Adsale Optimistic for Chinaplas 2021’s Prospects after Cancelling 2020 Edition
In a virtual press conference, Adsale executives discussed the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on the Chinese plastics industry and offered a virtual tour of the show’s new home in Shenzhen.
Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., the Hong Kong based organizer of various trades shows in China, held a virtual press conference to discuss how the Chinese plastics industry has thus far weathered the coronavirus outbreak and its plans for Chinaplas 2021. Chinaplas, which began in 1983 and had run without interruption since that time, boasting continuous gains in exhibitors and attendance with each new edition, was cancelled for 2020 after initially being postponed from April to August.
“We always want to guarantee return on investment (ROI) for attendees and exhibitors,” Stanley Chu, Adsale chairman said in the press conference, “because we understand for everyone, it’s a huge investment, so we want to protect their interests. That’s why in order to protect ROI of audience and exhibitors, we wanted to choose a good platform and good timing. That’s reason we postponed Chinaplas to 2021.”
The original epicenter of the outbreak, China has largely contained the virus thanks in part to a near-total shutdown of the country. Adsale offered statistics to quantify the breadth and depth of the shutdown’s effect noting that from January to May, plastic product manufacturing was down 4.17%, with plastics machinery manufacturing off 68%; machine imports down more than 21%; and machine exports falling by nearly 9%.
The recovery has begun, however, with plastic product manufacturing up more than 9% in May, with machine manufacture rising 27% in April. The first five months of 2020 also saw record demand for protective plastics equipment as well as packaging. The rise in remote work also boosted sales for electronics, including notebook computers and smart phones.
New Venue, New Schedule
The annual show has long rotated between Shanghai and Guangzhou, after initially splitting time with Shanghai and Beijing, but its continued growth has forced Adsale to find new, larger venues. In 2018, it moved into a larger exhibition center in Shanghai and in 2021, instead of Guangzhou, it will shift to the mouth of the Pearl River and Shenzhen, taking place April 13-16 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center. It had traditionally occurred in May.
The new exhibition center, which offers 400,000 m2 (4.3 million ft2) of space, is approximately 4 miles from Shenzhen Bao’an International airport and 50 miles from Hong Kong’s airport. The new hall will allow all exhibits to be on one floor, instead of the multiple floors in Guangzhou, with 19 pillar-free halls that are connected via a 1-mile-long moving walkway system. Adsale noted that the exhibition center is the first in the world with full 5G signal coverage.
Adsale says Chinaplas 2021 will occupy 3.2 million million ft2 and feature more than 3600 international exhibitors, with nine different country pavilions, including the U.S., and 3800 machine exhibits. At this point, Adsale noted that 90% of Chinaplas 2021’s exhibitors have confirmed their plans to participate in the show in 2021.
In-Person and Virtual Embraced
Adsale also said the Covid-19 crisis, as it has for many companies, has made it embrace digital platforms as a means to connect. During the pandemic, it noted that it has held nine webinars, and it sees an important role in connecting virtually in the future, even after Covid-19.
“During the pandemic, I can see buyers and exhibitors getting used to online platforms,” Chu said. “We support that, and want to combine online and offline activities at our shows.” Adsale said it has upgraded its online supplier database; launched a new online business matching service; created new online events, including industry forums; arranged virtual factory visits; and will provide a live stream of shows.
Adsale General Manager Ada Leung also reflected on the importance of in-person interactions. “In fact Chinaplas provides face-to-face meetings to connect,” Leung said. “In the future, we will return to that format, but at the same time, enhance our online platforms.”
Leung noted that in-person exhibitions resumed this month in China, with Adsale sending a group of its employees to an event at the new Shenzhen hall to see what the “new normal” at a large trade show looks like.
Chu acknowledged that the situation with the virus remains dynamic, but said he’s hopeful it will be under more control globally by 2021. “There are bound to be individual cases still appearing in coming months, but as we have witnessed in China, these case are quickly put under control,” Chu said. “Then we have to face a new normal in worldwide exhibition facilities. We have to upgrade hygiene measures on site, and health and safety measures have to be put in place. We will learn from others and put all these measures in good order. Some other countries are still in the midst of the outbreak; we hope these outbreaks subside, and we can largely return to normal and put the virus under control.”
Adsale held a virtual press conference to discuss its decision to cancel the 2020 event and the prospects for Chinaplas 2021, to be held next April at a new venue in Shenzhen.