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China works toward standardizing exhibition industry

During the month of December, many of the exposition industry associations in the world conduct their annual conferences with members. EDPA, IAEE, ExpoSystems (Brazil), Adam & Eve (FAMAB) and several others are all are held around this time of the year, when tradeshows are slow and quiet.

Expo Forum

IFES President Bruno Meissner greets attendees at the networking dinner.

IFES President Bruno Meissner just returned from Changzhou, China, where he attended as a speaker and panel participant at the 15th annual Expo Forum in China. Meissner spoke to nearly 375 attendees about eco-friendly strategies as well as IFES, its benefits and objectives, and how to become a member. He also promoted the next IFES AGM and 5P-Expo to be held in Moscow in June 2012.

The conference audience consisted of managers from more than 150 exhibition-related service companies, the leading Expo Centers of China, exhibition organizers, design houses, stand construction companies and other service companies from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Israel and Germany.

The first day of the conference centered around the topic, “Sustainability and eco-friendly exhibits.”

The 12th five-year plan of China put a lot of effort into the exhibition industry, as presented by Chen Zeyan, managing deputy president of China Convention & Exhibition Society. Exhibition Centers are planned in each major city, and new exhibitions are planned all over the country.


From left to right: IFES President Bruno Meissner, Mr. Chen Zeyan, managing deputy president of China Convention and Exhibition Society, Mr. Zheng Shijun, president of CAEC China Association of Exhibition Centers and Mrs. Xu Ying, chief of publicity for the Dept. of Changzhou.

The second day focused on “Customized Exhibit Design” and “Standardization of Rules and Regulations in Exhibition Halls.” Yu Rong, director of the Suzhou Convention Exhibition Association, started the discussion with a presentation on “How to Standardize Methods in Exhibition Halls.”

The panel discussed broader standardization with rules and regulations concerning the exhibition construction industry and a desire to use more system and modules for eco-friendly exhibits. Designers and project managers need to understand that designing exhibition stands with systems and modularity does not automatically lead to boring similarity or to less profitability.

Greater standardization of technical rules and regulations would allow more re-usability of stands and stand modules at other exhibition grounds, not only in China, but internationally as well.

The attending Expo Centers from different cities and regions of China expressed their will to further standardization, but also discussed the inherent difficulties according to different hall situations and regional legislation.

However, it has been mutually recognized that any standardization in the area listed below would increase sustainability of exhibition

China Forum

IFES President Meissner addresses the crowd at the 15th annual Expo Forum in China.

operations and organizations:

  • Less waste
  • More re-usability
  • Safer installation and dismantling procedures, less accidents
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Higher long term economic efficiency
  • Less energy consumption
  • Less cost for the exhibitor
  • Higher profits for the stand construction companies and the organizers.

After a comprehensive tour of several factories, the meeting ended with a celebration dinner in one of the leading Changzhou restaurants with a lot of excellent food, good drinks, and most importantly, a lot of networking around the tables.

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