Empowering Solar Energy Collaboration and Innovation: Insights from Solar & Storage Live Philippines – Mr. Paul Clark … – SolarQuarter

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Mr. Paul Clark, Managing Director – Asia, Terrapinn Pte Ltd.

1. What outcomes or achievements have you observed from facilitating collaboration or exhibition opportunities for companies at your solar series of events in Asia?


The Solar & Storage Live series of events in Asia are particularly special as they each focus on one country. So, they don’t create a general dialogue about the region, they create opportunities for attendees to really get to grips with the landscape in a specific country and identify tangible business opportunities. Around 90% of attendees at each event come from the country the event is taking place in, which means that they can build the relationships they need to move their business forward in-country. The events also serve as a marketplace – each has a large expo offering solutions and technologies that attendees can get hands on with and purchase onsite. Our attendees come from across the entire solar, energy storage and smart energy value chain, so we have everybody from project developers to installers, from panel manufacturers to consultants – and our attendees are actively looking for solutions. That’s really the magic – we’ve got that serendipity of attendees looking for solutions and solution providers there to fulfil that need. That’s why many of our clients come to all of our shows – they know they get results.


2. As the organiser of Solar & Storage Live Philippines, how do you perceive your role in addressing climate change? Can you elaborate on the event’s impact on raising awareness, driving innovation, and fostering collaboration in the renewable energy sector to mitigate climate change effects?


That’s a great question. Solar & Storage Live Philippines is the largest energy event in the Philippines, and it’s growing every year, so it’s clearly resonating with the market. When we first launched the event ten years ago, our mission was really about drawing attention to the fact that the Philippines has a big commitment to clean power generation and is full of potential for these projects. Now, ten years later, we’re seeing that in action with a projected 15-fold boost in solar & wind power by 2030, according to a recent Reuters article. By showcasing both local Filipino players and international technology leaders, we create a space for innovation and collaboration, which ultimately serves to help drive the Philippines’ clean energy ambitions forward. We’re connecting local expertise and ambition with international expertise – but it’s the commitment of our Filipino attendees that really makes the difference in taking clean energy to the next level in country. Next month, on 20-21 May, we’ll be welcoming 12,000+ attendees, which is an astonishing 600% increase from our first edition, and we’ll have over 300 exhibitors – so I guess the proof of value is in the proverbial pudding!

3. How do you believe expos can act as catalysts for global collaboration and the exchange of ideas in the renewable energy sector?

Quite simply, there’s no better place to meet new potential partners and explore solutions at scale than on an expo floor. There was a lot of talk during the pandemic about the death of large scale live events as virtual events became necessary (particularly in Asia, where we had some of the lengthiest restrictions on large gatherings), but that is clearly not the case – our attendees have been absolutely thrilled to return, and the events are bigger than ever before, with more collaboration and innovation opportunities than ever before.

In the case of renewable energy, when you’re talking about large-scale projects (as opposed to say me installing some solar panels on the roof of my own home), these are complex projects with many different stakeholders. And there’s added complexity in Asia in that each country has its own set of rules and regulations, its own local content requirements for doing business, some countries can be more challenging to secure financing to operate in, and that’s just a few of the challenges. So it’s really the relationships that tie everything together – and those relationships can be made at events like Solar & Storage Live. We also feature free-to-attend sessions at all of our events where we showcase the latest innovative projects, offer tips for overcoming project development challenges and much more. So we put the right people in the right place at the right time with the right audience, and watch the magic happen.

There’s so much to be learned from sharing international expertise and local expertise in terms of how we can get these projects moving forward quickly, safely and ultimately more cheaply than fossil fuel projects – that’s how we can silence the detractors and move us all to a cleaner future.

4. What strategies can be implemented to optimize ROI for both exhibitors and attendees?

For exhibitors, there’s a whole range of strategies they can deploy to maximise ROI. The first is to make their booth look good. If you take a space and all you have is a small pull-up banner and a counter with a couple of chairs, you’re not going to be able to compete effectively with someone who has designed a really inviting space. It’s not all about size – I’ve seen really well-designed 9sqm booths that have attracted loads of attendees. Secondly, make sure your staff are proactive – sitting at a table staring at your phone isn’t going to attract attendees in – you need to be actively inviting people to your booth and engaging them once they are there. Sometimes it can help to have some sort of a giveaway at your booth – attendees love a freebie and it’s a great way to capture leads. Another way to boost ROI is to take a speaking slot at the event, then make the session really based on knowledge and trends rather than pitching, and invite attendees to visit your booth afterwards. That’s a great way of getting more qualified attendees to your stand. Critically, you need to make sure you’re handling the leads right post-event – you need to be identifying who your hottest leads are and nurturing them differently from the rest, and doing so quickly – strike whilst the iron is hot!

For attendees, it’s about planning. Review the sessions you want to attend and mark them in your schedule, review the list of exhibitors and mark the “must visit” ones down. Then you are making sure you have your top activities mapped out already. Then, you still have time to visit the rest of the booths at your leisure during the event. Make sure you bring plenty of business cards (or something scannable if you prefer a greener option) so you can swap contact details with all the relevant contacts you meet at the show. And again, the follow-up is critical.

The Solar & Storage Live series is Asia’s leading country-specific event series in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Each event is a marketplace and offers unparalleled opportunities to connect with local players in the host country. For more information, please visit https://www.terrapinn.com/solarseriesasia

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