Global Industry Insights : September 2009
Sustainability Practices Take Root in Asia's Exhibition Industry
Written by: Paul Woodward, CEO, Business Strategies Group Ltd., Hong Kong
An increased focus on sustainability practices is a common trend in many industries worldwide. The exhibition industry is no exception, as it generates a surprising amount of waste ranging from printed mailings sent to visitors, to exhibitor’s manuals, to PVC banners, to venue energy consumption, and more.
The exhibition markets in the U.S. and Europe are more mature in terms of sustainability practices, but similar changes are already appearing in Asia’s exhibitions industry. Key change drivers in Asia are cost-savings and enhancement of corporate reputation. Government regulation, which has played a role in other markets, is unlikely to play in Asia, as governments are focused on more large-scale polluters.
Key players in Asia are already implementing cost-saving sustainability practices. Examples of these practices include:
- Reducing the use of paper communications with visitors and exhibitors and shifting to digital alternatives.
- Avoiding the use of PVC banners and signage and instead using paper and cotton substitutes.
- Limiting the use of carpet in exhibition hall gangways and using recyclable carpets where it is necessary.
- Shifting to water-based paints instead of the less environmentally-friendly oil-based paints.
- Using low-energy light bulbs in booths and light boxes.
As in other parts of the world, the industry in Asia faces some thorny challenges in the move to sustainable practices. Communicating, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of a sustainability policy among all the parties involved in an event is difficult. In Asia, initiatives are further complicated by the varied geographic markets. What works effectively in Hong Kong may not be useful in Mumbai, Shanghai or Tokyo.
Despite these setbacks, it is now clear that the shift to sustainable practices is coming to Asia. The only question that remains is which companies will adapt more effectively and more efficiently to these practices – developments that are worth watching, as some players will develop a lasting competitive advantage through this transformation.
IAB Predicts Online Ad Growth in 2010
Source: M and M Global
Online advertising will grow by 6.5 per cent in 2010 according to the Interactive Advertising Bureaux (IAB) Europe.
For the first time, the IAB has published online advertising forecasts in association with research partner Screen Digest, based on data from 19 IAB countries across Europe. According to the findings in 2008 online advertising grew 20 per cent. Growth in 2009 is expected to slow 2.4 per cent with a recovery in 2010.
By format, display is expected to grow by 0.4 per cent this year followed by 5.0 per cent in 2010. Search leads all formats with growth of 8 per cent this year and a further 11 per cent next. While classifieds grew by 17 per cent in 2008, it declined by 5 per cent this year and is only expected to grow by less than 1 per cent next.
When it comes to emerging formats such as social networks, online video, in-game, digital out-of-home and mobile, most advertisers admitted to being apprehensive about using a format they had not used before the recession. Mobile is the only emerging format which is expected to show growth this year over last.
ABM Confirms Power of Business Media During Challenging Economic Times
Nikkei, CLB Media among companies utilizing new ABM ad
ABM member companies around the globe, including CLB Media, Kerrwil Publications and Nikkei Business Publications, are utilizing the Association's new ad (available FREE for members) to promote the power of business media to their respective audiences.
While nobody knows with absolute certainty in which direction the economy is heading, one important fact is undeniable: Advertising in b-to-b media can significantly benefit businesses, especially during periods of economic uncertainty. This powerful and universal message is captured within ABM's advertisement, which features significant findings from several recent studies, including ones by Yankelovich/Harris and Forrester.
ABM's ad is available FREE for your use as the Association's latest membership benefit ... Click here or contact Kate Patton to download the ad for use in your publication or on your Web site. It's available in various electronic banner ad formats, including Leaderboard and Skyscraper.
Feel free to customize the ad with your logo or translate it into your country’s language, as Nikkei has done here, to make it better resonate with your audiences.
JMPA to Explore Digitization, Monetization of Magazine Content
Written by: Yuko Tanaka, Director of International Sales, Marketing & Communications,
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
Since January this year, the Japan Magazine Publishers Association (JMPA) and its member publishers have been promoting studies of how to digitalize and monetize magazine content. Last month, the JMPA kicked off the “Consortium for Digital Promotion of Magazine Content” with 35 member publishers, as well as companies (including mainly printers, ad agencies, electronics companies and communication/digital service providers), to explore this issue.
The Consortium will conduct various experiments over the next two years, focused mainly on themes such as management of digital magazine content copyrights, introduction of an industry-common platform for content delivery, and development of standard viewing formats as well as micropayment systems.
This forum is a highly-unique initiative in any media industry around the world, as it brings together competing magazine publishers to work towards a common goal of reviving an industry that has been shrinking for more than a decade. The service model that is currently being considered is to enable users to read magazine articles of their interest originating from any publisher on a platform of their choice (PC, mobile, e-paper based device, etc.). The objective of JMPA and the member publishers is to increase the number of touch points for users to access magazine content and regain the reputation that magazines continue to be quality and essential sources amidst a flood of information now available on the Internet.
B2B in India: An Emerging, but High-Growth, Opportunity
Written by: Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder & Managing Director, Nine Dot Nine Mediaworx Pvt. Ltd.
The Indian B2B media market is currently small and generally seen as the poor cousin of the much larger mass media and B2C market. There are no reliable industry estimates, but it would be fair to say that the entire industry across print, online, business information and conferences/expos would be less than $100 million. However, this number is set to change.
The Indian economy has grown at roughly 9% over the past few years. Certain sectors have grown well in excess of that. Overall media spends, including print, have grown in excess of 15% annually. Even in the face of the current downturn, the economy is expected to clock a healthy GDP growth of 7% annually. As we have seen in the developed world, as the economy matures, the need for business knowledge and information is clearly growing. India has a half-dozen business magazines and as many dedicated business TV channels. Equally, there are dominant B2B magazines, conferences and expos in every conceivable industry or professional community.
However, aside from a few big Indian players and the more recent MNC entrants, the market remains highly fragmented. More than 90% of the B2B companies in India have one or two publications in a sector in which the owner has traditionally built networks, and annual revenues are in the range of $250,000. Therefore, they have been satisfied with the size of their businesses and the pace of growth, but with the recent spurt in the economy, they are seeing increasing demand from both readers and advertisers.
While professionals flock to B2B publications, Web sites and events to make better business decisions and develop professionally and personally as leaders, advertisers are now realizing the virtues of targeting through B2B media. Given the greater efficiencies and 360-degree nature of B2B media, it is far more attractive to the advertiser who wants the best "bang for the buck" in the current environment.
They also realize that B2B media are also better positioned than other media in terms of the long-term evolution of the media industry into a combination of print and online. As the traditional mass media and B2C media struggle to come to terms with the disruptive effects of the Internet on their largely print businesses, B2B media has embraced the online and digital world in a far more integrated and meaningful way. Typical readers and consumers of B2B media work in businesses, where they have ready Internet access and active email accounts. Subscribing to e-newsletters with links to websites, blogs and white papers are increasingly becoming part of the workday.
All these changes bode well for the future of Indian B2B media. No wonder that there is now a spate of MNC entries and licensing deals in India.
The future is not without its challenges, however.
In my view, the biggest strategic roadblock is the constraints on talent. Yet, this roadblock is counter-intuitive, as everyone assumes India has great talent. The current crop of B2B products, except for a few, is way below international benchmark standards in terms of design, content and overall impact.
Our editorial talent pool is not geared to take on the growing demands of this space. For far too long, professionals have been accepting of what has been dished out to them, and now they are becoming much more demanding. The biggest constraint to meeting their increasing demands is high-quality, relevant editorial talent. While this will improve with time, cracking this issue will be the biggest determinant of success for B2B media companies in India.
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