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Julian Agostini: Why we need an Industry Expansion Initiative
posted on: 2012-05-02 16:24:03
Julian Agostini blog

Mash Media MD Julian Agostini outlines our exciting new plans to expand the exhibition industry.

Mash Media’s mission statement is to expand the industries we serve. There’s not much point in having a mission statement if your activities don’t bear out its message.
For us, I can honestly say our mission drives all our strategic decisions and is represented in the first question we ask ourselves when presenting a new idea – how does that help expand the industry?
It’s this singular commitment that helped us to create and define our new Industry Expansion Initiative (IEI), which kicked off in April. This is certainly not the only way we are helping to expand the industry, as we have several new projects on the go, but this is the key initiative dedicated to creating new exhibitions.
I will use this blog to keep the industry up-to-date with the IEI’s progress on a regular basis. You can also follow me on twitter: @julian_agostini
So what’s the plan? Well, the IEI is based on the premise that exhibitions serve communities; some ofthese help create and establish the community, others evolve from somethingthat already exists. As a result, we need a combination of brand new ideas and a selection of communities not currently served by an exhibition if we’re going to grow our industry.
Our objective is to address those two areas, and our search plans will extend across the following:
·      Conferences – We are fortunate to have a head start in this field as we already serve the conference market via Conference News and its portfolio of products.
·      Publishing – As a publisher, Mash Media is familiar with how this market operates and we will be working with the Professional Publishers Association to identify new markets for exhibitions.
·      Other media – TV is a great example and we are already talking to ITV’s new live events lead consultant, James Gower, about developing the broadcaster’s brands into shows.
·      Websites – The newest form of communities in many ways and perhaps the least tangible at the moment but ripe for a live offering.
The brand new ideas will come from entrepreneurs as always, and we are also working to attract these to the exhibition industry. In September, Mash will run a seminar on how to launch an exhibition as a way of providing innovators with the tools they need forindustry success.
In November, Mash is also staging the exhibitions equivalent of Dragons’ Den, where several new ideas will be put to the test by dyed-in-the-wool exhibition backers.
As well as joining an entrepreneurs club, I have personally committed to visiting all 31 universities that run an event management course to speak to the students about becomingexhibition organisers – or more broadly, to sell our industry as the place to be.
So our ship has set sail and we intend to return in two years with 30 new exhibitions to hit our industry.
The more backing we can get for this project, the more we can achieve and the quicker we can move. To date, I am pleased to say we have had wonderful support from the SECC, Perton Signs, Earls Court and Olympia Venues and Moyne Exhibitions.
I’m sure there will be more to follow, as more exhibitions is obviously for the greater good of our industry. I hope you’ll also get behind the IEI and I welcome your thoughts on how we drive this further.