The industry is flourishing yet a little perplexing. Maybe this is the most suitable description for exhibition industry in China at present. For Chinese enterprises, nowadays, exhibitions play an important role in their“going global”and expanding markets. Every year in China, there are totally ten thousands of exhibitions of different scales in different regions and for different industries.
At the same time,with the booming development of “exhibition economy”, its pain points surface. On the one hand, expenditure spent on an exhibition can reach hundreds of thousand Yuan,while good results not always reap; on the other hand, there are also other problems, for example, it is hard for the organizer to attract enterprises to take part in, the exhibition duration is short, participants are hard to maintain, information is asymmetrical. Industry insiders are thinking about antidotes to bottlenecks and pushing forward development by integrating traditional exhibition and modern measures.
A yield rate of as high as more than 10
This piece of “the bread of cities”is highly appealing
Hundreds of million and even more than a billion being produced in a matter of several days may sound a myth for some industry, but it is touchable in exhibition industry, which is dubbed as “the bread of cities,” “the name card of cities,” and “economic booster of cities.” Therefore, it plays a critical role in local economic development.
Take the recent 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival for an example, in just two weeks, it attracted tens of thousands of fans as well as many film stars and celebrities who have really high consumption capacity, money they spent on eating, drinking and playing could hit an surprisingly enormous figure. According to estimations carried out by an industry insider of exhibition economy, this gathering boasts a rate of return of as high as 15, meaning,1 yuan invested can produce 15 yuan. Exhibition and convention industry brings HK 5 billion US dollars, accounting for about 2% of its GDP, and creates more than 69,000 jobs, according to HK Exhibition & Convention Industry Association.
Let’s have a look at the World Internet Conference, it attracted more than 3000 participants in the field of internet across the globe, including, guests, media representatives and non-official representatives. Close to 90 Million yuan was brought to Wuzhen from catering, accommodation, shopping ,travel and entertainment, and about 800 million to local areas. This is mainly thanks to the “driving force”of exhibition economy. Experts predicate that, rate of return of global exhibitions on average is about 9, and some even higher, such as WIC,13, and Canton Fair, 15.
It is this nature of “great profitability” that make many cities and provinces attach great importance to the development of exhibition industry. As of now, International Motor Show, APEC Summit, Boao Forum for Asia, World Internet Conference, G20 Summit and other international meetings have been successfully held in China, and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Hangzhou are cities of great popularity.
High cost, short duration, asymmetric information
Challenges traditional exhibition industry faces
With a history stretching back over 3 decades, the traditional exhibition industry has also confronted some problems in its development.
“There are so many kinds of exhibitions and publicity stunts abound, however, we are not sure if the exhibition is of any help or if it is suitable for us. Sometimes, we are afraid of wasting money on useless exhibitions, even when we do have decided to participate, there will be a lot of complicated and time-consuming work to do before we can finally showcase our products or services on the exhibition; in addition, offline exhibitions last for only a couple of days, far for enough for us to get to more opportunities ,” an exhibitor told us. It is no exaggeration that he is in good company.
These experiences are exactly the pain points of tradition exhibition industry. First, too many exhibitions leads to homogenization, the form, effectiveness become less attractive to enterprises and thus their willingness to take part in is on the decline; second, too many supply chains, too fragmented information and seriously asymmetric information are involved in exhibitions, which make it less possible for suppliers and buyers to screen and match in an effective manner; what’s more, limitations on time, space and distance can cost exhibitors investment in task force, material and finance, while bringing them no good publicity or economic benefits.
Given such situations, traditional exhibition industry is facing serious challenges and badly needs transformation and upgrading. Especially at such a time when popularity of internet is widening, it is able to connect information that was earlier isolated, and widen existing channels for information transmission by big data exchange and sharing, giving full play to the magic of “information.”
Some exhibitor tell us, exhibitions play a significant role in their“going global”, in that, exhibitions can not only let them talk with potential clients“face to face”, explore new markets, and also, keep close touch with existing customers. So, when traditional exhibitions and internet combined, which can let exhibitors see physical items with their own eyes, and also turn to online exchanges for cooperation, enhance presence of their brands and make the most out of cooperation.
An era of digital economy
New ideas on exhibition industry
With the thriving development of internet, a slew of new industries and new forms of industry are emerging, and as a significant driver for boosting the full integration of internet technologies and real economy, digital economy is all the more eye-catching for various industries.
Insiders hold that, in a digital era, exhibition industry can obtain huge value through digital transformation. For example, Jumorehui, a digital exhibition platform affiliated to JUMORE E-commerce, by integrating resources in the field of exhibition, is able to pool upstream and downstream service providers, who can provide quality service for the whole industrial chain. On the one hand, Jumorehui breaks limitations on region, time, space, distance and cost, helping enterprises hold online expos that last almost“forever” in some sense, and making it possible for participating enterprises seamlessly grasp business opportunities through the platform after offline exhibitions. On the other hand, Jumorehui has forged partnerships with more than 150 countries, pooled more than 290,000 pieces of supply and demand information, and a database including more than 550,000 purchasers.With such a huge database, it helps enterprises better align themselves with needs in exhibition and procurement, boost their business development. From a macro point of view, digital exhibition service causes radical changes in traditional exhibition industry while realizing its business values, bringing an overall industrial upgrading to exhibition industry and quality transformation of Chinese foreign trade.
It can be said that, with the rapid development of internet and digital industry, more traditional industries are expected of transformation and upgrading. Exhibitions no longer just mean physical exhibition, but also digital exhibition service, which can realize the deep integration of traditional exhibitions and media industry, exhibition industry and advertising industry and other related industries, greatly enriching the connotation of exhibition industry and expanding room for its further development. However, we have a long way to go in pushing forward the application of digital exhibition platforms in many aspects, for example, how to ensure the implementation of policies, in order to promote the coordinated development of upstream and upstream parties of the value chain while serving the real economy and giving full play to new vitality of the exhibition industry.