Thursday, February 25, 2010

UBM, social media and Japan

Interesting to see this use of YouTube by UBM Asia Senior Vice President Chris Eve. It captures nicely the buzz of a new e-commerce event which opened today in Tokyo.

It seems increasingly clear that companies who can successfully combine their web offerings, social networks and face-to-face events can have a significant advantage over competitors who remain unconvinced about these things - a sizeable number based on straw polls at recent industry events we have attended.

Update: They're working on this during the course of the day and have an updated version available already at: Very impressive guys!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

China’s attitude shift

James McGregor, a journalist, media entrepreneur, investor and long-time resident of China, gave a sobering talk today at an Amcham lunch in Hong Kong. As an American living in China for more than 20 years, McGregor says that he loves both countries, but he thinks there has been an unsettling attitude shift in China recently. He believes that the arrogance that was once a less-than-appealing feature of U.S. businesses abroad has been adopted by the Chinese at an alarming rate.

Some of McGregor’s other observations included:

- A belief in “exceptionalism,” which was once an American position, is now common amongst Chinese business leaders and officials.

- More than ever before, Chinese authorities are moving to implement regulations to rig markets in favour of Chinese businesses. These regulations are designed to replace foreign businesses.

- “Indigenous Innovation” is a policy gaining traction at all levels of government in China. McGregor notes however, encouraging innovation which is protected from global competition by a net of regulations is not a plan that is likely to succeed.

- State-owned enterprises are enjoying a resurgence as Beijing has rediscovered its interest in maintaining an economic constituency that it can count on and control. Privately-owned Chinese businesses are beginning to feel they are at a disadvantage in their own country.

- Google was not about censorship. It was about corporate espionage.

- China is headed towards building the world’s largest intranet and if Chinese businesses want to compete globally, they can only do succeed if they have access to the same information that the rest of the world has.


Monday, February 08, 2010

MICE leaders gather in Subic Bay

This is Mark Cochrane here jumping into Paul's blog space...

I just returned from the annual Philippine MICE Conference. This year more than 300 delegates attended the event in Subic Bay. The conference featured leaders from all corners of Asia's MICE industry. MICE China's managing director, David Zhong, charted the growth of China's outbound meetings market which started from close zero just ten years ago. David noted that favourite destinations of mainland groups such as Singapore and Thailand have taken notice as the average group size has risen now to 300 persons with an average per head budget of RMB10,000.

Catherine McNabb, formerly of the Singapore Tourism Board, explained Singapore's knack for winning mega events. (It is a laser-focus on events that match its strengths and the alignment of all government departments like only Singapore can manage. "Nothing is done in isolation in Singapore.")

Social media was top of mind and featured prominently in the plenary sessions. Morris Sim, CEO of Circos, a brand analytics consultancy, urged event organisers to use Twitter as an "in conference tool" to open two-way communications and to use it after the event to steer participants back to the event website.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Shanghai Expo and social media

There's a very interesting piece on Marketing's daily e-newsletter from Hong Kong.Titled, Shanghai Expo spurs social media buzz, it's a piece by writer Adaline Lau's on Ogilvy's Thomas Crampton's thoughts about social media and the Shanghai World Expo (follow him on Twitter @thomascrampton). It's fascinating to see how the organisers of what will undoubtedly be the world's biggest event of this type in our life times have latched onto virtual experience and social networking as ways to extend its reach. They're now expecting up to 100 million people to attend in person but I noticed just this week on Monday when CCPIT Vice Chairman Wang Jinzhen spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, that he finished his presentation by talking about the virtual version of the Expo. It will, he said, be very necessary as it could take up to a month for a physical visitor to actually get around all 3.8 square km of exhibit space.

I'll be heading to the Expo in September but, in the meantime, will be moderating a panel discussion on social media and the events industry at the UFI CEO Forum this week in Geneva (springlike and sunny yesterday as you can see from the picture from my room at the Intercontinental). Follow us on Twitter with the #uficeoforum hashtag or by keeping an eye on my tweets at @pwoodwardhk or on the @ufilive page. See you online!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ten Alps buys 10 Asian titles from Reed

Ten Alps buys 10 Asian titles from Reed | Media |
The Guardian story linked here includes some intriguing elements:

  • Bob Geldof, the early 80s punk/pop star who hated Mondays is now buying into Asia B2B media;
  • As UBM did in 2000, Reed is now selling out of its Asian travel publishing business, now much weaker than long-time rival TTG Asia which has rather thrived under the benign neglect of ownership by the group;
  • Reed is left with not much of anything in Singapore except expensive corporate staff. How much longer will they all be there we wonder?