CITEXPO Shows Stability Despite the Crisis
There are exhibitions where people are encouraged to “see and be seen.” And there are other exhibitions where employees from various market players meet and engage in what is important: doing business. One such exhibition is the China International Tire Expo, or CITExpo for short. At the start of September numerous representatives from the international tyre business met in Shanghai, and many of them attended to meet the stated aim of doing business with international (preferably Western) distributors. The particular quality – the meeting of Chinese manufacturers and exporters with overseas importers – has clearly evolved during the previous seven years and today is CITExpo’s greatest strength.
The organiser and all those who spoke with Tyres & Accessories, who was also present at the Shanghai exhibition as an exhibitor, viewed the three-day trade fair positively. Naturally exhibition host Reliable International Exhibition Services laments this year’s drop in visitor numbers; while last year the sixth CITExpo attracted some 6,800 visitors, Reliable managing director Wilko Fong reports that 6,320 visitors passed through the doors during this “crisis” year, eight per cent fewer than in 2008. However this reduction in visitor numbers was to be expected given global economic and industry conditions and (at the time of the exhibition) the Obama administration’s upcoming decision on imported Chinese tyres, notes Fong in an interview with Tyres & Accessories. Furthermore, he states that “visitor quality” was once again “very good.”
Nevertheless, Fong sees the figures as encouraging. The two exhibition halls 18,000 square metre floorspace was, as last year, occupied by around 300 exhibitors. Moreover, by the end of the fair’s three days 180 of these 300 had already signed up for next year’s CITExpo, scheduled for September 8 to 10, 2009 and again taking place in the Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center. More than 85 per cent of this year’s exhibition space has already been booked and reserved for next year by the 180. “Our exhibitors have markedly enlarged their exhibition space,” Wilko Fong is pleased to note when discussing next year’s show. Reliable particularly points out that CITExpo receives no governmental support – and is nevertheless successful.
One expectation remains, however: Perhaps next year’s CITExpo will attract more international visitors. This year 2,103 overseas visitors from 85 countries attended; thus, at least one third of visitors to this year’s exhibition were not Chinese, a statistic that highlights the fair’s increasingly international character.
According to press releases from Reliable, the value and attractiveness of CITExpo is not only increasing on the back of its international appeal. The exhibition also attracts an important part of “the world tyre industry’s combined purchasing power,” making the show “one of the most influential and largest trade fairs in the Asian region.”
The exhibitors whose presence dominate the halls are not, Cooper Chenghan and Nankang aside, leading Chinese or international tyre manufacturers. Rather, they are Chinese manufacturers’ agents, wholesalers plus accessory and equipment suppliers wishing to attract the interest of well-funded visitors with their brand name and exclusive brand products.
CITExpo has never been viewed as a leading global fair and hence must manage without the presence of the industry giants. As noted above, their absence makes room for those involved in the business on a day to day basis who wish to buy and sell.