29 Jan 2015

Dallimore exits ENTECH, joins Show Technology

ENTECH show manager Stephen Dallimore has departed Exhitions Trade Fairs (ETF) after steering the show for four years. He took the role when the show was in deep trouble after the GFC, and under siege from rival trade show Integrate. Integrate in turn was founded by former ENTECH director Louise Brooks.

Dallimore pushed open doors to save ENTECH, and was instrumental in the secondary ENTECH-CONNECT show in Melbourne. His first ENTECH and his first ENTECH-CONNECT were marginally successful for exhibitors and owner alike, but the second Sydney and Melbourne shows had solid growth.

Selling trade show space is akin to collecting bodies during a plague.

My decade owning ENTECH was outstandingly successful in financial terms. Co founder Caroline and I had a whimsical world trip on ENTECH profits in 1998 called the ‘Flog Diners Club Tour’, with us running a book on when Diners would call to inquire about our excesses. It wasn’t until 4am and I was woken in the Grosvener Hotel (101 Buckingham Palace Road, London) to be told we had hit $60,000 over three weeks and ‘would sir confirm he intends coming home anytime soon to settle the bill?’

But I never enjoyed the teeth pulling. Loyal advertisers to my publication (this is our 25th year publishing) would grit their teeth when Caroline quoted them forty five grand for that coveted stand opposite their dire competitor. Moreso when she hit them with the 10/20/30/40 terms. Yep, 10% now, 20% soon, 30% too soon, and the final 40% months before the show. So we had the profit banked before we actually did anything.

Not that we knew what we were doing. This Blog amplifies my theme.

So Dallimore stepped into that breech, littered with the corpses of several inept and insensitive ETF professionals who had attempted to run ENTECH without really understanding the unique, precious, niche and sensitive market that is the Australian entertainment technology community. God knows what the next ETF manager will make of it all, or whether they will actually ‘get it’ like Dallimore did.

Sure I wanted to strangle his skinny neck a few times, and he wisely laid low and waited for the right time, popping up later like an annoying Meercat to invite me out for a drink months later. No one can actually kill a Meercat, can they? We had the famous ‘Lunch with Rudy’ debacle together, where I was banned for life from Stuyvesant’s House.

Anyway, he isn’t a genius or a savant, but he is now working with the team at Show Technology, presumably employed to open doors since all he knows about lights is whatever he picked up while he ran the trade show. Which is not the point, I suspect Show Technology want someone who can do exactly what Stephen does.

Good luck to all!


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