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Blue Ocean Strategy for Tapping New Markets Comes to ECEF Conference

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
May 5, 2010
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By Hil Anderson, senior editor

Washington, DC – One of the leading experts in the “blue oceans” school of business strategy will deliver the closing keynote at the June 2 Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) in Washington, DC.

Roch Parayre, senior partner at Decision Strategies International, will discuss the ways and means of seeking out the unexploited new markets that are referred to as “blue oceans” in one of the top-selling business books Blue Ocean Strategy. “This will be a key first step in initiating development of a blue ocean strategy for the trade show business,” said Sam Lippman, producer of the annual ECEF conference. “Based on original research among show managers he is conducting this Spring, Dr. Parayre will chart the places where he sees our industry’s blue oceans.”

Parayre is a certified member of the Blue Ocean Strategy Network. He has conducted multiple interviews with two association executives and two B-to-B media leaders to scout out the current landscape of the trade show market and come up with some ideas on where untapped opportunities might be. These markets, known as blue oceans, are conceivably flush with underserved customers and can be staked out quickly and without huge expenditures.

The blue oceans concept is one in which companies avoid head-to-head brawls with the competition for the same cash-strapped customers. “The dominant metaphor in business has been warfare,” Parayre told Trade Show Executive. “The Blue Ocean Strategy says change the metaphor. Don’t think of strategy as warfare. Think of it as exploration.”

Parayre will discuss the tools of discovery that are available in the Blue Ocean Strategy manual:  How executives can get their entire team to shift gears and possibly walk away from a fight for market share, or how to make the types of reductions in an existing budget that will free up resources for a new venture.

The timing for Blue Ocean Strategy in the exhibition industry could not be better. Show organizers adopted a “do more with less” stance as the recession bumped along and have been seeking new ideas to attract and retain customers. “This is truly how you do more with less,” said Parayre. “The focus is on what companies can offer that has distinctive value and costs less both for the organizers for customers.”

The ECEF agenda leading up to Parayre’s closing remarks is fine-tuned to the conference’s goal of packing a lot into a single, intensive day.

Also on the agenda are: Peter Censky, executive director of the Water Quality Association; David Etzler, CEO, Outsource World; Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association; Helen Marano, director, Office of Tourism and Travel Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Wayne Jacobs, CEO and director of research, Jacobs Jenner & Kent; and Peter Weedfald, president and chief marketing officer, General Displays and Technologies.

Reach Sam Lippman at (703) 979-4904 or slippman@comcast.net; Roch Parayre at (610) 717-1000 or parayre@thinkdsi.com

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