Informa's latest financial update offers some insight into the direction of the industry. While trade shows continue to be part of the picture, there is a clear shift towards taking advantage of the valuable data collected through its B2B events and digital services.
Informa, the world’s largest trade show organizer, released a trading update to coincide with its Annual General Meeting taking place today in London, UK. The good news for the event industry is that the company is confident about the progressive return of physical events in China, North America, and the Middle East. Europe however is not mentioned at all.
All in all 2021 is seen as a “Transition Year” which is still delivering some positive results, particularly from subscription-led businesses. The stars of the show are the digital products and services where the company is planning multiple expansions and investments.
Informa's main focus is on creating ”Iris,” a proprietary data platform that the company highlighted in its 2020 Full-Year Results. Iris is so important to the company it has been set up as a non-trading operating unit within Informa with the aim of developing a “further range of B2B digital and data services”.
Informa clearly understands the business potential in gathering profile and behavior data from customers participating in B2B events or using any of its digital services. Its desire to obtain deep customer insights and market knowledge, with appropriate consents, is noteworthy and will certainly be applauded by the event tech community.