Friday, November 16, 2007

BSG gets its own Facebook page

Having teenagers keeps you young....which is why BSG now has its very own Facebook page. We're trying this all out to try to work out whether it's relevant to our business or to our clients'. We'll be keeping everybody posted.

BSG quoted in Global Sources earnings call

Thanks for Global Sources CEO Merle Hinrichs for quoting us during yesterday's conference call with analysts reviewing the company's Q3 results. He said:

According to the BSG, a Hong Kong based Consulting Company, Global Sources is now the second largest Trade Shows organizer in Hong Kong after just two years in the business in Hong Kong.
He was quoting from our report on the South China exhibitions industry which was distributed last month to subscribers to BSG's Asia Business Media Tracker service.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

BSG mentioned in Folio article

Many thanks to Plastic News' Bob Grace for mentioning us in his interesting interview with Folio on e-publishing in China. The article says:

Plastics News took a digital-only approach for two reasons: one, the Chinese government requires foreign publishers to partner with a Chinese publisher on all print ventures (but not digital); and two, distributing a print news publication in a country the size of China would have been both prohibitively expensive and inefficient. “We wanted to try to sidestep or postpone that and get our brand known. We do breaking news and our Web site turned us into a global news service,” says Robert Grace, editor and associate publisher.

Crain executives took some initial trips to China and met with publishing consultant Paul Woodward of BSG Asia. They also contacted trade associations and asked the Chinese customers of their Western customers if they’d be willing to share marketing lists.
Thanks Bob!

The article mentions that you don't need a Chinese partner for e-publishing ventures which isn't quite true. If you want to locate a web site on servers in China, then the restrictions on foreign-owned publishing are similar to those for print (although with different regulators). If you publish in Chinese from outside China, however, it's perfectly feasible to go it alone.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

BSG caught up in Ali-frenzy

A number of press reports have picked up quotes on us today including:

Associated Press: "It's a great company. But it's very much a proxy for China, the Internet and the appeal of its founder, Jack Ma, and (the price) has nothing at all to do with the business fundamentals put on the table," Paul Woodward, business media consultant at Business Strategies Group, which values the entire business-to-business market in mainland China at $1.41 billion.

Monday, November 05, 2007

BSG releases to report to susbcribers


Comprehensive report on comments on market value and competition

Hong Kong, 5th November: A report just published in Hong Kong provides unique analysis of, the divisions of the Alibaba Group to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 6th November. The report has been researched and written by the only consultancy in Asia specializing in B2B media, information and events, Business Strategies Group Ltd. (BSG). is the B2B division of the Alibaba Group. When its stocks start trading on the Hong Kong market, it will be valued at some US$8.8 billion – almost five times BSG’s estimated total size of the China B2B media market in 2007. BSG’s estimates the total B2B media marketplace in mainland China including exhibitions, online and magazines in 2006 was US$1.41 billion. This market is growing rapidly at 25 – 30% a year, but despite the strong growth,’s IPO still values the company at several times the total market size.

BSG Principal, Paul Woodward, commented “there is justifiably a huge amount of interest in Alibaba. It’s an exciting company and combines some of the most interesting aspects of China and the Internet. However, there hasn’t so far been too much effort to place the parts of the company being listed in the context of the market in which they operate. It’s not the general Internet business being listed here, but the B2B media operations. That’s not the same thing and careful comparisons are required”.

The report includes a detailed comparison with Nasdaq-listed Global Sources,’s most direct competitor among B2B media companies. It also describes possible strategies that BSG’s consulting team believes will pursue in order to justify the huge valuation given by the market to the company at the time of its IPO.

The report BSG has produced was distributed on 2nd November to subscribers of its Asian Business Media Tracker service. It is also available for purchase on a stand-alone basis.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Global Sources quotes BSG report

The following press release has just been issued by Global Sources. It's not on their web site yet although I imagine it will be shortly:

Global Sources Now Second-Largest Trade Show Organizer inHong Kong– BusinessStrategiesGroup Report

Growth driven by China Sourcing Fairs: Electronics & Components, Gifts & Home Products, Fashion Accessories and Underwear & Swimwear

HONG KONG, Nov. 1, 2007 – TheBusiness Strategies Group trade show market report shows Global Sources (NASDAQ: GSOL) is the second-largest trade show organizer in Hong Kong, with a 14 percent market share.

This news comes as Global Sources ( closes its biggest yet China Sourcing Fairs: Electronics & Components, Fashion Accessories, Underwear & Swimwear and Gift& Home Products shows at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong with over 7,500 booths.

Global Sources’ Chairman and CEO, Merle A. Hinrichs, said: “We are delighted with the findings of the Business Strategies Group report. Becoming the second biggest show organizer in Hong Kong, having just operated in the market since 2006, is a dramatic testament to the success of the China Sourcing Fairs and to the trust and support we have established over the years with our buyer and supplier communities.

“Our exhibitors appreciate the quality of the buyers who attend the China Sourcing Fairs and, likewise, buyers value the quality of the suppliers they meet. And clearly, the convenience of Hong Kong and AsiaWorld-Expo has supported our exciting growth.

“Beyond this, the combination of our online, print and trade show services gives Global Sources a major advantage. Export suppliers have three primary marketing objectives: lead generation; branding and differentiation from competitors; and getting face-to-face with buyers to negotiate and win orders. We believe that the China Sourcing Fairs have grown so rapidly because Global Sources helps suppliers achieve all three objectives.”

Growing Share of Hong Kong’s Expanding Trade Show Sector

The Business Strategies Group report entitled ‘Profile of the South China Exhibitions Market’, published in September 2007, shows that Hong Kong’s trade show industry experienced strong growth in 2006 attracting 62,000 exhibitors – up 50 percent from the previous year – and 5,200,000 visitors.

The report cited primary reasons for industry growth as “the successful opening of AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), the emergence of Global Sources as a serious competitor in Hong Kong’s exhibition industry and the existence of significant untapped demand from exhibitors.”

The report adds that “the opening of AWE added over 66,000square meters of space and Global Sources was able to successfully fill it with its China Sourcing Fairs during peak periods in April and October.”

Global Sources plans to further expand its Hong Kong China Sourcing Fair portfolio with the launch of specialized shows for Gifts & Premiums and Home Products in 2009.

In total, Global Sources will organize eight China Sourcing Fairs in Hong Kong in 2008 and nine Fairs outside the region in other rapidly growing exhibition markets of Shanghai, Dubai and Mumbai.

Specialized Global Sources Trade Shows, Websites and Magazines

The China Sourcing Fairs are an important part of Global Sources’ sourcing and product information services, which include Global Sources Online (, Global Sources trade magazines and Global Sources Direct (

Further information about Global Sources is available at

Monday, October 15, 2007

Off to Beijing

I'm heading off to Beijing tomorrow morning to speak at the ad:tech event. I'm joining Eddie Choi of Tradedot and Mike Hay of Ringier to talk about B2B media. I'll be providing an overview of face-to-face (mainly exhibitions) and then talk about the pros and cons of 'integrated' multi-channel B2B media companies. Once it's done, I'll try to provide a link here to my presentation.

A number of people including Thomas Crampton will be blogging on this. I'll post more over on the Asia Business Media blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BSG - no relative

I was interested to see today in a China Tech Stories blog post about Baidu hitting 70% market share the use of the acronym BSG. This is one which has, of course, become very dear to our hearts.

Among China marketers though, it sadly doesn't seem to stand for Business Strategies Group, Asia's only consultancy focusing on business media, information and events. It stands for Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

After all these years covering the China market, I've never seen that before. Hmmm.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Starting the 8th year

It's hard for me to believe that BSG is now starting its 8th year of business. According to Cantonese numerology, this should be a lucky year. I've lived in Hong Kong long enough now (22 years) to know that this is serious business; there are no row 4s on Cathay Pacific's planes and I wouldn't sit in one even if there were. Row 8 would be great. Row 38's pretty cool too.

Anyway, there will be lots of new things for us to focus on this year:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Looking for team member(s)

One of our team members is moving on and we're looking for a new researcher, consultant and/or research manager. If you think you've got what it takes to join the BSG team, drop us a line. Use the e-mail address info at bsgsasia dot com and tell us about yourself.

You'll most likely be successful if you're already in Hong Kong. But heh, this is a brave new virtual world. We might be able to work out something from somewhere else. Try us.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

UFI India report

Over on the Asia Business Media blog, we talk about India today. Here is a bit more detail on the UFI India report. The freely available Executive Summary kicks off with the following observations:

Recently the Indian exhibition industry has entered a modernization and growth phase. New tradeshows are organized, new exhibition centres are built, and the market is opening up to foreign investors for both the organization of exhibitions and the operation of venues.

Thanks to its growing economy (8.5% of GDP) and its demography (1,095 million inhabitants, and 300 million middle class); India is emerging as a major player on the global economic scene. Its many assets should enable it to become a key player in the global exhibition business in the midterm period.

India’s exhibition infrastructure, in terms of venue and space availability, must be increased and modernized. In a way of comparison, India today has the same exhibition capacity as the city of Chicago. Until now India lags far behind China whose available exhibition space is eight times greater and which has three times the number of exhibitions.
It concludes:

The exhibition market in India has a promising future and is destined to grow. The policy of the Indian government and its bureaucracy is slowly changing, allowing private stakeholders and the foreign investors to invest and develop business more easily. With the Indian economy progressing at a rate over 8% per annum, and the help of the government and the participation of the private sector, India is on the right track to boosting its exhibition industry.
The full report is available to members here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

UFI Asia Seminar over 100

The UFI Open Seminar in Seoul which is being run by BSG next month has now registered over 100 delegates and numbers are rising fast. This is going to be an excellent meeting with a really good cross section of Asian and international speakers. It is UFI's premier event of the year in Asia and, after the successful launch last year in Hong Kong, looks set to become a fixture on the calendar. Watch out for details of next year's event tentatively scheduled for 21 - 22 February.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Outsell reports on online advertising

New Study of Ad Spending from Outsell, Inc. Shows Online’s Share Growing to 20 Percent; Search Engine Ad Spending to Leap 39 Percent

  • Survey of Advertisers Who Control $6.5 Billion in Spending Also Shows the Continued Decline of Print and Broadcast Ad Shares; Rising Click Fraud Concerns
Burlingame, CA, January 29, 2007--Outsell, Inc. has just released its second annual report on ad spending, forecasting U.S. advertising to grow 5.8 percent in 2007. The comprehensive national study of advertisers, who control about $6.5 billion of spending, shows that companies plan to increase their online spending by 18 percent this year, faster than for any other major media type. Advertisers also plan to raise their spending for advertising on search engines by 39 percent, the fastest of any online media method.

Outsell fielded a Web-based survey of 1,010 advertisers and looked at five media types—online, print, events, TV/radio/movies, and other. Among this year’s findings:

• Print, while still the largest recipient of ad dollars (40 percent), will continue to lose share as online’s share grows to 20 percent. This is a major milestone for online advertising.
• Advertisers’ share of online spending for pay-per-click (PPC) ads will fall one percent in 2007, while cost-per-action ads’ share will grow eight percent and online sponsorships’ share will rise 12 percent.
• Click fraud concerns are a driver in PPC’s drop in share. Forty-nine percent of advertisers have reduced or plan to reduce their PPC spending because of click fraud, up from 37 percent when Outsell first surveyed advertisers on this issue in the Spring of 2006. Advertisers also rate their own Web sites and e-mail marketing more effective than search engine ads, additional drivers in PPC’s slowdown.
• Advertisers rate online advertising very effective for branding, contrary to common wisdom that online shines at leads but is weak for branding.
• The share of TV/radio/movie ad spending will decline about 3.5 percent this year.
• This is the first study to reveal that advertisers are redirecting more trade magazine ad dollars to events than they are moving to paid search.

Outsell information industry analysts are available to discuss the report and individual companies. Journalists should contact Dawn Ringel, Warner Communications, 781-449-8456 or

Companies that would like to purchase this search report should go to or contact Outsell at 650-342-6060 or

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

UFI Asia Seminar moves to COEX

In order to accommodate the demand for delegates and showcase the full range of facilities available in Seoul, the UFI Open Seminar in Asia will be relocated to COEX. Dates and programme remain unchanged.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

BSG releases first report on M&A activity in Asian B2B media

Hong Kong, 20th January 2007: Subscribers to Business Strategies Group’s Asian Business Media Tracker Service received a week agao a unique new research report on mergers and acquisitions activities in the business media, information services and events sector Asia.

The report reveals that there were 21 deals in 2006, up from 17 in 2005 with a total value of US$266.4 million. BSG is predicting 25 transactions and a deal value of $300 – 350 million in 2007. Subscribers can track the value of deals over the past five years in terms of value, industry focus and acquiring companies. BSG also provides an analysis of the most important deals of 2006 as well as commentary on the differences between Asian markets and those in the US and Europe.

BSG Principal Paul Woodward commented “2006 was a record year for media M&A activity in the US and Europe. Asia is still small by comparison to those markets but there is strong growth across all sectors, particularly online. So far, we are seeing mainly strategic investments from major multi-national media companies but we do expect to see increased interest from private equity in India and in some aspects of the Chinese market”.

BSG’s Tracker Service was launched in December 2006 and provides subscribers with a variety of regularly-updated industry reports as well as an enhanced version of the company’s regular weekly newsletter.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Jess Wong e-mail: jess at

Tel: +852 2525 6129

Web site:

Friday, January 19, 2007

UFI Asia Seminar Programme Announced

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, will hold the second UFI Open Seminar in Asia in Seoul, Korea from 8-9 March 2007. Following the successful model of the first Asia seminar held in Hong Kong in 2006, the event will be open to all professionals in the exhibition industry. As in 2006, the BSG team will manage the seminar on UFI's behalf.

The seminar will be jointly hosted by two UFI members - the Korean national trade promotion organization, KOTRA and the Association of Korean Exhibition Industries (AKEI), a national association. A group of senior level representatives from around the world is expected in Seoul to share their practical experience in the exhibition business through ten interesting topics. The Seminar will focus on two key themes, “Improving Your Exhibition Competitiveness” and “The Changing Role of Venues in Successful Exhibition Business”.

The UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2007 welcomes UFI members and non-members to participate and registration is now open.

A distinguished panel of presenters has been assembled for the programme including:

· Prof. Dr. Bong-Seok Kim, Professor of Trade Fair & Exhibition Management, Kyung Hee University, Korea.

· Katharina Hamma, Executive Director, Messe München GmbH, Germany.

· Ross Yaeger, Vice President, MindComet Corp., USA.

· Silvana Kürschner, Director – Marketing Management/CRM/Alliances, Leipziger Messe GmbH, Germany.

· Michael Dreyer, Vice-President Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, Singapore.

· Eric Préat, Vice President Product Development, easyFairs, Belgium.

· Warren Buckley, Managing Director, Suntec Singapore, Singapore

· Pojai Pookakupt, Director of the Board, Chair Person of Education Committee, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Thailand.

· Paul Thandi, Chief Executive, The NEC Group, UK.

The Seminar runs from 2:00 – 5:30PM on Thursday 8th and 9:00 – 12:00 on Friday 9th in Crystal Ballroom at Lotte Hotel Seoul. Full programme and registration details are available at