CategoryMarket entry

Trade show anybody? All’s quiet in the exhibition industry

Trade shows were a regular feature of corporate marketing pre-Covid. They served as a reminder to key customers of a company’s stature, staff members loved the travel and socialising; and Government agencies, anxious to please, found them a great way to promote a large number of SMEs all at once.

Exhibitions and events were big money makers for firms like Informa (listed in London) and Reed exhibitions (a division of Relx group). Until Covid.

Last year the vast majority of trade shows were cancelled.

This year organisers hoped the vaccine roll out would provide a welcome boost, however that optimism seems misplaced. 

In the last two weeks Fancy Food, one of North America’s largest snack food shows has been pulled, as has In-Cosmetic Europe. Anuga, a popular food show, bravely proclaims 2021 is business as usual, but I suspect that is wishful thinking (and look carefully at Anuga’s site and you’ll see they’re hedging their bets with a real & virtual hybrid.)

Photo by David Nicolai 

Informa’s revenue plunged a whopping £1.3b last year and Reed’s £362m. Hardly chicken feed.

A greater concern for event organisers is the switch to digital. For example Grohe X a subsidiary of Lixil is spending its entire exhibition budget on a virtual platform which will be open throughout the year. 

Grohe are not alone.

I have always been sceptical about the value of trade shows. In entering new markets are they a good way to meet serious business partners? Are the visitors bones fide? It’s also very hard to measure a Trade show’s effectiveness.

Informa, Reed and others should be concerned as digital is an existential threat.

Is Peleton pedalling fast enough on exports to boost its share price?

It’s a brand that has yet reach its 10th birthday but has revenue over $1.8b. No mean achievement especially in a niche category: high end exercise bikes and treadmills.

Photo Andrew “Donovan” Valdiva

Peleton’s bikes sell for between $1900 and $4300, it has 5.4m members, and sells monthly memberships between $13 and $39.

Peleton, listed on the Nasdaq, was one of the stock market’s pandemic favourites. Revenue growth has been stellar, and in January the stock price reached an all time high.

Since then, the company stumbled. One reason was a recall on its Tread and Tread+ products. 

The gradual return-to-office trend provides another unwelcome headwind; gyms are reopening and enticing new punters constrained by WFH.

At the time of writing, Peleton’s stock price is down more than 20% from its peak.

Peleton’s focus has been the US and other big western markets like the UK, Germany, Canada and recently Australia. The brand clearly resonates not just with cyclists but serious road racers.

There’s a ton of those in Italy, France, Spain and Belgium, a huge number of untapped new users for it to target.

Join the queue for the latest Japanese udon in London!

These was the scene last week when Marugame Udon opened its doors in London.

Source: Twitter

Japanese people certainly know how to queue and so do Brits!

Marugame Udon is a j/v between Toridoll (the Japanese parent company) and Capdesia a UK entity.

There are relatively few Udon restaurants in the UK today, Sushi is far more popular. However, Marugame is not the first Udon-ya, that honour goes to Kineya Mugimaru which opened last year.

It’s not Marugame’s first venture overseas either, the company operates restaurants in Russia, the US, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and even Cambodia. London is the chain’s first port of call in Western Europe.

I particularly like Marugame Udon’s UK website, they clearly have made a big effort to educate consumers about Udon in simple, but mouthwatering terms.

I don’t think the site loses any Japanese authenticity either. That’s not easy when you have to write everything in English.

Marugame could become an interesting case study in how to grow ethnic food penetration.

Incidentally Toridoll’s share price is up over 50% year on year.

Tesla fast charges up the UK electric car market

As readers of this blog may know, I am spending 3 months in the UK this ‘summer.’ It was difficult to visit last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and I was last here 18 months ago.

One of the more obvious changes I’ve noticed is the presence of electric cars on the roads, especially Tesla.

Photo Jordan Brierley

In 2020 UK electric car sales were around 110,000 units and looking at various sources I estimate Tesla has around 14% share. According to the stats they were not the leader, that accolade has gone to VW with around 20%.

However, on the road, I have hardly seen any electric VWs, either the ID3 or the newer ID4. I cannot say the same for Tesla. I am staying in rural Norfolk, hardly the electric capital of the world, yet have seen many in these parts too. On the motorways I have seen many more.

Tesla’s UK models are coming from California currently, however there are some signs it may shift source to its new China plant. Some models in France have been shipped from China.

There is much press coverage of Tesla’s new German plant, where planning delays and objections are pushing back delivery schedules. Certainly the UK Government, and the energetic mayor of Teesside, who has reached out to Musk directly, are hoping to persuade Tesla to build in the UK.

© 2021 Let's go global!

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑