Exhibition News September 2022 | Page 39


Recovery “ It ’ s no longer good enough to throw 10,000 people in a hall , you have to procure it a lot more – so we ’ re doing a lot in that sphere . For our industry it ’ s about return on time . We have people spending money to come to shows , but it ’ s also their time . We need to maximise what they can do with their time , products they can see , education , networking opportunities . We need to respect that they are giving up time and give them the maximum opportunities while they are there .
That has always been the flaw I think to assume we have people engaged for two or three days at a show , ‘ why can ’ t we engage them 365 ?’ Well , the reason you can ’ t is [ at an event ] you get them really focused and after that they have a life , run a business , you ’ ve lost them . That ’ s why we need to make sure people are having the best possible experiences when they are at a show .”
“ They are not going to do the buying on a Zoom call . They are going to do that faceto-face and that has not changed ...”
Another fork on the road to recovery , will be recession , he says .
“ Who would have thought we would be dealing with a war that looks like it ’ s going to drag on and oil prices and utility prices going through the roof ? For our industry the big question is when will that hit ? Because it will hit . We are lag indicators . The world is recovering [ from Covid ] but we are slower to recover .
“ But the other side is when a recession hits , you don ’ t feel it straight away because you ’ ve got all the bookings . What we saw in the last financial crisis is the period of response was shorter . If the low point of the financial crisis was October 2008 , it was really February 2009 [ exhibitions ] saw the low point , and that ’ s what I ’ d expect this time too . We ’ re probably six months behind a recession .”
Exciting times Despite the difficulties , Emslie is optimistic . “ I think it ’ s an exciting time for the industry ,” he concludes . “ The unfortunate thing is just as we are recovering , we are going into a recession . What ’ s different is people have a lot more revenue streams . Every difficult situation brings something different .” EN
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