Grafton touts expanding roadshows
Diversified Communications Australia announced last week that Integrate will return to Sydney in 2021 and for the first time ever, be co-located with the Security Exhibition & Conference. The events will be held simultaneously. This means that the dates and location of Integrate will now be 21-23 July 2021, ICC Sydney.
Prior to July, ENTECH and its sister roadshow SECTECH will run in March and May respectively, becoming the only dedicated events for those two industries. Former CX Publisher Julius Grafton operates both roadshows, and issued a statement.
“While we are sad at the virtual halt to the live production industry due to the pandemic, the installation and retail sides of AV are still moving along and we have sufficient exhibitors already signed to ensure ENTECH 2021 is a success in March. But the real excitement I have is that our SECTECH roadshow in May will be our largest yet.”
The roadshows and the Diversified trade shows have each run every year, with respectable points of difference, but in 2021 tight trading conditions and budget constraints will push the two operators hard. Grafton says his operation has a tail wind. “We always deliver best value for money – and in 2021 we know people will be wary about two things – travelling and Covid safe. Because we bring the show to the people, we win on travel and because of our format, we can socially distance and over-deliver against any venue or state Covid safe plans.”
Grafton further claims that co-location erodes events, citing the pairing of ENTECH and SMPTE last decade. “When I didn’t own ENTECH they struggled against Integrate, which was created by Alchemedia. When they put ENTECH and SMPTE together it quickly killed ENTECH, which is how I bought it back. SMPTE is on the skids. Integrate is now owned by a massive multinational who think because AV and Security use black boxes loaded with I.T., they can be the same. I work both these – they are very different creatures.”
“We looked hard at doing this three years ago”, Grafton continues. “My partners in SECTECH and I recognised cost savings putting the two shows together, and planned to return half the savings as lower cost to the exhibitors. But our key customers couldn’t see the synergy, and we knew the cultures were too different, so we canned it. We were going to do it to grow, Diversified are doing it to survive, as ‘big box’ single city trade shows are in decline,” he claimed.
For their part, Diversified said “the growth in these areas is driving genuine new interest from both an educational and product perspective, the co-location of Integrate and Security therefore allows the most current innovations to be brought to the forefront, opening up new education and demonstration opportunities for exhibitors and visitors of both events. It is an opportunity to expand reach to a broader community of end users, consultants, core AV and security installers and integrators who are interested in these solutions that sit across both industries.”
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