Interview with Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director Messe München
2018 comes under the banner of drinktec world- wide. The network comprises several events all around the world. food & drink technology Africa (fdt) will get things started in September in Johannesburg. A short time later, in October, CHINA BREW CHI- NA BEVERAGE (CBB)
and drink technology India (dti) will be held almost si- multaneously, in Shanghai and Mumbai respectively. As preparations are moving forward at full speed, Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director Messe München, speaks about the features of the network and what visitors can expect at the three fairs.
Editrice Zeus: This is a busy year for you. fdt,dti and CBB all take place in 2018. How do you organize so many foreign fairs in such a short time?
Petra Westphal: That is a challenge, indeed. Three fairs in two months! But our teams in Munich, Mumbai, Johannesburg and Shanghai are well positioned here. The drinktec worldwide team in Munich is in constant and close contact with our colleagues on site. Together we develop the strategy, the supporting program and the communication. Our subsidiaries are essential to the success of the events, because they are in close contact with local industry and are the country’s experts. It would not work without them!
Editrice Zeus: The three trade fairs, together with the flagship drinktec in Munich, form drinktec worldwide. What does it stand for and how did drinktec worldwide start?
Petra Westphal: drinktec worldwide stands for a global network, but always with an eye to local mar- kets and it offers a meeting place for local industry. It combines drinktec, with drink technology India, CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE and food & drink technology Africa. The events are international and provide a networking opportunity for the industry around the world. With drinktec we had already established a strong and world-re- nowned brand in Munich. Our goal was to bring the know-how of international exhibitors to additional markets. We started our foreign activities in 2007 with drink technology India in Mumbai.Since 2011, we have coorganized CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE to further expand our market position in China.
In 2014, we further expanded our portfolio in the promising market of Southern Africa with food & drink technology Africa. In doing so, we build up the expertise of drinktec in key markets, but we also offer tailor-made platforms for the regions.
Editrice Zeus: China, India and Africa: three large and therefore multilayered countries. How do you currently asses the market potential for the industry?
Petra Westphal: The forecasts are quite positive for all three countries. In China, the beverage industry is developing very dynamically. In the Indian market, the soft drinks and alcoholic beverages sectors are growing at extraordinary rates of increase in sales. With our current three locations in India in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru – we are superbly positioned on the subcontinent. The economy of South Africa is, after some challenging years, developing well again. I’m sure that it is an attractive market also for international companies.
Editrice Zeus: How do you respond to the developments in the countries when you plan the fairs?
Petra Westphal: All three markets bring exciting op- portunities and challenges. What I find particularly remarkable is how fast the markets in the countries are developing. So, we are constantly refocusing ourselves to take account of local conditions.
For example: In China, high quality products become more important – rather than mass products. At CBB, we are meeting this with, among other initiatives, our extensive supporting program. It explores themes that are affecting the sector and give our participants a range of perspective for future trends.
Another example is dti in India, where we are not simply rotating annually, but we are also changing venues between Mum- bai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. In the future, we will be able to reach even more targeted relevant visitor groups in the metropolitan regions.
And starting in 2019, our trade fair in South Africa will be co-located with analytica Lab Africa and IFAT Africa. Our new concept creates a joint platform where participants can explore trends and innovations in the environmental, beverage and food industries and in the field of analysis. Synergies that will create added value for both, exhibitors and visitors.
Editrice Zeus: 2017 was a record year for drinktec in Munich. What do you
think will you say in retro- spect at the end of 2018? Petra Westphal: At the end of this year, we’ll be say- ing to drinktec worldwide: after the show is before the show. We will then be looking back on three suc- cessful events with happy visitors and visitor and we’ll already be getting ready for our first drink technology India at Bengaluru, which will take place there at the end of February. And preparations for food & drink technology Africa will also be well underway for its first edition as co-location with anaytica Lab Africa and IFAT Africa.