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Informex Europe Debut Is Postponed

Move to spring 2008 highlights competition in world of fine chemicals exhibitions

by Rick Mullin
March 5, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 10

CMP Information, the organizers of the Informex fine and contract chemicals trade show and the CPhI pharmaceutical chemicals exhibition, announced at Informex USA in San Francisco last month that it will delay the launch of Informex Europe. The European addition to the Informex roster, which also includes Informex China, had been scheduled for June 6–7 in Berlin.

CMP says the decision was made at the request of exhibitors and potential attendees who preferred a date in the spring; only 15 exhibitors had committed to the new European venture. Informex Europe is now set to run April 16–17, 2008, in Cologne, Germany.

Industry watchers view the launch of a European version of Informex as a risky venture. Most of the larger European companies in the target audience already exhibit at two European trade shows—Chemspec and CPhI—as well as at Informex' flagship event in the U.S.

The June event would have put Informex in direct competition with Chemspec Europe, an established specialty and fine chemicals trade show that will run in Amsterdam on June 27–28. Exhibitors and attendees question whether there is a need for another fine and custom chemicals show, especially in Europe. Some are concerned that CMP would garner a monopoly on such trade exhibitions if Informex Europe were to succeed at the expense of Chemspec.

Kate Chambers, exhibitions director for CMP, dismisses the perception that Informex Europe is a shot across the bow of Chemspec. CMP purchased Informex from the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association in 2005. Shortly thereafter, Chambers says, she and her colleagues at CMP determined that there is a demand for a similar event in Europe.

"A number of companies told us they wanted a choice of something different than just an exhibition," Chambers says. Informex in the U.S., she notes, is perceived as more amenable to business networking than the much larger CPhI event. It also has a day of product showcase presentations, a feature lacking at both of the current European events.

Uwe Westeppe, head of Saltigo's agricultural chemicals unit, tells C&EN that Saltigo exhibits annually at Informex, Chemspec, and CPhI. "We see little need for another show in Europe, or really anywhere in the world," he says. Westeppe explains that Informex is the most important exhibition for fine chemicals companies doing business in the U.S. CPhI has the same importance for pharmaceutical chemical manufacturers in Europe, while Chemspec provides a broad forum for contract manufacturing.

Meanwhile, DMG World Media, the organizers of Chemspec and publisher of Speciality Chemicals magazine, is taking steps to strengthen its show. Last December, it announced an alliance with the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG), an association of fine chemicals manufacturers. Westeppe speculates that the move will strengthen attendance and increase exhibition commitments at Chemspec.

In addition to the exhibit in Amsterdam, Chemspec China was held earlier this year, and Chemspec India will be held in Mumbai on April 18–19. DMG and EFCG plan to launch a Chemspec Latin America in Mexico City on Sept. 12–13.

International Trade Show Press, a division of Centcom, C&EN's advertising sales unit, publishes the Informex Show Daily and CPhI Show Daily for CMP.

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