says Robert Fletcher, CEO, Global Exhibition Marketing in conversation with Varsha Verma of AABP, who believes that China would be the next publishing hub. Global Exhibition Marketing (GEM) creates additional sales and revenues for tradeshow owners around the globe. They help find new corporate exhibitors for the show and also specialize in bringing “best practices” new revenue ideas to show including innovative ideas for sponsorships, advertising, list monetization and more. More recently, they were in India to market China tradeshow – 19th Beijing International Book Fair – BIBF 2012.
Here Robert Fletcher, CEO, Global Exhibition Marketing discusses his experience at the New Delhi World Fair. Excerpts.
Varsha: How was your experience at the New Delhi World book Fair vis-a-vis other book fairs across the world?
Robert: The New Delhi World Book Fair should be considered in the top five book fairs in the world. We did more business with top Indian publishers and providers than any other book show in the world with the possible exception of China/BIBF. We find that India and China have tremendous assets and ideas to bring to the world publishing markets and the New Delhi World Book Fair is one great place to connect with the publishing community of India.
Varsha: What was the response you got at your stand for the Chinese publishers?
Robet: We always smile when we think of the dynamic that we are a US company, selling the Chinese publishing tradeshow to businesses in India!
However, if you think about it, sending a native English speaker to sell to other English speakers makes good sense. Publishers in India and from around the world know that China is the next big publishing hub. Leaders from India are already in China and new Indian entrepreneurs are looking at China very closely. We are proud to be a part of connecting the two largest publishing populations in the world.
Varsha: In your opinion, what is the future of the publishing industry and how is it poised to grow in the coming years, focusing on the major growth areas and the challenges it is facing from digital publishing, etc?
Robert: The future of the publishing industry can be summed up as “globalization”. Forget nations, the new game is based on language. For example, an e-book can be sold anywhere in the world. You can license a language; you can no longer license a digital book by country. And, the new model for distribution can be summed up as POD, eBook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, and going with the statistics - China.
Publishing companies in India face the same issues that we face in the US, namely a hyper-competitive market and fighting for merely bigger slices of the same pie. If the publisher is looking inwards to only their country, their market is limited. If the publisher is looking globally to the developing world, then there is no limit to the expansion that we see. China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, some parts of Africa… that’s where the action is.
Varsha: Also, tell us something about the other book fairs that you are participating and how can Indian publishers benefit from it?
Robert: Indian publishers are already looking around the world with entities like Capexil. However, nothing beats a hands-on visit to a country of choice. If I had to sum up our experiences with tradeshows around the world, I would say, “Seek the first mover advantage”. Forget Frankfurt and BEA, and the US, the developed countries are just too tough to break into. Spend your money in China, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa… that’s where the game is being played.
The other dynamic that I still haven’t gotten my head around is the tremendous quantity and quality of STM that Indian publishers put out. I see more STM here than even the US. Your STM industry is amazing and I think there is a tremendous opportunity to be a provider at par with the US and even undercut the US’ lead in STM.
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