Reflecting on the success of Sportel Asia 2016
David Jones, sales and marketing, Sportel reflects on Sportel Asia 2016 in Singapore.
How do you evaluate the 2016 edition of Sportel Asia?
"We expected that this edition of Sportel Asia will be extremely interesting and successful for the industry. We already saw at Sportel Monaco 2015 the changes in Asia, and specifically China, and everything that has been going on there, so we expected a lot to happen here. At Sportel Monaco we already had an increase in Asian attendants, so we thought Sportel Asia would explode, and that has certainly happened.
"We came here to Singapore with online registrations more than we had on the final day of the last Sportel Asia [in Shanghai, 2014]. Then we've had a lot of walk-ins over the course of the convention, so we have had far more than 700 participants from over 40 countries. It has been extremely successful. Speaking to the exhibitors and participants, everybody throughout is extremely satisfied and excited about their outcomes as well. They've all met the people they needed to meet. Sportel is a B2B platform, all we can do is cater to the needs of the industry, and that is what we are doing."
How does this year's event compare to previous Sportel Asia conventions?
The last ones were definitely smaller. A usual spring market is about 650 people. At the last Sportel Asia, we had more international attendees. It was a pretty equal split between local and international, but this time, half of the registered companies are true Asian, so we've had a big increase there. We've always had more European and American companies in the past compared with the rest of the world, but we didn't have that many Asian companies attending before. That has been very satisfying to see. We expected something to happen, and it did."
Has the increased interest in the convention surprised you?
"We're really about surprised. It's more about having our thoughts and game plan confirmed in order of what we need to do and keep doing to help the industry to develop. What we are trying to do with the conferences we organise is be futuristic, to give people an idea of what they can expect on the business, marketing and technology side going forward. It has to be informative for people to say, 'ok this is not something I've heard at every other show and conference'.
"Our conference programme is relatively small compared to the exhibition, yet the conferences we do are incredibly important and informative. Each panel session in Singapore was packed, and out of that the networking started again. Overall, business for the community is good."
What's your highlight of Sportel Asia 2016?
"The panel on virtual reality was the first time we'd touched on that subject and that was extremely good. The information that came out of it was interesting to see exactly what virtual reality is and what it does, and it gave everybody a perspective of what exactly is possible in the next two to three 'chip' generations. That is definitely one of the highlights for me personally."
What changes are planned for future editions of Sportel Asia, considering the booming market?
"The spring markets in March are always dedicated to a very small market territory, so essentially they're always going to be smaller than Sportel Monaco. We are definitely not going to build something that is a competitor to Monaco, because that is definitely the flagship and definitely is the international show. Of course, if it is necessary to grow and the demand is there, we have to satisfy that demand. We are not controlling the industry, the industry controls us and demands from us. Whatever vehicle the industry needs to communicate, we have to deliver."