Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Social Media in Asia

Lots of good data in this SlideShare Presentation from Ogilvy's Thomas Crampton. I'm delighted that he's going to join us for the UFI Open Seminar in Asia next March. Check out the web site and watch up for Twitter with the hashtag #ufitaipei

Monday, December 14, 2009

Harvard and BA on F2F

Now it does seem that BA is about to make it hard for us to follow through on its proposal to get face-to-face with what that great bastion of moderation and toleration the Daily Mail calls its "kamikaze staff" about to go on a merry Christmas strike. However, don't let that detract from this interesting promotion highlight by Fleishman Hilliard's Napoleon Biggs in a post title Forget Facebook, get Face-2-Face! BA is giving away tickets to businesses trying to build their activity through face-to-face sales and marketing activities. Of course, when you'll be able to use them is anybody's guess.

Dig into the BA microsite and you'll come across a report by Harvard Business Review called "Managing Across Distance in Today's Economic Climate: the value of face-to-face communication". As Brussels, only recently free from its straight banana crisis, grapples with the idea of adopting the WWF's proposed 20% reductions in business travel, this will come as a breath of fresh air to those in the events industry.

A couple of highlights from the HBR report's executive summary:

  • Virtually all survey participants (95%) said that face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term relationships.
  • 89% agreed that face-to-face meetings are essential for sealing the deal
  • 79% said that in-person meetings are the most effective way to meet new clients to sell business
  • 52% said that restrictions on the number of flights they take for business would hurt their business

Of course, if the airline you want to use is on strike (or, in due course, out of business), it makes taking those flights a bit harder.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The virtual fairs are coming

UBM Asia Launches Virtual MBA Fair
The press release from UBM Asia has really set me thinking. I talked about it last week in Australia (thanks EEAA for your hospitality) and have been noticing that, 10 years after event organisers were panicking about the prospects of virtual trade fairs during Dotcom v1.0, there has been a real surge in events like this. Some of them (e.g. Red 7 Media's FolioShow and Expo Tech) have replaced existing real live events while others, such as this UBM announcement look like brand new, stand-alone events.

To me the technology is still pretty clunky and I don't like the Second Life style of the graphics some of the systems use, but that's probably just a symptom of my advancing years. It also seems unlikely that we'll see a wholesale draft from real life events to virtual shows but we are getting quite close to a tipping point where virtual events can take there place as part of the marketing mix, combining some of the convenience and cheapness of a web site with some of the interactivity of a real, face-to-face experiences.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

China Digital Trends from AdAge

5 Really Cool Digital Trends Heading to China in 2010 - AdAgeChina - Viewpoint

Great piece here on the AdAge China site which I notice has quietly gone "free to air" (it used to be behind a subs wall). Read the whole piece. It has all sorts of interesting facts to back up the claim that these five will be the key trends next year in the mainland:

1. Apple iPhone Apps
2. Online Games Will Continue to Grow
3. Mobile Social Networking - mobile almost anything I'd say, but they have a good point and some good numbers here.
4. The Shanghai World Expo
5. Augmented Reality - I'm hearing a lot about this at the moment and am not sure I fully understand it or how it will work. But, those out there on the bleeding edge are quite convinced that this is a really important wave and one which will have a big impact on events too.