Face-to-face flourishing in the digital age.
10 October 2013
It’s a vibrant industry, abuzz with innovation, world first launches and solid expansion. While many may believe that social media and online technology is the out front leader in modern sales and marketing, Auckland based company XPO Exhibitions knows differently.
“Trade Shows are enjoying an incredible resurgence in popularity in New Zealand,” says managing director Brent Spillane as he today announces the major acquisition of HAYLEYMEDIA’s trade exhibition division.
The purchase of The National Safety Show, MHL (Materials Handling & Logistics) Show, SouthMACH and the South Island Hospitality Show will take place on the 30th September 2013.
“People tend to have a preconceived idea that New Zealand is too small to host quality industry exhibitions, but that’s just not true,” says Brent. “Many world first innovations are being launched at our existing industry events and we estimate hundreds of millions of dollars in trade is happening onsite each year.
“We continue to receive serious attention from local and central government who consider our ten existing B2B Trade events as prime ways to communicate with industry and encourage export growth. One example was an ATEED-supported New Zealand Food Innovation Showcase which took place at our last Foodtech Packtech show.
“XPO has a growing database containing more than 140,000 unique (mostly SME) business visitors who have attended our shows in the past three years. These numbers have been authenticated by the Circulations Audit Board of Australasia who verifies the attendance at each show.
“This surge in attendance is attracting growing marketing budgets from many hundreds of business exhibitors. Businesses are seeing value in selling their business products face-to-face with target industry customers.
“No sensible B2B marketer would argue the conversion rate statistics from selling face-to-face versus a Google ad.”
XPO’s acquisition will see the four large scale shows added to the company’s current line-up which includes the New Zealand Gift & Homewares Fairs, Engineering Machinery & Electronics Exhibition (EMEX), Foodtech Packtech, BuildNZ, Designex and MyBiz Expo.
Adding even more gunpowder to XPO’s planned growth and expansion is the recent appointment of Tony Waite, former GM Sales at TVNZ.
“Tony is our new National Events and Sales Director and his appointment is a big statement about where our events business is heading,” says Brent. “Tony is leading our new five year plan which includes a new major events strategy for the company. We’re on a mission right now to create meaningful exhibitions for growing trade sectors across New Zealand.
“With the addition of HAYLEYMEDIA’s trade exhibitions, and our growth into new sectors, XPO is now covering a wider range of industries including engineering, electronics, manufacturing, technology, machinery, safety, logistics and handling, building and construction, design, architecture, gift and home wares, business services, food, packaging and hospitality.
“Our immediate priorities are bedding down the new brands and communicating the good news to our customers,” he says.
“The HAYLEYMEDIA team have worked tirelessly to create strong show brands. We plan to build and further grow the shows – cross selling the new shows to our existing customers, as well as giving new customers reasons to consider our event format.
“XPO will be rolling out our bespoke visitor registration technology to the newly acquired shows. This allows exhibitors to better qualify and followup leads via permission-based scanning to retain visitor contact details. The acquisition also allows XPO to extend value to our growing list of event sponsors who are offering products and services tailored to each industry.”
Sponsors include Ford, BNZ and 2 Degrees Mobile who are all enjoying exclusive engagement in their respective fields with industry visitors at events. “Ford Motor Company of New Zealand recently reaffirmed its belief in the power of XPO by extending another two years of sponsorship deals, including many more car giveaways at the shows,” says Brent.
In 2010 the Spillane family purchased New Zealand’s largest Trade Exhibitions portfolio from dmg world media nz ltd (part of the Daily Mail Group UK).
Those events include three annual NZ Gift & Homewares Fairs, EMEX, Foodtech Packtech, buildnz and designex. The Spillane family have been intimately involved with the NZ Gift & Homewares Fairs since their inception in the early eighties. The acquisition of the three HAYLEYMEDIA shows will compliment and consolidate XPO’s current businesses.
HAYLEYMEDIA owner Andy Hobbs is considered one of the most experienced show organisers in New Zealand. A former Christchurch Press newspaper salesman, Andy pioneered the trade show industry in this country in 1972. He sold his company, XPO Exhibitions, to dmg world media Ltd in 2000 (part of the Daily Mail Group UK).
Andy established Hayley Media in 2002. His daughter Rachel Hobbs-Price has been an important part of the business and has been involved one way or another since she was eight years old. She has worked full time with Andy for the last 25 years, in her role as HAYLEYMEDIA’s exhibition director.
With the divestment of the trade exhibition arm of his business, Andy will now focus his energies on running HAYLEYMEDIA’s leading trade magazines NZ Engineering News, NZ Food Technology and Machinery Seller.
Says Andy: “We think XPO will continue to deliver a quality exhibition experience across the shows and our magazines will continue to advocate and strongly support these events.”
From Brent: “Andy has more than 40 years’ experience running exhibitions and as the (relative) new guy on the block I’m keen to tap into that knowledge base.”
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