Organised by the German trade association, Deutscher Schädlingsbekämpfer-Verband (DSV), on the face of it Pest-Protect, held on 25 & 25 January 2018, followed the well trodden path of a large exhibition supported by an accompanying seminar programme.
Pest-Protect held in the Messe, Bremen
Registration was quick and easy
The one thing DSV certainly got right this time was the seminar room. It was big enough to accommodate those who wanted to attend and, for the most popular presentations this amounted to nearly 400 attendees. At the two previous Pest-Protect events it was standing room only, and the programme itself had some notable highlights.
Another success was the delegate registration. Two years ago in Stuttgart there were long queues to get in – not this time. Delegates were encouraged to pre-register online, but as it turned out, were still able to register on the door. But what is amazing about this event is the cost of entry – and not a small cost either – Euros 55 for the two days.
This is one of the very few European events to charge – and hereby lies the first unintended consequence. At shows such as PestEx (free of charge) you frequently see whole groups of staff from the same company – managers, technical folks and the technicians. Because of the Pest-Protect entry fee, the manager and maybe one more only will attend – so reducing the organiser’s prime target audience of home-based pest controllers.
But from this comes the second unintended consequence! Staff on several of the stands were mightily relieved the number of German technicians was low. Hardly surprisingly, linguistic skills are not high on the list of German pest controllers’ accomplishments, and many of the stand holders spoke no German.
Exhibitors from Holland - Alcochem
InPest from Italy
From far away - Texel from China
So why were those stand holders at the event?
Increasingly these shows act as a market place for manufacturers to sell their products into the trade – to international distributors, or other manufacturers, looking to expand their product ranges. PestEx is always seen as the European international market place, but without doubt, the number of international visitors on the prowl at Pest-Protect was up. One does have to ask if there is not some better and less time consuming and expensive way of putting these players together. Something like a ‘speed dating’ event for the trade. The mind boggles!
Exhibitors like Babolna used their stand for meetings
Syngenta was busy recording a film about Advion
Slightly less exhibitor stands
In total the number of exhibitor stands was down on 2016. There were 88 listed exhibitors in Bremen, compared with approaching 110 in Stuttgart. At the time of writing this piece, final delegate numbers are still awaited from DSV. As is often the case, the morning of the first day was very busy, with visitors tailing off in the afternoon. Day two was quieter and by lunchtime it was a case of spot the visitor.
Visitors might be thin on the ground, but for some, us included, this is no bad thing as it gives you the chance to actually visit all the stands and talk to the exhibitors. Many exhibitors commented on the quality of the discussions they had with the visitors that did attend.
The stands were busy, particularly on day one
Visitors from ANID in Italy were spotted with ex CEPA CEO
But all did not run smoothly for Plastdiversity who had no furniture
Commenting on the attendance at Pest-Protect, Andreas Beckmann, CEO of DSV said: “We will analyse where visitors came from, but already we can see that we had a completely different catchment area. So the principle of a touring trade fair, analogous to the American PestWorld model, has proven its worth. About every fifth visitor was a guest from outside Germany. With this, Pest-Protect has impressively underlined its status as the leading European trade fair, alternating with PestEx.”
So, what of the future?
Those sharp eyed spotted a poster saying ‘See you in 2020’, but where is anyone’s guess. Likewise, will DSV chief, Andreas Beckmann still be at the helm? This is doubtful, as he has already written to all DSV members advising them he does not want to continue in his post as it stands at the moment. No doubt all will be revealed in due course...