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The week in events: lessons from Kanye West?

Your weekly exhibition industry news round-up from ExpoPlatform: we’ve seen organisers ranked by revenue, another UK nation will require vaccine passports for events – and some potential lessons for organisers from Kanye West.

Top exhibition organisers ranked by revenue

AMR has released its ranking of the top 20 exhibition organisers by revenue for 2020, with Informa Markets coming way out on top.

The company held on to first place and was followed by RX – formerly Reed Exhibitions – while CFTC moves to third, up from the ninth position last year.

These new figures show revenue fell dramatically across the industry compared with 2019 – with some losing around two-thirds of income.

Florent Jarry, Head of AMR’s Global Events Practice, said: “2020 was an exceptional year due to the disruption of Covid-19, as a result, the rankings are strongly biased towards organisers with strong Q1 calendars and with strong portfolios in China, where events were less disrupted in H2.

“This has led to the ranking being substantially different from previous years. Therefore, this year’s AMR Top 20 is a snapshot and not representative of longer-term market positions.”

Meanwhile, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released its 2021 CEIR Index Report, analysing the business-to-business (B2B) exhibition industry’s performance.

It also includes an economic forecast for the next three years and was published shortly after the institute’s Predict conference.

Findings from the latest report set out that the full recovery of the sector will depend on how economies emerge from coronavirus, with a number of factors impacting that potential.

However, the research shows the most likely period for to “fully” return to life before the pandemic will be 2023 – at 60%.

Download our free Monetisation Blueprint to find out how you can drive digital revenue in this transformed landscape.

Cathy Breden, CEIR CEO, said: “The past 20 months have been a real struggle for the exhibition industry – and there remains a great deal of uncertainty.

“Exhibition organisers have demonstrated through health and safety measures that our events can be safely held.

“This economic impact of the exhibition industry is important for telling our story on the effect of shows to the US economy.”

Meanwhile, this year’s CEIR Predict event focussed on the transformation of B2B exhibitions in terms of current economic, geo-political and social issues.

A series of in-depth presentations during the September 13-14 event gave attendees timely and relevant data to help them shape their organisations using future-focused programming.

Tarsus announces new Chinese investment

Global B2B media group and exhibition organiser Tarsus has announced that it has entered into a partnership with the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA).

The pair will now produce the world’s leading printed circuit board event, the International Electronics Circuit Exhibition Shenzhen (IECES Show) from 2022 onwards.

This event was first launched as South China International Printed Circuit & Equipment Fair in 2002 and is now one of the leading platforms for the printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics assembly (EA) industries. 

The PCB market has experienced steady growth in recent years, with China accounting for more than 50% of the world’s PCB production.

Last year’s event included 431 exhibitors and more than 48,000 visits in attendance – despite the pandemic.

Tarsus CEO Douglas Emslie said: “The HKPCA and the China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA) have jointly created and nurtured a hugely successful event.

“The Asia-Pacific region is dominating the global PCB and EA markets and we look forward to further develop and internationalise the event from next year onwards.

“Tarsus will deploy our experience, global resources and network to deliver growth and value for our partners and the industry as a whole.”

Canice Chung, HKPCA chairman, added: “We have been very impressed by Tarsus’ track record of working with associations and  developing events in China as well as internationally.

“We look forward to working with our new event partners to advance our growth plans and augment the event’s position in the industry.”

Lessons from Kanye West?

Kanye West’s latest album could serve as inspiration for event planners, it has been claimed.

Donda was created in real time using feedback from fans using a technique, dubbed “building in public”.

It saw the artist tour songs from the unreleased record to audiences and gauging their reactions.

He would then make edits in his nearby studio based on their responses.

It was released last month and took the number one spot in charts around the world, having been delayed from July 2020.

Robyn Duda, founder of RDC agency, published an interesting take that there are lessons for event planners: embrace change and feedback.

She said: “The future of events is here for those that truly understand the humans behind the tickets, it is non-negotiable – the data, technology and creativity exist.

“When you have loyal fans of your brand, they make sure you are number one  – over and over and over again.

“If I owned an event right now, I’d get to know my audience fast and take some design risks.

“Events cannot afford to move forward doing the same thing.

“I’d start by breaking down everything that your audience experiences about your brand and build it back up and involve your customers and audience.”

New scheme launched to improve fairness in our industry

The Events Industry Council (EIC) has launched the first phase of its landmark Equity Acceleration Plan.

This stage will focus on setting a benchmark to measure progress on diversity, equity and inclusion in the events industry.

It aims to give respondents the opportunity to share some of their personal experiences and opinions on what is needed to improve the sector.

Results from this will then inform the development of tools, resources and recommendations.

Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC, said: “With over 10.3 million direct jobs and over 1.5 billion participants in our sector and as the industry that at its heart fosters human connection and collaborations, we have the opportunity and responsibility to be a catalyst for meaningful and measurable change.

“The Equity Acceleration Plan will enable us to support event professionals to create more diverse and inclusive environments, develop career pathways, and ensure representation in leadership and supply chains by providing the learning and resources intended to reach and support our community.”

Vaccine passports the future for all UK events?

The likeliness of vaccine passports being required across the whole of the UK grew this week after their introduction in Wales.

Ticket holders for largescale events and nightclubs in the country will be required to show an NHS Covid Pass proving they have been fully vaccinated or had a negative test to gain entry to venues from October.

It comes the Scottish Government’s announcement that vaccine passports will be required at events from October 1.

Meanwhile, vaccine passports could be introduced in England at just one week’s notice if Covid-19 cases spike in the autumn or winter.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We have high levels of the virus in our communities and while our fantastic vaccination programme has helped stop thousands more people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is increasing.

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a Covid Pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

“Showing a Covid Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it.

“We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.”

Take a look at our complete guide on hybrid events to see how you can increase accessibility for those without passports.