Our customers indicated that a move from Manila would be best, and after months of investigation going back to last year, we’ve just announced that the combined ProTobEx and Inter-tabac Asia will go to Bali, Indonesia, at the new Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center next February 27-28, 2014. Bali is one of the most desirable destinations in Asia, and is certainly a highlight of Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest tobacco market.Nothing can compare to the size and success of Inter-tabac Dortmund, by far the world’s largest tobacco exhibition, and the Asia line-extension of that is of course much smaller. As markets and businesses are not as homogeneous in Asia as they might be in Europe, Inter-tabac ASIA will thrive best by a move every few years to explore different areas, and give visitors/exhibitors a different exciting place to visit and areas to explore.A driving factor in venue placement is our exhibitors’ and visitors’ strong preference that smoking be allowed in the hall. And today, that winnows down the inventory of venues drastically. While we might be able to find some halls with a second-best solution to the smoking issue (such as a ventilated room, a conveniently connected outdoor smoking area, or even a designated smoking area/corner), if the customer demands smoking in the hall freely wherever they are, I’m afraid that this points to Indonesia right now. One day, this point will be moot – smoking won’t be allowed in halls anywhere, and this will then widen the possibilities of venues providing possible alternative solutions to the exhibition smoking issue.I see Tobacco Asia is mentioned as a supporter for Sinotab. Will this show go ahead or not? Given the cancellation of Istanbul and Moscow, what are your thoughts??It is our information going back months now that Sinotab would not be held at the Venetian as has been stated on Sinotab’s (very) hard-to-find website. We never authorized the organizers to use our logo, and we asked that it be removed, and it hasn’t. It’s another example of why the tobacco industry should put its exhibition dollars into offerings by unique companies like October Multimedia, publishers of Tobacco Asia, that have an active stake in the Asia regional tobacco business, and are not outside organizers with little or no connection to tobacco or to Asia. And you’re right, that’s the third tobacco exhibition cancelled in 2013 after WT Turkey, Moscow (Lockwood’s Tobacco International), and now Sinotab Macao.Tobacco exhibition organizers need to keep first and foremost in mind the particular nature and demands of the tobacco industry and the unique political/legal landscape we operate in…something you’d think would go without saying, but sometimes we wonder. Time and again in the months leading up to the tobacco showtime “suddenly” the issues of smoking in the hall, displays of tobacco products, imports of tobacco leaf, displays of tobacco imaginary, and security begin rearing their ugly heads, with the organizer pointing their finger at “the hall”, “the government”, “changes in policy”, “competitors”, etc…in short, at anyone besides themselves. These are issues that should have been disposed of long before a show was ever announced.Glenn Anthony John,Publisher, Tobacco AsiaOrganizer, ProTobEx/Inter-tabac ASIA
Glenn John – Publisher of Tobacco Asia provides exhibition feedback
With hindsight what is your present view on the Manila show and your position going forward?