Business / Companies

Global event organizer positive about China growth

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-22 07:15

Reed Exhibitions, a leading event organizer with a presence in 43 industries around the world, plans to continue growing in China amid the economic slowdown.

Mike Rusbridge, chairman of Reed Exhibitions, said Reed China doubled business growth in the country during the past five years and that he was optimistic about the nation's exhibition industry.

"There is some evidence of the impact of the economic slowdown, but it is all relative. We talk about relative to Europe or Latin America or anywhere else," said Rusbridge.

"I think it temporarily slows a little bit, but if we look at absolute growth rate, China remains highly competitive."

The increasing wealth of the middle class, the government's "go west" policy, urbanization and people's increasing interest in the exhibition industry are the main factors that support Reed China's growth, according to Rusbridge.

Government support and efforts to build new exhibition facilities have helped the industry grow.

"The complexity of doing business in China such as getting licenses and approval is much easier, which creates more freedom for the industry," said Rusbridge.

As China's government is investing heavily in the exhibition industry, some people question if there may be an oversupply of exhibition facilities, which could affect the whole business chain.

"I think there is a lag between supply and demand at the moment," said Rusbridge.

In the past 20 years, the nation's exhibition industry has got more and more sophisticated and the gap between China and the overseas exhibition market has narrowed.

"The industry is growing up. The level of sophistication in terms of the look, the feel, the presence of companies, the way they are marketing are very impressive," said Rusbridge.

Expansion in China

Reed Exhibitions entered the Chinese market in the 1980s and has spared no effort in adding new concepts and exhibitions to its portfolio.

This year Reed China will organize 54 shows covering 11 industries across the country.

The company is particularly strong in the gift and healthcare sectors.

The healthcare sector is Reed China's largest business unit in terms of revenue.

"The number of exhibitions is small but growing very fast. It represents a very important market in terms of growth and in terms of size," said Rusbridge.

Reed China expanded through acquisition, upgrading existing shows and launching new shows.

Global event organizer positive about China growth

Global event organizer positive about China growth

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