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PM On The Road: ISH China Pageantry - & Lamborghini?

March 4, 2011
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ISH China Day 2 observations from PM Senior Editor Mike Miazga.

This boiler has legs - literally. The mascot made the rounds during ISH China’s opening ceremonies. (Photo credit: Mike Miazga/Plumbing & Mechanical.)

Nĭ hăo from Beijing!

I wasn’t joking when I said there were over 700 exhibitors at the ISH China & CIHE-China International Trade Fair for Heating, Sanitation and Air-Conditioning Expo at the China International Exhibition Center.

There are wall-to-wall companies here exhibiting everything you can imagine related to our industry - from boilers to radiators to valves to solar equipment and everything in between. There was even a fellow in a booth painting radiators.

The show has done a great job of making each industry segment stand out to the attendees. Five different categories of vendors fill nine halls on the center’s grounds. An entire hall is devoted to boilers - namely wall-hung boilers, which are extremely popular in this region. I couldn’t tell you how many wall-hung boilers I saw on display. If I threw out the number 200, it probably would be in the ballpark.

Another hall features heat exchangers and heat meters, while radiators take up three halls. Floor heating is also quite well-represented, occupying three halls as well. The “Sanitation Zone” occupies Hall 8 (bathroom fixtures). This setup is a bit different than many American trade shows where everything is housed under one roof.

Besides the constant streams of vendor booths, there has also been a steady dose of added pageantry in the form of people dressed up in either vendor mascot costumes (I’ve seen an elephant, a Martian and a yellow sun head walking around) or popular cartoon characters (multiple Mickey and Minnie Mouse outfits). There was even a cardboard boiler with legs walking around during the opening ceremonies. Several booths blared catchy music, while a couple had live bands playing.

It struck me as odd that the famed luxury sports car maker would be exhibiting at a show of this nature, but Lamborghini also makes a variety of heating-related products, including boilers. (Photo credit: Mike Miazga/Plumbing & Mechanical.)

One booth that particularly caught my eye was that of Lamborghini. At first it struck me as odd that the famed luxury sports car maker would be exhibiting at a show of this nature.  Silly (or stupid) me. It, too, makes a variety of heating-related products, including boilers.

I also stopped by the first session of the Modern Home Decoration Trend Forum. Just like the previous day’s seminar, which stressed sustainable technologies, this seminar also hammered home the importance of water conservation and the use of green initiatives in building design. Once again the room was filled with a younger, local crowd. 

One stat I found rather staggering during Grohe’s part of the presentation: The water industry consumes some 1.5 metric tons (about 3,307 pounds) of plastics - a large part of which remains un-recycled and ends up in landfills. It takes 7 liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water.

This expo, when still known as ISH China, had more than 300 exhibitors last year and has now swollen to over 700 thanks to the two entities (ISH and CIHE) joining forces.

Based on the crowds I saw on the exhibit floor and at the various seminars, this super-sized show has been a big hit. And with such a global emphasis being placed on topics like energy efficiency and water conservation, the demand will continue to be there in the years to come for the products and concepts these exhibitors displayed.

Next year’s event moves to the New China International Exhibition Center here in Beijing.

On a closing note, a special thanks to Penny Troon and her staff from Messe Frankfurt’s Hong Kong bureau for their outstanding hospitality.

That’s all from here. A plate of Peking duck is waiting with my name on it.

Zàijiàn! (Goodbye!)

[Read Mike’s blog from the first day of ISH China here.]
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