Melanie Mingas meets FM Expo and Middle East Concrete to talk Big 5
David Thompson, event manager, FM Expo
How did you make the decision to co-locate FM Expo with Big 5?
One of the main reasons is that FM has become so popular recently and the importance of maintaining the value of your asset is key in this region. A number of developers are building assets but not selling them straight away and this is where FM and Big 5 cross over. What you are going to see is a lot of building contractors coming to FM Expo and that will provide an easy hand over for their client, who is the developer or owner.
There are questions asked during and at the end of every exhibition regarding visitor interests and it was flagged that a lot of Big 5 visitors are interested in FM, in fact more than 14,000. To put that in perspective, you have 4000 to 5000 visitors to FM Expo every year and you have 50,000 going to Big 5. So you have 14,000 in there interested in FM and that’s why we are confident to hit our target with around 7500 visitors.
How do you conduct your market research in order to put the show together?
We have a dedicated data team that is always researching the market and building our data and we spend a lot of time going to market to find out what’s going on. We always have questionnaires for our visitors and we speak to our exhibitors year round.
We have a conference producer active in the market and using a number of techniques to conduct research that is then used to formulate the show. It’s a year round process.
The point is that the FM industry is very much growing in this region, but the region it is going it because people are being educated as to what it is and so what we do as a show is to bring together business opportunity and educate the region.
What are the main industry trends influencing the FM Expo agenda in 2012?
The leading thing is education and to try and spread the word but outside of that you are looking at energy management, which is of major importance for reasons of CSR and the savings to be made on utility bills.
Energy management is something that we are promoting quite heavily at the show and Taipei 101 will talk about how they achieved the world record of being the tallest LEED certified building in the world.
There is also an issue with educating the market about multiple service providers. The whole point is to drive people into the show with an interest in single services, but to introduce them to the whole-service FM concept and within that we have the innovation area.
The show has showed significant growth over the last year, why is this?
Not only do we have more exhibitors this year but potentially more visitors too. According to our pre-registration numbers we are higher than we have ever finished off before and there is still time to go.
FM Expo has always been relatively decent show, but it hasn’t been an exceptional show. Then again I don’t think the market has ever offered anything exceptional if I’m honest. What we are trying to do is increase the visitor numbers, and quality visitor numbers as well, to really offer a considerable amount of business leads and opportunities.
Of all the show elements, which are the most relevant to somebody who wants to learn about FM, from the basics onwards?
They should definitely meet with as many exhibitors as possible. Many exhibitors say to me that when they first arrive in the region the best thing is networking, especially with those who are established in the region and in terms of finding out what their competitors are doing.
The other features, such as the FM Congress are vital in order to relate to the international case studies and then learn from the local ones also, and there are also a number of free to attend seminars too.