– Marsha Flanagan, Vice President, Learning Experiences, International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE).

Flanagan Marsha is Vice President, Learning Experiences, International Association of exhibition and events (IAEE). She is currently the Director of Content Strategy and Development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), where she is responsible for steering strategy and the development and delivery of all current and future PPAI professional development and editorial offerings.

TFT : Which sectors/areas would see M&A happening in the next 2 years?
Marsha Flanagan : Some of the environmental shows – solar, wind power, green build – reliant on government funding so they may be skeptical. 10,000 shows and 2/3 owned by associations. Largest strategic organizer in the US has less than 4% of shows. We look at M&A in two ways – for profit buying each other or private equity firms buying shows. Large show organizers have ventured into India. The associations who are thinking about partnering with a strategic organizer to run their show, but the association would control content are another group.

TFT : Do you see more international products (events) coming to India?
Marsha Flanagan : The developing world of the India sub-continent has differing needs and the migration of shows depends on these needs. If the need is healthcare, then more healthcare shows may be created. Same for quality of life and the overall economy supporting these needs. The concern is that there are no major event facilities in India to warrant the risk of launching an event.

TFT : What are your views on the outcome of the IEIA Open Seminar 2013?
Marsha Flanagan : I was personally pleased with the number of people who attended the event. The overall quality of the presentations were outstanding and I left feeling as though the exhibition industry in India is moving in a positive direction.

TFT : Do you see any Indian events going international?
Marsha Flanagan : We haven’t heard anything definitive, but it’s possible in the future. Events coming to the Indian subcontinent will be driven by the needs on the Indian sub-continent and the investment in these products.

TFT : What are your views on the outcome of the IEIA Open Seminar 2013?
Marsha Flanagan :I was personally pleased with the number of people who attended the event. The overall quality of the presentations were outstanding and I left feeling as though the exhibition industry in India is moving in a positive direction.

TFT : How successful has it been? Have most of the stated objectives achieved ?
Marsha Flanagan : I think that many discussions outlined the next steps to be taken by the association to help grow the exhibition industry in India.

TFT : What are the main messages/ ideas/lessons that we can take home from the event?
Marsha Flanagan : There are current obstacles to fast expansion including the lack of various infrastructures including facility space and skilled workers; however, the passion of the leaders seem to be present and can serve as the catalyst to continue to have the government recognize the industry as a formal industry.

TFT : I feel that most of the talks and the Panel discussions were of very high quality. They discussed some of the most important issues in the industry today. Now that you have had an open discussion on these issues, what are your next plans?
Marsha Flanagan : I see the need for formalized education for those in the industry. We hope to explore ways in which we can partner to assist with designing and delivering formal education programs.

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