Without any preconceived ideas of what this show was about, I went along to the opening of the inaugural Visual Asia Expo show held at Suntec City on 5th November. It was certainly an eye-popping show in many instances.
The man behind the show is Thomas Ang, whose reputation comes from building up the taxi advertising business for Comfort Ads. Under his wing, we saw taxi advertising grow from a secondary, boring, media to one in which all the creative boys wanted to participate. The taxi advertising blossomed in the early 2000s thanks to Ang and his trips to the Cannes Festival for the winners in his annual creative show.
Will his new baby survive? The show certainly attracted a lot of exhibitors and it was nicely laid out. I discovered some mind blowing technology and interesting new products alongside traditional printing and signwork firms. As you might expect, there several firms showing how 3D is entering the visual world as well as video production houses and photographers.
The show, which was opened by Tai Lee Siang, President of Design Business Chamber Singapore, made me realise how much in the visual communications industry we draw on developments outside our own field. Tai drew attention to how important it was for businesses to use “visually compelling” solutions to create a lasting consumer impression.
At the moment Visual Asia Expo lacks coherence (I must confess, I actually like that!) and it may take a year or two for it to finds its feet. Exhibitors need to know why they are there and potential visitors need a clearer picture of what this show is all about.