|The first China Helicopter Exposition showcased several major products from helicopter makers, including an EC225. Guangdong Police|
The first China Helicopter Exposition took place from September 15 to 18 in Tianjin, 70 statute miles from Beijing. For this 2011 edition, organizers booked spaces for about 200 exhibitors, including AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter, Robinson and Sikorsky. They were expecting some 2,000 professional visitors and 50,000 from the general public. The show, to be held on a biennial basis, began this year with a display floor of 100,000 square feet.
The first two days were for trade visitors only. “We set up schedules of meetings for all the participants one week before the show,” marketing manager Laetitia Araujo told Rotor & Wing. She works with Paris-based Advanced Business Events, the organizing company, which is already known for its Aeromart business-to-business events.
The last two days were open to the public. In addition to stands and a static display, flight demonstrations were held. Conferences ran in parallel, notably providing exhibitors the opportunity to feature various products. Among the topics covered during the conferences was helicopter development in the country. The organizers buy into the local authorities’ prediction of 3,000 helicopters flying in China in 2020. There are only 200 today. Avicopter, the helicopter manufacturer headquartered in Tianjin, plans a yearly 17-percent increase in its production.
For an exhibitor used to Heli-Expo, renting space at the China Helicopter Exposition was about 40 percent cheaper, Araujo said. Local prices for lodging, transportation, etc. are about five times cheaper than those in the U.S., she added. However, she admitted that shipping exhibition material to China may be complicated and costly, due to customs procedures. Show organizers have experience in this area and had thus suggested some freight forwarders.