China is still a key strategic market and offers huge opportunity for many industries. Whether you are well established there, or dipping your toe in, trade show attendance is a great opportunity for networking, sales and brand building. Our team in Shanghai and Beijing support a number of clients with media and event support, helping them to get that all-important exposure in a very competitive market.
We successfully managed, booked and delivered a media round table at CPhI China with two weeks’ turnaround. With so many exhibitors and so many halls, international companies cannot hope to penetrate CPhI without a team to support them. You will never see a journalist, they will never find you, unless it is managed for you. Fortunately, our 20- strong team in China is familiar with the idiosyncrasies involved and negotiated skillfully for our client, Novozymes Biopharma.
We booked a private room in the adjacent Kerry Hotel business centre and a private lunch for 20. Key Chinese media from leading Pharma and biotech publications attended. Presentations were skillfully delivered by Hemant Pachnanda and Amber Deng for Novozymes, having been pre-briefed and media trained on how to manage Chinese media beforehand.
Media questions are often more detailed in China than in the West – journalists absorb the information provided and weigh up its implications for their readerships, and 25% of attendees actually videoed the event.
Key tips for success:
- Be at least multi-lingual
- Do not forget hard copy press kits in China!
- Do advance media training
- Paying travel expenses for journalists attending your own events is the norm
- Take everyone to lunch (at 12 noon). In China you have to host the lunch – journalists need to eat!
Chinaplas is China’s biggest (and the world’s second biggest) plastics trade show, and our Chinese team managed a press conference there for one of the world’s biggest chemistry companies.
Our client for Chinaplas 2016 was the sponsor of the Design X innovative theme at the show – meaning that the official opening of the entire trade show took place on their booth, so we had to deliver media for three separate sessions, including: the official opening of the show, our client’s press conference and media tours of the client’s booth.
Over 30 media attended the official opening, while more than 35 took part in booth tours and more than 50 attended the client’s press conference, which took place off-site in a hotel across the road from the convention. Of course it was raining, so we welcomed a bunch of bedraggled journalists with warm tea!
The press conference and questions ran for more than one and a half hours, which was then followed by a sit-down lunch, where more than 45 journalists joined the client. The questioning was very animated and media attendees came from China, USA, Germany, Mexico, Japan, India and Pakistan.
Our team was responsible for looking after the journalists from Sunday evening until Monday afternoon. Some journalists spent about 7 hours with us, which is something that shocked the American journalists, who are accustomed to 30 minutes!
The client launched an array of new initiatives at ChinaPlas, including a competition for designers to innovate using their materials. We saw products as diverse as new bus seats, automobile parts, greenhouse covers, windows, solar powered scooters and concept bikes, as well as lamps, medical plastics and sports stadium running surfaces. At one point, I had to buy bike helmets to give the journalists races around a circuit on the booth on a new solar powered city scooter!
I can honestly say that I have never been to a busier booth. The client was delighted, and their head of comms had flown in from Hong Kong and was very cheery with the foreign media, as they only expected Chinese media – foreign media was a bonus for their investment.
Use The Scott Partnership to help you navigate the most from your exhibition spend overseas and if you are exhibiting at CPhI China or ChinaPlas in 2017, contact us now on [email protected].
By Kath Darlington, CEO, The Scott Partnership.