Nepcon Shanghai - numbers off a little, but quality much higher...
Apr 14, 2005
Anecdotal feedback from exhibitors towards the end of this, day three of Nepcon Shanghai, shows a high degree of satisfaction with the quality and quantity of the leads, although most agreed numbers were a little off from last year...
Managing expectations at a trade show is a critical part of any event managers business. And regardless of statistics, the gut feeling of the exhibitors is paramount. I talked to a number of the larger exhibitors today, who told me they thought that the numbers were a little off previous year. "Where a large EMS might have sent 20 staff to the event in the past, they are now sending a smaller core team, including a buyer" one exhibitor told me.
I was also told that in previous year there were many students at the show and that this year a policy to focus the visitors more accurately had been successful - resulting is less traffic, and better quality. An Event Manager once told me "don't count your visitors, weigh them". These are wise words, less time spent sorting visitors and more time face to face with key potential customers is what everyone wants from any trade show.
On the third floor of the west hall are some Chinese manufacturers, exhibiting equipment and consumables. These have possibly not had their expectation met. When I visited this floor, it was very quiet and I wondered if there could have been a better way of getting people to visit this area of the show.
Interestingly, most exhibitors are planning to attend further trade shows in Asia this year, and many are fatigued by the number they have to attend. At the moment it feels like the number of Asian shows is growing every year, as the players like Reed (Nepcon), MMG (Electronica and Productronica) and IPC (APEX and the HKPCA Show) vie to get a foothold in the region. It seems that Nepcon is a very strong brand in Asia, and I suspect it may prevail over its newer competitors.
Nepcon is present in both Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as in Korea, Malaysia and a number of other Asian cities. It confirms the fact that this is a very large region with a many local issues and priorities.
Being local is fundamentally important
Global companies acting locally is something you hear regularly in business, but in China it seems that it is an absolute necessity. Local knowledge is incredibly valuable and gaining it, by employing staff locally or finding the right partner, is often the difference between success and failure - and here the dividend for success and the costs of failure are high.
I have spoken to many principals who have multiple agents or representatives throughout Asia and are enjoying the success that has brought, after all you would not select a single agent for Europe - you would use an Italian in Italy, a German in Germany and a Frenchman in France.
Growing in size and growing in sophistication
It is amazing to see the speed of growth here - the changes that have occurred in just twelve months since the last show are testament to that. But it is not just the size of the industry that has grown, the level of sophistication has also moved in leaps and bounds. Every time I visit China the products get more sophisticated, as do the methods of manufacturing. Ideologies like Lean are prevalent, and a desire to drive the cost of product down using better design, better equipment and better processes is apparent. Ten years ago the Chinese market was cheap and dirty, now it is still cheap but world class.
And it doesn't end in China. The Chinese are already investing in other low cost environments, bringing their skills and values to Eastern Europe and India, to name just two.
Many, many years ago, China was the largest economy in the world, it seems likely that it will be again, and not before too long...