Can you describe the characteristics of this new trade show and the main challenges facing the nuclear industry?
Following the example of the Paris Air Show, which is dedicated to the aerospace industry, WNE’s ambition is to be the top global platform for the nuclear energy sector, covering the entire value chain. AIFEN (the association of French nuclear industry exporters) owns the event and is closely involved in its organisation, along with the nuclear advisers based at 17 French Embassies and appointed by the CEA, a French government-funded research organisation with a focus on nuclear energy and renewables.
We want to give this show a B2B dimension so that visitors can network, source new suppliers and develop their activities at an international level. It is an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to present their expertise and know-how surrounding the various links in the chain: safety and certification, the construction and operation of power stations, the nuclear fuel cycle, engineering, radiation protection, waste treatment and storage, and decommissioning, not forgetting medical applications, without which we would not be able to treat cancer patients.
WNE also offers an extensive programme of technical and commercial talks, business meetings, panel discussions with top international speakers, industrial and research site visits and international professional side events.
The global nuclear market is expanding rapidly, with ambitious programmes planned between now and 2032. New power stations are due to be built, with the aim of increasing global capacity by 50% by 2025. Numerous R&D programmes are also under way to help prolong the life of power stations, help with decommissioning, improve safety and optimise waste recycling.
France is an obvious host for this event: the country has considerable expertise in this area, with a very large number of nuclear reactors and a world-renowned operator, EDF, which has built up a wealth of experience. The industry is recognised internationally for its high safety standards and for having constructed the first EPR reactors designed by AREVA.
What is your international development strategy? What are your expectations in terms of support from the Promosalons network?
The WNE has a strong business focus, so our priority is to give it an international dimension. All the testimonials we have collected show that the success of the event will depend on attracting large numbers of international visitors.
We have identified 32 countries, of which 15 are a priority, and the Promosalons network is going to help us promote WNE on these key markets: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, China, South Korea, the US, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, the UK, Japan, Vietnam, Belgium, Malaysia and Argentina.
We are targeting two types of highly qualified professional international visitor:
• institutions: energy Ministers, governments, industrial associations, safety authorities, public-sector operators, etc.
• contractors and opinion leaders: private operators, nuclear power station managers, purchasing managers, R&D departments, engineering firms, etc.
We have put in place an ambitious global promotional strategy, in particular with road shows which we have been running on five continents for several months now.
Our website provides relevant information, which is updated regularly. We keep our target groups informed through a monthly newsletter and up-to-date conference programme. We would like to promote exhibitor innovations on our website and in our Innovation Book, which will be distributed to press.
We launched a large-scale international publicity campaign a few weeks ago in the trade press, and have been carrying out public relations activities in certain target countries.
Finally, we have recruited a dedicated member of staff to manage the teams in our MIP (Most Important People) programme to ensure MIP visits run smoothly.
Launching a new trade show is a real challenge. With seven months to go, how are the marketing and promotional activities progressing?
The WNE show was officially launched on 12 November 2013 at a press conference chaired by Arnaud Montebourg and Nicole Bricq and attended by the CEOs of EDF, Areva and AIFEN. The show has the support of French institutions and major corporations in the industry.
The global nuclear community appears to be mobilising to support the launch of the show. We are already expecting more than 400 French and international exhibitors and around 7000 visitors, 40% of them international. In the 16 years I have been working in the exhibition and conference sphere, I have never seen such an enthusiastic response.