As IFA executive director, executive vice president messe Berlin group and CE China executive director Jens Heithecker is one of the key figures who has been devoting to building bridges between China and Germany since many years. CE China Media Center interviewed Mr. Heithecker about the collaboration between Germany and China in trade shows, further developments and more.
When asked about the key factors in connecting Germany and China, Mr. Heithecker humbly replied he could only give answers from the areas he was familiar with, such as tech and trade show industry instead of economics and politics.
Although Germany is in a leading position when it comes to hosting international trade shows, everytime Mr. Heitheker is in China, he has deeply felt how substantial and essential the tech industry, manufacture industry and new brands in China are for the global market. CE China and IFA try to support by bringing Chinese manufactures, tech innovators to a better position in the global market places, and support the relationship of the two countries in trade and tech industry relationships.
When asked about how culture differences played a role in organisation for CE China, Mr. Heitheker didn’t think that such influecne existed. The differences lie in the fact that IFA is a very established traditional trade show in Germany on a global stage, with almost 100 years of experiences. In comparison, to establish a new young trade show like CE China is another challenge. At the same time, he noticed that in China a lot of things can be done effectively in a short time. For instance, to build a booth in China it takes about 2 to 3 days, whereas in Germany it takes about 5 days. The main challenge is to invite international brands to CE China because they think it’s easier to get to online platforms and social media than to meet the real retailers and consumers, especially for small-and-medium companies. However, when the brands join the trade show, they realise how important it is to feel the market directly.
Guangzhou is known as a developed trade show city in China. Hosting CE China for the first time, Mr. Heitheker shared with us the two reasons why Guangzhou is the place to be. The first reason is due to the support of the government for trade shows itself. The government has given them guarantees to develop the share in the same city, same time and the same hall setting. It is important for trade show organisers to offer exhibitors the right time, right place and right hall. The second reason is that Guangzhou is a pilot city for new digital mobility, to integrate the mobility solution as part of the digital living is very important for them. It brings other strong partners and institutes like IDG, CHEARI together at CE China. Mr. Heitheker believes it is the recipe to success.