The 21st edition of the Hortiflorexpo IPM Shanghai came to a close yesterday. The show took off on Saturday, April 20, with aisles full of visitors who were eager to see what the more than 900 exhibiting companies were presenting. Over the years, the fair has grown and visitor numbers have been on the rise. It reflects the economic growth of this country and the potential many see to enter the country.
The Hortiflorexpo is regarded as one of the largest horticultural shows in China and attracts visitors from all over the world. It is one of the most important shows for many companies to see how the Chinese market is developing, to enter the market, to get to know new clients and to meet existing clients from all over Asia. The show alternates between host cities Beijing and Shanghai. This year, it was Shanghai's turn. So, what did the exhibitors think?
Exhibition floor (one of the four halls)
Overall, the exhibitors seem to be pleased with the show. Not only the size of the show increased, the visual appearance of the show improved too. According to many, the set-up of the entire show and the booths were more professional than previous editions. "Companies were eager to learn how to present themselves and it shows that they invested in it this year", many said.
Over the three days, the show welcomed many visitors, but recognizing who is who was sometimes a challenge for the foreign exhibitors. The exhibition is held for three days, of which the first two days are only reserved for the professional visitors, and the third open to the public. So, for many exhibitors, the first two days are the most important. However, many - and particularly the foreign breeders and growers - were not sure if the selection was that strict, as many visitors were taking pictures. Are they just flower-loving people or professionals in the industry? Almost every one of these exhibitors had an interpreter, but when they were not there, it was very difficult for them to estimate whether it's a potential breeder/importer or not.
A major drawback of this year's show was the timing. It wasn't just a weekend - for many countries it was the Easter weekend, and according to several exhibitors this might have withheld some foreigners from visiting the show. Next year, when the show will be held in Beijing, it will not be in a weekend and not during Easter. Then it will take place from Tuesday April 7 until Thursday April 9.
HortiDaily was also present to make a photo report of the show and to learn more about the Chinese industry and its trends. Tomorrow, the report will be published. Here are already some photos to get an impression.
Mike Samilian and Richard de Quisada see the demand for peat moss increase every year. Lambert has been selling its products to China for about 5 years now and they also have an agent in Guangzhou. In China, they currently sell the basic products, but in the future, they expect to sell more specific products for specific crops.
Jerome Patault and Michael Nordlohne of Pöppelmann. They've been exhibiting at the Hortiflor Expo since 2004 and supply several distributors and have direct customers all over China. The show is a good opportunity for them to meet their existing and new clients - not only from China, but also from other parts of Asia. Regarding trends in the pots, Jerome sees that the thermoform pots are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that more and more is being automated. "Our thermoform pots work very well on potting machines."
Woodea Wang of KG Systems sees the company growing step by step in the Chinese market. "The increase of labor costs and/or the lack of labor combined with the scarcity of land results in a higher demand for automation and efficiency."
During the show Viscon Group had the honor to present its automation solutions at the Dutch embassy party on April 20th. Adam Wang, General Manager of Viscon China, and Robbert-Jan in ‘t Veld had the honor to introduce Viscon in a speech, which was attended by different growers, government officials and horticultural companies.
With the speech Viscon celebrated decades of experience with Chinese horticultural companies. "We value the long-term stability of relationships with Chinese horticultural companies and are therefore proud to present our automation solutions in the agro and (non-)food sector during the Dutch embassy party at IPM Shanghai", the team says. Robbert Jan in ‘t Veld, sales manager for Visser Horti Systems – which is one of the daughter companies within the Viscon Group – is optimistic about the organization’s future in China.