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EXHIBITION REVIEW to 110,000 sqm, and therefore we had no choice but to move to this new hall which has good infrastructure compared to the old halls, although the service standards of the venue need further improvement. There are also no other venues in Beijing that has the space that can accommodate exhibitions that are over 100,000 sqm.”

According to IIR, a total of 47,013 unique visitors attended compared to 50,571 last year with a total visitorship of 156,378 and 211,000 respectively. The drop in revisits is likely due to the travel distance to the venue. However, over time, the organisers feel that attendees will become more familiar with the venue and this should improve.

There were some exhibitors who felt that the remoteness and inaccessibility of the new exhibition venue may have had an impact on the quality of visitors to the show. “There are better facilities in China than this here,” said Harry von den Stemmen, Sales Director for ROBE lighting. “I can also add that our distributors have commented that the quality of the visitors is not as good as last year. They tell me that there are more visitors in a generic way but the ones that were expected to be here are not attending.”

To encourage visits to the exhibition IIR had some new initiatives this year - the hosted buyers program and the business matching program which was a success in match-making buyers and sellers at the show and to attract more quality visitors. Both exhibitors and visitors participating in this business matching service find it invaluable as it helps to connect buyers and sellers on the show floor allowing business meetings to be scheduled both on line and on-site. Other major activities that took place was the China Entertainment Technology Association Annual Industry Meeting that gathers over 1000 distributors, manufacturers and end users from all over China in addition to several technical seminars and conference which were held throughout the exhibition as well as the Outdoor Line Array Demonstration.

The Opening Ceremony

Muenz also felt that the remote location may have had an impact on the number of visitors to the show. “The show itself was very quiet in my opinion. The first day was good. It was busy all day long and there were lots of interesting and highly professional customers as well as a lot of our international customers from other countries. The remaining days were much more quiet. Maybe the remote location had an impact but I think overall, the number of visitors was less than previous years.” In spite of this, some exhibitors thought otherwise. They were generally pleased with the quality and quantity of the visitors. Stephen Huang, Managing Director of MILOS Guangzhou Co. Ltd., commented that this year’s PALM Expo was one of the best yet in terms of quality and quantity of visitors. The MILOS team saw many professionals, individuals and companies working in rental and staging, together with owners, operators and managers from all types of venues and installations. About 80 per cent of the new contacts were from China.

To some international exhibitors, the most troubling part was the preponderence of local companies exhibiting copies of their products. Muenz commented, “One scary thing, for an innovative manufacturer as we are, was of course to see again a number of local manufacturers exhibiting nothing else but copies. It is sad to see you cannot stop them.” Von den Stemmen also noticed that there were many manufacturers making copies of ROBE's products. “You see many direct copies of our fixtures here. At least 20 companies here are making copies of our products.” Søren Storm, Managing Director of Martin Professional Pte Ltd, commented “We prefer not to exhibit in shows where copies of our products are exhibited.” In response to this, IIR contends that there are measures in place to prevent the infringement of intellectual property rights. Firstly, all exhibitors are required to sign an IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) contract before they are allowed to exhibit at the show. According to this contract, exhibitors are required to withdraw from the exhibition and remove all their exhibits if they are found guilty of infringing on the intellectual property rights of another company's products by the IPR officials. Secondly, all exhibitors at the


show are subject to the Protection Measures for Intellectual Property Rights during Exhibitions as established by the Government of the People's Republic of China. Thirdly, to ensure that PALM Expo's buyers are buying from authorised agents, PALM Expo prints and distributes the International Brands and Authorised Agents Listing (IBAA) Handbook to visitors during the exhibition to highlight to visitors the original manufacturers’ products. IIR Exhibitions, Managing Director Rosalind Ng states that as Organisers, “we try our best to put measures in place to prevent copy products at the event, and help companies to understand the local laws and procedures, and have engaged the IPR lawyers on site to help companies.” Rosalind Ng feels that the issue with copy products is not just a problem for our industry but for many industries who have dealings with China. We feel that the government has to become more actively involved and more stringent about copyright issues – this will be the only way to resolve the problem. The new venue, with its modern structure, efficient layout and better facilities is certainly an improvement over the previous venue. However, its remote location poses problems with regards to dining and transportation. Perhaps, this will be sorted out in time as the area surrounding the venue is developed further. Although the new location did not meet the expectations of some exhibitors, there were others who were extremely pleased with it. The MILOS team commented, “MILOS has exhibited at PALM Beijing since 2006. In that time, the company has established many long term and on-going relationships and built a solid regular client base in China, in the process further extending its reputation for excellent products and service. The new modern exhibition centre near the airport also proved a big success, further raising the profile of the exhibition and offering many additional facilities.” On IIR's part they have indicated that they will look into the transportation and venue issues and work towards creating a better experience for exhibitors and visitors for the next edition.

Entertainment Technology Asia July-August 2012  
Entertainment Technology Asia July-August 2012  

Entertainment Technology Asia July-August 2012, W-DMX™ Powers Vangelis Concert in Doha, D.T.S Lighting's Silvano Latteo, PALM China 2012 rev...