Sylvie Fourn, Director at REED EXPOSITIONS FRANCE

Four of the trade shows run by Reed Expositions France’s Environment, Industry, Health & Safety division are expanding internationally with the help of Promosalons. Sylvie Fourn explains their strategy and gives us an overview of Pollutec 2016.

Trade shows Pollutec, World Efficiency, World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) and Batimat enjoy a high profile abroad. How did they achieve this?

Let’s begin with Pollutec. This market’s opportunities for growth are increasingly shifting abroad, so our exhibitors have to present solutions tailored to the issues faced by overseas visitors travelling to the shows. We take great care when choosing our target countries and the Country of Honour from markets where there is emerging or widening demand. We’ve been focusing especially on South-east Asia (Vietnam in 2016), Africa (Ivory Coast in 2014) and Latin America (Argentina in 2012).
World Efficiency is aimed at the emerging low-carbon and circular economy market. Since this market is global by its very nature, we target participants of all nations, cities and industries – whether users, implementers, or brokers of solutions.
As for the nuclear industry, the offer is very concentrated while the number of client countries is extensive and their needs are varied. So we are targeting a lot of countries with WNE, but our priorities in terms of increasing attendance are China, the Middle East and Europe.

Lastly, because of constraints due to the volumes and transportation costs involved in the construction sector, our focus for Batimat is on attracting European and African delegates – although we don’t rule out hosting delegations of purchasing agents and manufacturers from further afield.
Pollutec took place at Eurexpo Lyon from 29 November to 2 December 2016. What does it cover?

Pollutec is a leading environmental trade show that now draws over 2,200 exhibitors and 60,000 visitors. It covers all the usual sectors – waste and recycling, water, air quality, soil remediation, power, instrumentation – but equally, it deals with cross-disciplinary fields like sustainable cities, sustainable industry, and the protection of aquatic environments and coastlines.

What were the highlights of the last show?

We’ve welcomed many African purchasing advisers and project leaders over the past forty years, and our exhibitors are taking an increasing interest in this market. That is why we decided to create the Africa Zone to help businesses and potential partners meet and make connections. Delegates can attend project presentations in the dedicated Forum and then get together with potential African buyers in the desk zone or the Networking Area.

We presented this initiative prior to the show, at a meeting in Cologne organised by Promosalons Germany in September 2016 as part of a group scheme co-funded by Promosalons and Paris Region Entreprises. Meanwhile, the Norwegian delegation suggested a schedule of visits to Pollutec – including a presentation about the Africa Zone – to the Norwegian-African Business Association.

Other stand-out moments were down to the attendance of a lot of exhibitors from South-east Asia. For instance, the inauguration of the ‘Vietnam – Country of Honour’ pavilion by Vietnam’s Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, the presentation about opportunities in Burma given by Hlaing Maw Oo, Secretary General of the Rangoon Mayor’s Office, and the Singapore National Environment Agency’s attendance at the cities’ conference on the Circular Economy alongside European and North American representatives.

What is your appraisal of your collaboration with Promosalons?

This profession has changed a lot in a decade. The personalised relationships maintained by the Promosalons teams still play a crucial role in helping delegations in distant countries, or working on special projects, to achieve their goals. Promosalons Vietnam contributed heavily to ensuring the participation of Vietnam as Country of Honour at Pollutec 2016.

What is more, the close collaboration between our staff members is paying off more than ever. The closer we stay in touch with our offices, the more convincingly we can serve our visiting prospects. As an example, after Promosalons Chile told us about new regulations covering extended producer responsibility (EPR), we teamed up with two Chilean Mayors’ associations to organise a programme of meetings with the EPR businesses represented at Pollutec. We reacted fast and it paid great dividends!

Lastly, it is vital to be connected nowadays. We have already run successful events with Promosalons in several countries, like the United States and Switzerland. We have to keep that up.