverse portfolio of events.
New events and exhibitions are an essential aspect of the industry. Overall global exhibition
growth is running at 2.7 per cent per year. New events feed the supply chain and enable
marketplaces to be created.
Monnington says: “Everybody thinks that the big exhibition organisers are the all-powerful
people, but actually they depend on the humble entrepreneur for their livelihood. Big organisers
rely on entrepreneurs. There is a food chain that goes from the venue and the entrepreneur right
up to the big organisers. Globally, very few events are being developed in-house by organisers.
Instead they seek out young pre-existing shows that they can purchase and develop.”
These “entrepreneurs” in our industry are experienced individuals who independently create
Monnington argues: “Entrepreneurs are less risk adverse, faster, arguably more in touch with
the sector community. While we are all naval gazing, they have gone out and launched the
show. These individuals are arguably doing the most valuable work,” he says.
Venues need to foster relationships with entrepreneurs to make sure their events are successful.
At the EEAA we are always excited by new events and exhibitions. Without them the market
would stagnate. These new events have the opportunity to become staples of the sector. Every
event was young once.
As an industry we need to value and encourage these entrepreneurs. We need to learn from
them. We need to try to incorporate their individual forward-thinking within our own companies.
It is essential to look forward and collaborate as an industry.
Monnington further added that: “The entrepreneur is where everything begins. They are the
lifeblood of the industry. If we don’t listen to and nurture these entrepreneurs our industry will
The global mergers and acquisitions environment is a good indicator of the health of the
industry. Around the globe every week there is news of major and minor deals with shows
passing through their ownership evolution. Hear what else Steve Monnington had to say. Check
out the video of his EEAA conference presentation and his panel discussion, with HSBC chief
executive Paul Bloxham and our president Spiro Anemogiannis. It’s a fascinating insight into the
exhibition world. https://eeaa.com.au/resources/video-library/ m
For more information about the EEAA visit www.eeaa.com.au.
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