By Karen Hanna
A major trade show is going forward in the country first hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, amid optimism that progress in fighting the disease will allow global connections to resume after a year of dormancy.
The success of recent packaging and printing shows in Guangzhou provides reason for hope for Chinaplas, set for April 13-16, said trade-show organizer Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., Hong Kong.
“Our twin expo — Printing South China 2021 and Sino-Pack 2021 — was just concluded on March 6 at Guangzhou,” spokeswoman Natalie Hui said. “Beyond our expectation, the visitor flows of these two shows were good, and most of the exhibitors were satisfied with the result. Thus, our view on Chinaplas 2021 is positive.”
Last year's show, which was initially scheduled for mid-April 2020 in Shanghai, was postponed to August before being canceled.
To prepare for Chinaplas, industry officials will discuss market trends at a kickoff event March 24.
More than 3,600 companies plan to attend the 34th annual show, with more than 3,800 machine exhibits. This year’s show will have more than 10 pavilions representing regions outside China. In all, Hui said Adsale Exhibition Services expects companies from 40 countries, including the U.S., Germany and Austria, to attend.
Representatives from a number of OEMs with U.S. locations said their companies planned to staff the show with employees already based in China or elsewhere in Asia. Yizumi-HPM's Bill Duff said one of the company’s U.S.-based sales managers would be heading to China, though most of its Chinaplas contingent would come from the region.
“Certainly, right now, a lot of my people are getting vaccinated, and things are starting to loosen up a little bit. We see customers allowing our salespeople to make visits under certain protocols. So, I’m seeing slowly but surely, we're getting back into business,” said Duff, GM for sales and marketing for Yizumi-HPM, based in the U.S. in Iberia, Ohio.
Through its representative in the U.S., Peter Gardner, GM and VP of sales for Daiichi Jitsugyo (DJA), LS Mtron said 30 employees of LS China plan to attend the event and show off three all-electric machines, with clamping forces ranging from 120 tons to 310 tons. The company looked forward to renewing connections with customers, according to information provided by Gardner, based in Wood Dale, Ill.
Among other global companies with U.S. connections planning to attend are Haitian International Holdings Ltd., based in Hong Kong, and Engel GmbH. As of March 10, Engel reported it still was working to determine who might travel to represent its Schwertberg, Austria, headquarters.
Adsale Exhibition Services acknowledged that travel remains tricky. Two years ago, more than three-quarters of the show’s 163,000-plus visitors were domestic travelers; fewer than 10 percent came from the U.S.
The numbers of out-of-country visitors likely will be even more limited this year.
“We expect that due to travel restrictions, the number of overseas visitors will decrease, and we will encourage them to join us virtually. However, for local visitors, we have confidence that Chinaplas 2021 will be a mega event for the industry as it will be the only world-class plastics and rubber show in the world this year,” Hui said.
Visitors to the show, which takes place for the first time in Shenzhen, will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon entering the country, and submit to coronavirus testing and temperature checks. They also must wear masks.
To find out more about the kickoff event or access Chinaplas’ virtual platform, called Chinaplas+, visit www.chinaplasonline.com/CPS21/MyChinaplas/eng.