Business / Companies

Reed Exhibitions plans digital push in China

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-05 10:21

Events organizer Reed Exhibitions said it is increasing its marketing spending in China and its use of digital development tools.

Chet Burchet, Reed's global CEO, said it is accelerating its presence in China to match the rapid growth of the country's middle class, especially in second- and third-tier cities.

Part of RELX Group Plc, which provides information solutions across a variety of sectors, Reed Exhibitions will particularly target its marketing focus on the mobile market, which is "extremely important in China", said Burchet.

He said it has developed an integrated online digital platform called Axon, an interconnected tool to enhance the organization's marketing capability. The firm recently appointed Hu Wei as its first Chinese national to head the China division.

The company has 43 offices worldwide, and Reed Exhibitions greater China has nine subsidiaries covering trade exhibitions, consumer events, conferences and meetings.

Burchet said changing economic conditions have played a key role in Reed's business strategy, and that the burgeoning Chinese middle class is now the major factor in its thinking. "As well as rising disposable incomes, consumption trends have changed and there is an overall desire for better lifestyles, dominated by the very best possible products," said Burchet.

"These factors point to the lifestyle and healthcare industries, especially experiencing fast growth in the short and medium term."

Last year the company launched various events targeted on enriching people's lives such as the debut Shanghai Comic Convention in May, which brought the worlds of comics, cinema, television, toys and video games to fans from all across Asia.

Burchet claims Reed in China continues to lead in key industry segments, ranking first in the homeware, packaging, healthcare and medical and pharmaceutical events. Last year, it hosted some 25 major annual events.

One of the highlights of the year was its launch of the health industry summit in Shanghai, also in May, which added significant clout to Reed's role in the industry, he said.

The event, which attracted participants from the global pharmaceutical and medical industries, was organized by Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions, a joint venture between Reed and Sinopharm, China's largest State-owned pharmaceutical group.

Now ranked as the world's largest integrated health industry event, he said the summit was held in the city's newly opened National Exhibition and Conference Center, considered the world's largest single block exhibition complex spanning a massive 260,000 square meters of exhibition space.

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