Is bigger better? Charlie McCurdy talks to Exhibition World

Talking to Exhibition World, Informa Exhibitions' CEO Charlie McCurdy discusses the opportunities which new acquisitions provide for our global business.

At Informa Exhibitions, we are managing primarily by vertical market served, where possible and appropriate. The scale of a large organiser can provide global reach within industries sourcing and distributing worldwide. A small organiser tends to be closer to customers and market trends, and more agile in anticipating customer needs. The challenge for a combined UBM/Informa exhibitions business is to maintain local market intensiveness while providing global reach. The combined UBM/Informa exhibition business will have unparalleled perspective within its core verticals and leading regional markets. No one else has as broad and deep a view of global activity within our key verticals. Both UBM and Informa have seen notable successes in this regard already, and the opportunity will only be greater. Our goal is to provide exceptional visitor and exhibitor insights and opportunities at our shows. And also beyond the show floor.
 

The integration, or perhaps better said, coordination of the UBM and Informa exhibition portfolios is by any measure a major undertaking. The exhibition business is an amazing business, and re-orienting the mission from ‘show-organiser’ to ‘market-maker’ is a non-trivial undertaking, but very rewarding.


First, the pace of talent and capabilities development continued to be a key constraint on the industry’s growth around the world, but it posed real curbs on the growth potential of smaller and mid-sized events organisers that are confined to one geography – even a large one like the US – or one of a few industry verticals. The rule of supply and demand has not yet been repealed, and the continued growth of our industry is increasingly dependent on access to talented, driven people choosing our industry for their career path and who can work effectively in a global environment.


Second, 2018 is the year that customer experience and sustainability stopped being buzzwords and came into their own as growth drivers and competitive tools. The same was true for innovative (and value-added) uses of event technology. We will be looking into 2019 knowing that these capabilities are expected now—not soon—among the key suppliers and buyers within our markets.

A version of this article originally appeared here.

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