Chinaplas 2021, the first big plastics show of the pandemic, opens today in Shenzhen. But it's going to look a lot different.
The April 13-16 trade show will open with mask-wearing, temperature checks and executives from outside China participating via video conference links with booths on the show floor.
But the fact that it's even happening is noteworthy. It was the first big show affected by COVID-19, and at this point is the only major in-person show still on the calendar for the next few months.
Our China-based correspondent Rebecca Kanthor will be reporting from the show. Stay tuned for our coverage.
China has already started holding large events, and Chinaplas organizers said 3,600 companies signed up to exhibit, about the same number as the last edition, in 2019 in Guangzhou.
That show drew 160,000 attendees over its four-day run, and while it's not clear how many people will attend this year, travel quarantines mean there's going to be much less in-person international participation.
Still, companies are gearing up and the show is offering a streaming platform for those not on-site. A media day was held April 12, also with virtual participation for journalists.
An April 12 press release from Italian materials supplier Radici, which is exhibiting, noted "a lot of excitement surrounding this event."
It seems fair to say the plastics world will be closely watching to see how it goes at this first show in the pandemic.