Following the success of last year’s debut, Paperworld China 2006 has already got off to a flying start, with almost 300 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions having confirmed their participation.
Last year over 480 exhibitors took part in Paperworld China, which attracted more than 12,600 visitors from 81 countries and regions. At last year’s show, many delegates and exhibitors told OPI+ that they thought Paperworld China, which this year is to be held in Shanghai from 13 to 15 November 2006, could become THE Paperworld exhibition over the next few years.
Ruth Lorenz, VP at Messe Frankfurt Exhibitions, is excited by the response for this year’s show so far. "Following last year’s highly successful debut, the second edition of Paperworld China is set to continue in the same highly promising vein," she told OPI+. "Even now, with five months still to go before the doors open, almost 300 exhibitors from 19 countries have registered for Paperworld China 2006. This is more than at the same time last year."
With costs rising for exhibitors at Paperworld’s granddaddy event in Frankfurt, coupled with small stands and limited platform space, Paperworld China offers Asian suppliers a broader platform to attract western buyers. At the same time, the show offers western resellers the chance to source from the industry’s largest collection of office products in what has become the world’s workshop.
And with China’s retail sector burgeoning — and with consumers becoming increasingly interested in high-quality, design-led products — the event will also likely become a focal point for many foreign manufacturers.
"With Paperworld China, we offer European companies in particular the optimum forum for presenting themselves and their products to the Asian market," said Lorenz. "In Shanghai they encounter an audience of trade visitors, the vast majority of then from he Asian region.
"Confirmation for our concept of holding overseas events parallel to the growing shift from sellers’ to buyers’ markets, is also given by the larger exhibition stands planned by many exhibitors at this year’s Paperworld China, such as Isaberg Rapid and Novus," she added.
Sweden-based Isaberg Rapid has confirmed that it will have a much bigger attendance at this year’s Paperworld China. Doubling its exhibition space to 144 sq m, the company has decided to significantly upgrade the fair’s status in its global marketing plan.
"Paperworld China showed impressive visitor numbers in its first year and we expect this figure to grow this year, making the show one of the very few exhibitions to undergo growth," said Jörgen Thelin, marketing manager for Rapid’s Office division. "Paperworld China will help us to develop our relationship with the trade in China and in Asia, though we expect to see visitors from the US and Oceania there too."
Germany-based Novus has significantly increased its booth space from 12 sq m to 200 sq m. "The first Paperworld China was a great success for Novus and we value the show as an international meeting place for the stationery and office product industry," said Weidong Ye, general manager of Novus China. "Last year we met with a number of professional buyers from all over the world. The show really helped us to develop our brand not only in China, but all around the world."
It may be that many international manufacturers will opt to exhibit at Paperworld China as a viable alternative to the traditional Paperworld show. Earlier this year in Frankfurt the famous Hall 3 was plagued by the absence of many big names including Esselte, Smead Europe, Fellowes, Avery Dennison Europe and Acco.
It is probably because of these no-shows that the Paperworld Strategy Commission has already announced plans to open up Hall 3 in 2007 to include spacious "wide avenues and plazas" — which could be the perfect way to hide space left if the big names fail to return to Frankfurt in 2007, or if more firms announce their non-appearance.
While Lorenz admitted to OPI+ earlier in the year that she was "absolutely not happy" about the absence of big names from Paperworld Frankfurt, she remains quietly confident that Paperworld China has big future and will become — at the very least — the biggest OP show in Asia.
"Paperworld China has the potential to develop into the foremost presentation platform for the Asian paper, office supplies and stationery sector and thus complements the portfolio of the international Paperworld brand perfectly," she said.