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These are tough times for the Asia Pacific exhibition industry. Just as the region was recovering from the financial crisis of 1997 it had to endure an economic backlash following 11 September.
The industry is, however, proving resilient. Immediately after the attacks on the US, most venues were forced to reschedule events but there were few outright cancellations.
As a result, exhibition organisers such as Messe Dusseldorf Asia are taking a wait-and-see approach to new shows. 'Organisers, as well as exhibitors, are waiting for better times,' admits Messe Dusseldorf Asia managing director Gernot Ringling.
Reed Travel Exhibitions director of sales and marketing Andrew Lee admits Reed has put some launches on hold, although it will be organising the first Batimat show in Asia this November.
CMP Asia, rather than launching shows, has invested in a Japanese media company with several exhibitions in the health field. 'This links nicely to the Health Ingredients show launch in Tokyo,' says CMP Asia vice-president Michael Duck.
Another hot topic is the growing importance of China. Ringling says its exhibition industry is becoming stronger, particularly after its accession to the World Trade Organisation. 'Many exhibitors now see China as the market of the moment,' he says.
CMP Asia has already invested in shows in Shanghai and will soon do the same in Beijing.
Marintec, Asia's largest shipbuilding show, is held in Shanghai, as is the September Furniture Fair. 'We have many more shows in China and most of these have a good growth rate with future development,' says Duck.