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China’s Local Markets Seen as Next Exhibition Growth Area


San Diego, CA – Local trade shows serving the domestic market are considered the next major growth area in China as the world comes out of the current recession, top executives of the global exhibition industry agreed.

The impact the worldwide downturn will have on China’s massive economy has been a key question for show organizers who can no longer assume that exports to the U.S. will resume growing at their recent torrid pace. This situation has led some in the industry to conclude that the “secondary markets” that revolve around Chinese companies and consumers will offer greater opportunities for trade shows.

“Events that feed off strong local demand are the ones that I think will survive in the long run,” said Mike Rusbridge, chairman and CEO of Reed Exhibitions Worldwide.

Rusbridge and other members of a panel at the Society of Independent Show Organizers’ (SISO) CEO Summit in San Diego see China as continuing as a dominant world economy and a requisite for the major players in the exhibition industry. The sentiment remains firm despite the hard-hitting recession that could have a long-term negative impact on China’s export trade with the U.S. “If you take the long-term view, anyone with any aspirations to operate internationally is going to have to be in China,” Rusbridge said.

A major catalyst to the development of the regional markets in China is the government’s recent construction program that has resulted in a score of new modern venues across the nation. In addition, it was noted by members of the audience, China has also been eager to commit to providing the transportation and other infrastructure to support the launch of new trade shows in areas other than Beijing, Shanghai and other established international exhibition markets.

“Each province is a huge economy in its own right, but these events are going to be local events,” Rusbridge said.

Reach Mike Rusbridge at + 44 20 8271 2134 or

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