Firmly established as the second home of the American lighting industry, China now looks to raise its profile beyond that of Factoryland. In the wake of the communist country’s recent embrace of capitalism and entry into the realm of global commerce, the exhibition business is one arena in which government officials seek emergence and growth as a major player. But while its current trade show slate manages to generate a healthy bit of buzz, speculation generally surrounds future potential. In other words, it has a long way to go.
On the lighting side, the annual Guangzhou Intl. Lighting Exhibition (GILE) put its best foot forward for its 2006 edition, held June 8-11 at the Guangzhou Intl. Convention & Exhibition
Centre in Guangzhou, China. Launched in 1996 in the capital city of China’s manufacturing-heavy Guangdong province, the market has undergone several facelifts in recent years, as it struggles to find its niche. In 2004 organizer Guangya Exhibition & Trade Co. joined forces with international trade show powerhouse Messe Frankfurt (of Light + Building fame)
to revamp the show, adding an electrical building technology segment to help diversify and expand its reach. Last October the two companies made their partnership official, forming Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt, a new firm that combines their resources to buoy and bolster the rebranded Guangzhou Intl. Lighting Exhibition + Electrical Building Technology China.
The June installment was the first under the reformed management. More than 40,000 attendees, 20 percent of whom hailed from overseas, visited the fair’s 1,250 exhibitors;
vendors noted an increase in the quality of buyers. Creating a more easily navigated floor plan, the show’s diverse assortment of product was organized into six product divisions: Brand-Name Halls (GE, Philips, Osram, Cooper, etc.), Technical and Exterior Lighting, LED and Electric Lights, Domestic Lighting (decorative, residential lighting), Lighting Accessories
for Electrical Building Components and Electrical Building Technology.
|From left: Messe Frankfurt Vice President of Technical Fairs Iris Jeglitza-
Moshage and Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Directors Pan Wenbo
and Katy Lan field questions from international journalists about efforts
to protect intellectual property rights at the 2006 edition of Guangzhou Intl. Lighting Exhibition + Electrical Building Technology China.
With Frankfurt, Germany’s massive Light + Building and stateside technical market Lightfair preceding GILE, the exhibition cannot boast the newest product introductions or
the latest innovations. But it does offer the Guangzhou Intl. Lighting Technology Symposium, covering such diverse topics as landscape lighting design, light source and LED application
and urban lighting master planning. Most seminars are, however, presented only in Chinese.
During an at-show press conference, representatives from Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt acknowledged GILE’s growing pains and emphasized that the formation of the new
management company was devised mainly to help support efforts to strengthen the show and adapt it to the needs of the market. Also covered extensively was China’s hot-button
topic: knock-offs. Messe Frankfurt already has a campaign in place that its Guangzhou Guangya counterpart can import to elevate its own measures. Officials stressed their focus on this touchy subject, noting that the Chinese government itself has made great strides in addressing the issue since entering the World Trade Organization in 2001.
The 2007 edition of GILE will again run June 8-11. For more information, please visit www.light-building.messefrankfurt.com.