TOP quality fair organisers in the territory ensured companies received value for money exhibiting at Hong Kong shows, a leading trade fair organiser said. Michael Duck, general manager of Miller Freeman's exhibition division in the territory, said his staff worked to ensure every dollar spent on exhibits promoted a company's products. Some of the world's best fair organisers were based in Hong Kong, which benefitted the industry and other related services including tourism, Mr Duck said. 'With competition between fair organisers rife, in-depth research is necessary if exhibitions are to survive, expand and prosper,' he said. 'Miller Freeman stands out from other organisers as it can tap into a comprehensive global database through its companies and network of trade association contacts. 'Market information compiled by the Miller Freeman network of diverse international companies helps us stage fairs that meet international demand.' Miller Freeman companies were part of the United News and Media group, based in Britain and which employed more than 13,000 people, he said. The group, which organised 16 annual fairs in Hong Kong, had experts in fields ranging from agriculture, beauty, chemicals, computing and construction to footwear, shipping and jewellery. 'We conduct a lot of research before organising a fair so we can match international sellers with buyers,' he said. 'Our experts in a number of fields pinpoint where growth is in different markets. 'This information is used to adapt future exhibitions to capture new exhibitors who want to sell state-of-the art products.' Attracting leading international vendors was important to fair organisers who also had to entice large numbers of buyers if shows were to remain cost-effective ways for companies to promote goods, Mr Duck said. During a well-organised three-day fair, exhibitors could penetrate markets in Europe, America and Asia, without leaving the territory, he said. 'Fairs are often a better medium for promoting products than advertisements on television or radio,' Mr Duck said. 'They are designed to address the needs of a targeted audience and not a cent is wasted on people uninterested in a particular industry.' Once the reputation of well-researched fairs spread they became regular events for an industry. While annual trade exhibitions stimulated the local economy, it was important supporting services expanded in line with growth in fairs, Mr Duck said. A lack of hotel rooms, flights, banking facilities or exhibition space could hamper growth of the exhibition industry, he said. 'Local trade fair organisers realise the industry plays an important part in generating business and have set up the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Organisers and Suppliers' Association (HKECOSA),' Mr Duck said. 'HKECOSA ensures the industry moves in the right direction so existing trade fairs stay in Hong Kong and do not move to other places like Singapore. 'The association meets monthly to look at issues affecting the industry such as relationships with police and the transport department. We discuss problems such as hanging banners and group questions to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.' The association also gave exhibitors advice on how to exhibit, address customers and operate stands. Miller Freeman believed exhibitions were the most cost-efficient way for a company to promote its products to existing and new markets, Mr Duck said. The company's Asia Pacific Leather Fair, organised with Semaine de Cuir, marketed goods to department store buyers, fashion houses, Asian distributors and designers. 'Our leather fair in March has become Asia's largest and this year attracted more than 46,000 visitors,' Mr Duck said.