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Tarsus China now a leading exhibition player in China

Tarsus is one of the leading international B2B exhibition organisers based in London.

The portfolio Tarsus includes exhibitions, conferences, publishing business and online media. Established in 1998 with one key brand and a turnover of 4.8million USD, the Group has grown substantially and now operates in fourteen key sectors–with over 150 events and websites, twenty-five publications and a turnover in excess of 100 million.

Tarsus operates worldwide with offices in London, Dublin, Milwaukee,BocaRaton(Florida), Ankara,Istanbul, Dubai,New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan, and Wuhan.

Tarsus China focus on partnerships

Tarsus China long term focus is on building sustainable partnerships with its local partners. Throughout the years Tarsus was able to grow a great portfolio of shows in China with the partners together and contribute its experience in the exhibition sector to its Chinese partners’ local know-how and relationships. Tarsus grew from its base in Shanghai and is now hosting shows in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan and Zhengzhou.

Experienced Leadership of Tarsus China

The head of Tarsus China is the exhibition expert Mr John Liu. Under Johns leadership the China business have grown tremendously and just recently Tarsus China announced the first acquisition under the new owner of Tarsus – the private equity firm Charterhouse. Tarsus has completed the acquisition of 70% of Shenzhen Zhong Xin Cai Exhibition Company; owner and organiser of Touch China & 3D Glass Expo strengthening the Group’s presence in its Shenzhen hub. The acquisition also represents the Group’s first move into the fast-growing and strategically important electronics sector in Shenzhen. The 2019 edition of Touch China, held in June, attracted some 380 exhibitors covering a gross area of 37,500 m2 and saw over 22,500 visitors in attendance. Key to the event’s ongoing success is the extensive support it garners from leading bodies in the market, including the China Communication Industry Association along with top manufacturers in the industry.

Exclusive Interview with John Liu, CEO Tarsus China

  • Mr Liu, you are now more than 2 years with Tarsus China what makes Tarsus China special?

Tarsus China is focusing on partnering with entrepreneurs, associations and Chinese government bodies to build meaningful businesses in China. Tarsus has wide international resources and currently China is the 2nd largest market for Tarsus globally. We focus on professional B2B exhibitions in various industries and strong relationships with our local partners.

  • What you think have been the biggest achievements of Tarsus China so far?

I like to mention our biggest achievement is properly the partnership with the Guangdong Textile Association and the show that we run together HomeTex. In our 2 years of ownership we managed to increase significantly the top line and profitability of the show. The autumn edition has grown in recent years from half the Shenzhen venue to full venue today. Home textile industry is a very contended industry in China with several big international trade fair organisers. Tarsus however managed to enter into this sector without prior knowledge and drive significant growth. In addition we are now having a very strong base in the design community in Guangzhou and Shenzhen and run the Shenzhen Home Design Week.

  • That’s amazing Mr Liu – that shows how great companies can do if they work well together! What would you put as your goal for the next 5 years?

Tarsus is a company consisting of 7 platforms at the moment. We will continue to identify attractive industries, new platforms especially in Shanghai and Southern China as well as improving our existing platforms in terms of profitability and organic growth.

  • Very good news for Tarsus China Mr Liu! So how about 2020?–what are your challenges such as the current COVID-19 epidemic or particular focus areas for 2020?

The key focus in 2020 will be to move our AAITF to the newly build venue Shenzhen World. Tarsus is proud to host one of the first big B2B exhibition at Shenzhen World. 2020 will also be the first year for our newly acquired Touch China show and we will start to build up and grow together as well providing necessary resources to our new partner. The founder of Touch China is a technology industry veteran so we are looking to combine his sector expertise with our exhibition expertise to grow the show.

We are closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 situation on our staff, customers, and planned shows. We are closely tracking government directives and planning and executing appropriate contingency plans. The epidemic reinforces our view that there’s always the possibility of external, unpredictable forces that may affect our shows, and that as a business we have to be flexible and be ready to execute on short notice appropriate contingency plans. We also need to continue to build a diverse business in China across key geographies and across the entire calendar year.

Finally 2020 will be of course an important year for Tarsus China to further strengthen our market position and 7 existing platforms in terms of organic growth. Tarsus China will also continue aggressive but selective M&A in China.

  • What do you think is Tarsus China’s strength?

We focus on being a value-added Joint Venture partner with Chinese entrepreneurs, associations and government bodies. WE are flexible and very disciplined in our view of partnerships and know how to leverage the partners strength. Tarsus China not only operates with one formula but continuously develop, customize and tailor-made the business solutions in our ways we work together with our local partners.

  • Yes indeed Tarsus is a very special platform with so many companies and partnership to manage at the same time. How do you feel about the global Tarsus family – are you feeling connected with your China office?

Absolutely! Tarsus is embracing entrepreneurial spirit and has a very collegial culture. Our senior leaders are down to earth and promote a close contact family culture – its the nexus of our global business!

China is the 2nd most important market for Tarsus globally and we do feel very special. We have many international brands that like to enter China in the coming years and we also support our overseas colleagues with exhibitors from China. China is an attractive market that will continue to grow and continue to be very important for Tarsus globally.

  • Would there be anything else that you like to share with our readers?

Tarsus is very fast growing in China and focus on partnerships with various interest groups. Our Joint Ventures with Shanghai CCPIT and Guangdong Textile Association as well as Touch China show how flexible Tarsus can be in the business approach. We offer our partners customized solutions in order to grow the shows together. Tarsus China main priority will be Shanghai & Southern China and we love to develop our expertise in electronics, IOTE and future business technologies.

Famous Brands & Key Growth

Beside Touch China & ongoing M&A developments Tarsus China focusses on several key brand organic growth and expansion within China:

Label Expo Shanghai

Label Expo is one of the most famous brands in China and leading in this sector. Labelexpo Asia, launched in 2003, is the largest label event in Asia. Labelexpo Asia is the region’s largest event for the label and package printing industry. China alone now accounts for over 14% of global label consumption and is still growing rapidly. The package printing sector accounts for nearly 50% of all printing in the country. The show is every 2 years in Shanghai and welcomes more than 270 exhibitors.

Automotive Aftermarket AAITF

AAITF with 2 editions in spring and autumn the leading automative after market brand in China welcoming more than 9,000 stands and 3,500 international brands every year. AAITF is the leading automative aftermarket and tuning expo in China and continue to grow.

Shenzhen International Underwear Fair SIUF

China (Shenzhen) International Brand Underwear Fair (SIUF) which authorized by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, are yearly events presented by Shenzhen Shengshi Jiuzhou Exhibition Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Underwear Association, with the support of Guangdong Textile Association. It focuses on the exhibition of new products, new technologies, new trends and new applications of underwear industry at home and abroad and strives to create a professional exchange platform which integrating business negotiation, international exchange and brand display for underwear manufacturers and upstream and downstream industry chains. Every year SIUF is hosted on 73,000㎡ with more than 900 exhibiting brands and welcomes more than 150,000 Professional visitors.

Tarsus China has more than 15 key exhibition brands in China

Beside key brands such as Label Expo, SIUF, HomeTex and AAITF other brands such as China Music, Music Life, CES Asia, Prolight & Sound Guangzhou, Shanghai Rail+Metro, Inter Lubric, Hortiflorexpo IPM Shanghai, IPG Expo, China Horse Fair in Beijing, CWMEE, WAME, Dental.

Tarsus China is therefore the leader in several industries such as automative, music & sound as well as horticulture, hometextiles, dental & medical and label technologies.

Outlook for 2020 (may be adjusted based on COVID-19 situation)

Tarsus China 2020 exhibition calendar starts with Guangzhou Prolight and Sound & AAITF, HOMETEX, CWMEE, Chengdu Dental show, Wuhan Advertising in the beginning of the year; SIUF, Hortiflorexpo IPM Guangzhou & West China Dental in April; Beijing Music Life in May; CES Asia & China Aid in June; AAITF in July; HOMETEX & China International Lubricants and Technology Exhibition in August; Zhengzhou Medical Autumn & China Horse Fair in September; China Music & PLSS in October and the grand finale with Rail+Metro in November 2020.

Tarsus China will continue to focus on future innovative exhibition profiles throughout China by acquiring new shows but also to launch new sectors not only in the 1st tier cities but promising 2nd tier cities.