News

31 Mar 2014

SMPTE Trade Show Faces Challenges

Competitive event announced while ENTECH co-location in doubt

The biennial broadcast tradeshow carrying the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) brand has announced it will shift venues in 2015, following inspection of the temporary Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island.

Now SMPTE will be staged at Sydney’s Moore Park in the Hall of Industries and the Hordern Pavilion, not Fox Studios as is claimed on the website at www.smpte.com.au – a website which is owned by Expertise Events, promoter of the SMPTE show in Australia.

CX understands the translucent roof of the temporary structure at Glebe Island was deemed unsuitable for a screen based show like SMPTE. The move casts doubt on the scheduled ‘co-locate’ with ENTECH 2015, which was to have been held alongside SMPTE at Glebe Island.

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SMPTE occupied 10,000 square metres at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre at its last showing in 2013, co-located with ENTECH in an adjoining 5,000 square metre hall. The available space at Moore Park is around 8,000 square metres, which closely matches what SMPTE require in a declining trade show market.

At presstime competition for exhibition space sales at SMPTE arose with the announcement by Expertise Events, along with industry publisher Content & Technology, of a new event to be held in Melbourne. The Australian Sportscasting Conference & Expo is scheduled for October this year (2014). A floorplan and pricelist were circulated to some SMPTE exhibitors by Expertise Events, themselves the promoter of the SMPTE event.

The exhibition space offered on the floor plan carries a total value of more than $400,000 for the two-day event, with starting prices of $3,188 for a booth.

Industry representatives were surprised at the announcement. “On discussing it with my colleagues, without exception we are staggered to say the least. Another trade show in an already overcrowded and unsustainable trade show schedule beggar’s belief’, said Frank Hinton, the president of the manufacturer and distributor peak industry group ACETA.

SMPTE promoter Gary Fitz-Roy said the Melbourne Sportscasting event was different. (He contributed a fairly lengthy set of answers to questions which are reprinted at the end of this article, below) “Most companies are clear in their target audience and a lot are just sticking with SMPTE as a stand alone event because it would be a wrong decision on their part to exhibit at a highly specialised niche event such as Sportscasting, if it is not their core business”.

CX asked Mr. Fitz-Roy why the Sportscasting event wasn’t simply wrapped into SMPTE, to strengthen that event.  “It’s not that it can’t be ‘wrapped-up’ in one event, as you call it, but it wouldn’t deliver the highly specialised audience we intend targeting and servicing”, he said.

Meanwhile ENTECH owner ETF expressed surprise at the decision by SMPTE to relocate the event. “I had a call from Gary Fitz-Roy at Expertise Events to say they had decided to move, but that they would still like to co-locate subject to space becoming available later”, said Gary Daly from ETF. “But we have a plan B, and we have time to implement that”.

CX contacted SMPTE representatives in Australia and SMPTE headquarters in New York for comment but had no reply at presstime or much later. (This news was posted online on March 31st). See below for full comments by Gary Fitz-Roy.

 

Questions put to Gary Fitz-Roy, and reprinted with his answers in their entirety:

Do you feel there is any conflict of interest relating to your new Melbourne event, and your long standing SMPTE event?
No, and we wouldn’t be launching a new show it if we did!
SMPTE has never run in Melbourne in its whole history and has always represented the wider broadcast industry. On the otherhand, the new event is specialised or, what you might call “boutique” and appeals to professionals and non professionals as it will appeal to sporting groups and associations. It’s a niche within a niche.

Are you offering exhibition space at the Melbourne event to the clients of the SMPTE event?
As you are aware we have announced the event to the whole industry. It would be a mistake on our behalf to presume to know which companies carry specific sporting style equipment and services and, more importantly, what they may be currently developing and have not yet launched. It’s a specialised and strong segment.
It’s not a matter of what event the exhibitors support but what best connects them face to face with their target audience. Melbourne by location and timing will deliver a new audience.

Could or would clients of SMPTE reconsider their investment in SMPTE in light of the alternative Melbourne event?
Not what we can see! In fact most companies are clear in their target audience and a lot are just sticking with SMPTE as a stand alone event because it would be a wrong decision on their part to exhibit at a highly specialised niche event such as Sportcasting, if it is not their core business.

Why isn’t the Melbourne event wrapped up into the SMPTE event, which is after all an ‘all of industry’ event?
The Melbourne event will target non-professionals and have a conference program and networking events that caters for this specific audience.
It’s not that it can’t be “wrapped-up” in one event, as you call it, but it wouldn’t deliver the highly specialised audience we intend targeting and servicing. In addition a large number of the current SMPTE exhibitors would not want to spend their time at a trade show with people who are not their buyers if they don’t service this highly specialised market.
 
If the Melbourne event represents a niche of broadcast (as it appears to) then why is it not a valuable addition if incorporated into the Sydney SMPTE next year?
Firstly the two markets are very different as are the two cities. In addition, we see the Melbourne market quite unique and our only concern is the best way to serve our audience, and in this case we believe it’s best served this way. If, after the first event, we receive feedback to incorporate changes, we will happily look at them as we always do.

No one stays in business long by ignoring their customers!

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