Hello from Beijing, China. After seven hours of delays in Chicago because of mechanical failure on our 747, I finally made it across the Pacific Ocean for my first trip to China. To say, I am overwhelmed — and overtired — would be an understatement.

But, I am here at the yearly trade show, held at the New China International Exhibition Center and it has been impressive. Each of the six halls of the show has been filled with people throughout the day. The organizers of the show proclaim this would be the largest ISH China show ever. I’ll get you the exact numbers when they are officially finalized.

Each time I passed the REHAU booth in W1 hall, there has been a full group of people watching a demonstration of the company’s Rautitan flex heating system.
I spoke with Nils Wagner, president of REHAU for Greater China, and he appreciates the mix of clientele that passes through their booth.
“You see a lot of regional interest here,” Wagner said. “But the national interest is there too.”

From my three passes by, Watts Water Technologies’ booth was also experiencing heavy traffic. Many Chinese expo visitors where talking with Watts’ professionals about the valves and technological offers.

There was also action happening on the second floor during the concurrent events. I sat in on a couple of presentations regarding district heating. It was interesting to hear Andreas Lücke, CEO of Federal Industrial Association of Germany House, Energy and Environmental Technology, discuss the similarities that China’s heating processes have with the European Union and Germany (which is independent of the EU).

Lücke says that Chinese designers and industry energy leaders need to make sure to look at the overall system. It’s heat generation, distribution and emissions have to discussed and designed to optimal standards.

“Everything has to be considered,” Lücke said. “Everywhere gas is used, a solar thermal system should be considered.”
He continued to say that he hoped the discussions between China and European leaders would increase.

Other thoughts running through my jet-lagged brain:

  • Being stuck in a plane for more than 13 hours at one time is quite the endurance test. For those who have met me, or can tell from my picture in pme, know I am a big guy. A big guy that needs to get smaller, because there is no chance airlines are going to widen those coach seats anytime soon. While I am pretty sure the two girls that were unfortunate to be stuck next me will never read this, I want to thank you for your amazing patience.
  • On the other side of the spectrum, to the flight attendant that rudely refused to let me borrow her pen so I could fill out my card for the custom’s check, I hope HR takes my soon-to-be-filled complaint letter seriously. And, it wasn’t just the way she treated me, I noticed three other instances of her being disrespectful to nearby passengers.
  •  Finally, I really need to tell my brain to stop over-thinking things. I was very anxious about coming here, especially since I am on my own, because I expected it would be a major hassle to communicate since I cannot speak a word of Chinese. It’s been amazing how that has not been an issue. From the taxi I took from the airport to the hotel, checking in at the hotel and subsequent meals, everything has gone more smoothly than I could ever have imagined.

Check back here on Thursday for thoughts on Day 2 of the ISH China show.