CHINACOAT2020 Goes Hybrid

By Kerry Pianoforte, Editor | 12.07.20

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s CHINACOAT is offering both in-person and virtual options

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s CHINACOAT is offering both in-person and virtual options.
Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International, the organizer of the show, explained what makes year’s show unique.
CCD: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic you have added a virtual option to CHINACOAT. Please tell me a little bit about the virtual offerings?
Mr. Ho: Due to travel restrictions worldwide, some exhibitors and visitors, particularly from overseas, may be unable to travel to Guangzhou, P.R. China this year; however, now they can join our Virtual Edition anytime, anywhere. For the first time ever, we are launching a new Virtual Edition, together with Guangzhou Ground Show to provide exhibitors and visitors with a brand new hybrid experience.
Exhibitor Composition - Our Virtual Edition consists of two parts: "Guangzhou Show" includes all exhibitors who have already confirmed to exhibit at our Guangzhou Ground Show, while “Virtual Show” comprises those who are unable to exhibit at the Ground Show this year and opt to exhibit virtually instead.
Hybrid Experience - The Virtual Edition features a number of interactive functions, such as exhibitors’ live streaming sessions, live chats and well-organized product showcases, together with a “Virtual Zone” being set up in one of the exhibition halls of the China Import and Export Fair Complex (CIEFC), acting as an interface between online and offline visitors and exhibitors.
Extended Show Period - The Virtual Edition will stay online for 60 more days after the physical edition closes on December 10; therefore, visitors can continue to connect with exhibitors by browsing their “Exhibitor Page”, downloading product information, using the chat function, leaving offline messages, reloading technical webinars and other video contents, etc. They can also make use of the “Business Matching” function to identify, locate and screen potential suppliers and business partners.
CCD: What are the most important topics being addressed at the show (safety, sustainability, etc.)?
Mr. Ho: The pandemic has driven substantial demand for antimicrobial coatings this year. People now look at these technologies as much-needed safety measures. To combat the current pandemic and prevent future outbreaks, there is no doubt that antimicrobial coatings are going to be one of the main focuses at the show. 
The growing adoption of automation in production processes has pushed smart manufacturing to continue to be a spotlight in the industry. To maintain competitiveness has become another priority for enterprises, especially during this difficult period.
Composite coatings have also been increasingly crucial in the industry as their superior properties can provide anti-corrosion, UV protection, chemical resistance and thermal protection at the same time.
In response to stricter environmental regulations and raising public health awareness, sustainability, low emissions, renewable raw materials and green coatings remain other hot topics in the industry.
CCD: Has the paint and coatings industry in China begun to recover from the pandemic?
Mr. Ho: China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, rebounding from a contraction of 6.8% in the first quarter and restorative growth of 3.2% in the second quarter respectively. The country has become the first major economy to show recovery since the pandemic and has recovered more quickly than most countries as a result of its huge consumption market and the government’s economic policies. The IMF has estimated that China's GDP will grow by 1% in 2020 and 8.2% in 2021, indicating that China’s worst period has passed and is bounding for positive prospects in the future. As there is a strong correlation between the coatings market and GDP growth of the country, the Chinese coatings industry is also anticipated to witness recovery and gradual growth. Owing to the continuous development of various end-user industries in China, such as construction, automotive and packaging, the consumption of paints and coatings will continue to drive demand.
CCD: What are the major benefits that CHINACOAT2020 will offer attendees?
Mr. Ho: No Barrier for Procurement and Networking This Year: Visitors can meet over 640 exhibitors from 22 countries/regions in three days at the physical show. These exhibitors can also be visited via our brand-new Virtual Edition this year, in case that visitors cannot be there in Guangzhou. Besides, visitors can also browse what is on offer from some virtual exhibitors who are not able to join our ground show but choose to exhibit virtually instead. 
Concurrent Technical Programs: CHINACOAT continues to host technical programs alongside the exhibition, including a Technical Workshop with the topic ‘Waterborne Industrial Coatings Applications in Infrastructure Development,’ and a series of Technical Seminars presented by our exhibitors. Technical Seminars are also going live for the first time this year, where visitors who are unable to participate in person can join in Webinar format to interact and engage with speakers directly and to collect relevant product information, latest technology trends and industry policies online.
CCD: What are some of the major highlights at this year's CHINACOAT?
Mr. Ho: A good mix of online and offline exhibitors. Visitors can search their preferable solutions and products, and gain exposure to new trends remotely and efficiently in 5 exhibit zones.
Under such an unprecedented time and fierce environment worldwide, CHINACOAT is still able to put together a sizable exhibition. Together, with approximately 20% of new exhibitors, further proves that CHINACOAT is the centralized platform for the coatings and ink industry.
Chinese companies account for over 86% of total exhibitors, allowing visitors to source from Chinese suppliers onsite. Other countries/regions where exhibitors are originated from include Germany, the USA, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Taiwan Region, etc.
It will feature several Technical Programs online and offline.
SFCHINA2020 will be co-located in Hall 5.1 and will be available in the format of Virtual Edition too, this year, providing visitors with unparalleled opportunities to explore the latest innovations and trends of the surface finishing industry. 
CCD: What are your overall expectations for CHINACOAT2020?
Mr. Ho: This year is not an easy year. For better or for worse, no industry has gone untouched by the pandemic. Both coatings and exhibition industries have been suffering a setback from the effects. In view of some attendees having to alter their travel plans, there is no surprise that CHINACOAT2020 will be recording a decline in the number of exhibitors and visitors when compared to our 2019 Shanghai edition. Nonetheless, the launch of our new Virtual Edition is going to fulfill our mission to serve the industry by allowing exhibitors and visitors to interact without geographical boundaries. We hope our efforts can lead to satisfactory results in order to help industry players to stay connected with one another during this difficult time. We are excited about our new Virtual Edition; we hope you are too! See you in Guangzhou if you manage to travel, otherwise, see you online!