02 August 2017

Comparing Aquatech China and Amsterdam

Matt Armstrong couldn’t attend Aquatech China last year because of his wedding and this year because of daughter Libbie’s arrival, so I had the pleasure of attending again this June.

This is a truly massive event with 83,500 visitors and 1,900 exhibitors, compared with 930 exhibitors at Aquatech Amsterdam but only 21,500 visitors.

Aquatech China was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai, which claims to be the world’s largest single building offering 400,000 square meters of indoor space across 16 halls. To give you an idea of the scale, it would hold 56 football (soccer) pitches.

Genesys was attending in support of our Chinese distributor, Shanghai Hantech, who had a large stand representing their range of water treatment components – Flotrol valves, pumps and resins, Global Aqua membranes, Liquatec filters, Micronix electrodeionisation units and Maxipure pressure vessels and UV systems.

I was looked after royally by all from Hantech and made a lot of great new friends. While not all the visitors could be described as water treatment experts, it was refreshing to see a lot of plant operators from all over Asia attending to gather information to improve their operating and maintenance practices. This contrasted starkly with Aquatech Amsterdam, where it seemed that the majority of attendees were experts in their field and suppliers or manufacturers of water treatment equipment.

It seems that in the western world, operators no longer rely on exhibitions as a source of information because they can access what they need more conveniently and cheaply online. The result is that most exhibition visitors are busy networking with each other rather than selling to plant operators. We still found the Amsterdam event useful, as we got to meet up with a lot of our distributors and show them the sites of Amsterdam. On an evening out with our Korean and Japanese distributors we showed them three things that Amsterdam is famous for. The canals came as quite a shock to our friends!

However it would be good to see exhibition organisers coming up with creative ways to maximise the value of events in western countries, to breathe some life back into them.

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