Greetings from Beijing!

Today marks the first day of the annual ISH China & CIHE—China International Trade Fair for Sanitation, Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning. The sun is out, the temperature is in the 50s and it’s windy. In talking with some folks here, late spring seems to be a common theme this year, regardless if you live in the U.S., China or Germany. The late-spring snow that plagued ISH Frankfurt was a topic of discussion this morning.

This is my second ISH China show and first at its new location at the New China International Exhibition Centre near the Beijing International Airport. Expansion is the buzz word here on a number of fronts. The show covers six halls and occupies a record-breaking 80,000 square meters of exhibition space — a 13% increase from a year ago.

One thing I’ve noticed in comparing the 2011 show I attended and this one is the exhibitor booths are larger and filled with more products and information. One local exhibitor tripled its booth size from a previous fair. Show organizers report 77% of exhibitors increased their booth size from the previous edition. These increases are very evident walking down the many aisles in the six halls.

The show is expected to draw 900 exhibitors and 38,000 visitors. Main product areas include boilers, wall-hung boilers, floor-heating systems, toilets, faucets, bathtubs and showers as well as heat meters, radiators and heat exchangers. Heat pumps and energy-saving HVAC products are new sections this year.

Once again, there is no shortage of manufacturers familiar to U.S. customers. That list includes the likes of A. O. Smith, Baxi, Danfoss, Ametek, Honeywell, Grundfos, Wilo, York, Watts, Oventrop, Caleffi, Aquatherm, NEOPERL and Kohler. A. O. Smith has a commercial unit that could be used in a hotel on display that drew plenty of attention.

In addition to the exhibitor booths, the fair once again is packed full of information sessions, many focusing on sustainability. Some of today’s sessions included the popular Sino European HVAC Congress-Central Heating Session and a session on China’s heat metering technologies, as well as award ceremonies for excellent Chinese sanitation distributors and China’s Top 2012 floor-heating and furniture companies. I also noticed an increased presence in floor-heating manufacturers here.

One of the highlights of tomorrow’s session is the debut of the SINO European Sanitation Congress. I’ll talk a little more about these sessions in my next update.