- Posted by Jo-Anne Kelleway
- On April 15, 2016
- 1 Comments
- Event Tech, Info Salons, Innovate
According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of innovation is the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods.
As an entrepreneur I’m always trying to conjure up new ideas or products that I believe our clients will want to use in the future. Second guessing the future and getting it right is pretty tricky. Luckily I have managed to get it right some of the time. But what if the delivery & execution takes a different direction, and with a bit of luck & good timing takes a product from being good to great. Is it still innovation?
Info Salons China has been developing excellent marketing platforms within WeChat for 3 years. Our clients’ shows within China have benefited greatly from the considerable response our marketing tool has generated. Using our WeChat platform we have been able to grow pre-registration in unanticipated numbers and achieve remarkable growth in actual turn-ups onsite. We are so pleased with this result that we have applied for an UFI Technology Award this year.
This alone is great innovation…but then came the next step up.
I attended the UFI CEO Forum early February this year with Gu Xuebin, our MD Greater China. We talked to our clients about how our WeChat marketing platform was revolutionizing attendance drive in China. During these conversations with our clients, the direction changed slightly with the following question:
Why can’t we use this tool to promote our international events to Chinese buyers & exhibitors?
It took us only a few months to develop a new business model using the same WeChat platform. By the time we attended the SISO CEO Summit early April, we had a product that we could offer organisers for their shows in the US and Europe. Not only to promote their shows to the Chinese marketplace, but to target qualified Chinese buyers & exhibitors, and provide a transaction model for potential delegate spend.
For the first time in 25 years, Info Salons Group focus has jumped the Greater Asian geographical boundary. We are now squarely focused on worldwide expansion. This time our innovation has come in response to client demands instead of in anticipation, but it is true innovation none-the-less.