Frédérique Mutel, President and CEO, JEC Group

JEC Asia, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2017, was held for the first time in Seoul from 1–3 November. Frédérique Mutel reveals the results of this very special edition.

Why was South Korea chosen for the tenth edition?

Although several Asian countries were keen to host the show, JEC Asia was initially started in Singapore, where it has developed over the following nine years. Asia is a dynamic market in terms of both manufacturing and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions). Competition is fierce between a number of capital cities, which have a lot to offer by way of transport, accommodation, exhibition facilities and infrastructure. Seoul is an attractive business tourism destination, and our choice was cemented because South Korea’s GDP ranks eleventh in the world. The country’s economy is based on an unusual development model which consists of bringing together and promoting synergy between talented individuals in industry, research and the public sector. This is what is referred to as the Golden Triangle. On the ground, I was able to gauge their commitment. I’ve been making regular visits to South Korea for almost ten years on JEC Group business, to source material for our magazines and develop our events in the Americas, Asia and Europe. I was quickly able to work with all these organisations – with the directors of research centres, the most influential industrialists, the provincial governor and the mayor of Seoul – all these high-profile figures came together to work with us and ensure that we were well looked after.

What were the highlights of this edition?

It’s a multifaceted event that brings high value-added content to the various target sectors. So we organised a prestigious opening ceremony in the presence of the authorities and television channels, a Carbon Symposium for the manufacturers, meetings with key prime contractors for the decision-makers, B2B meetings for the sales and marketing people, technical presentations for the scientists and researchers as well as spaces to showcase art and decoration in order to “democratise” the use of composites. JEC Group is both an information company and a forum organiser. As the world number one in our specialism, we have our sights set on becoming the leading facilitator linking composite producers and users (design consultants, buyers, architects, designers, etc.). The highlights of JEC Asia were centred on the aerospace, automotive, marine, construction, energy and sport industries, especially the electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) sector which is very important in Asia, particularly in South Korea.

What was the outcome – the figures?

JEC Asia 2017 drew more than 200 exhibitors and almost 6,500 trade visitors from 50 countries. It is now the biggest international trade show for the composites sector in Asia (excluding China). This was a marked increase compared with JEC Asia 2016 in Singapore. The move to South Korea is a good thing. We’ve decided to double the size of the event for 2018.

How did you work with Promosalons South Korea?

JEC Group approached this representative office in the first instance to help improve communication with contacts in the country. Indeed, although certain sectors in South Korea are international and use English, this is not the case for all professionals. Promosalons played an important role in putting us in touch with local stakeholders in the sector and understanding our customers’ needs. We also tasked them with business development, prospecting for new exhibitors and visitors. The collaboration worked well and we’re working with Promosalons South Korea again for the 2018 edition. We can all be proud of our efforts to make JEC Group the first French company to set up and successfully hold an industrial trade show in South Korea.