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CPhI Worldwide Returns to Madrid

CPhI’s brand director Andrew Pert is always on the lookout for new ways to better connect with the industry’s needs.

25.09.2012 -

Face Time - More than 29,000 attendees from over 140 countries visited the CPhI Worldwide in Frankfurt, Germany, last year and met face-to-face with staff from almost 2,000 international exhibitors. There's no doubt that CPhI allows attendees to stay informed about the latest industry trends and remain one step ahead of a constantly changing pharmaceutical market.

However, while the show has grown and grown since its inception in 1990, it has also faced its fair share of criticism from the industry regarding its size - something the show says reflects industry growth. The show's brand director Andrew Pert is therefore always on the lookout for new ways to better connect with the industry's needs and tailoring the show accordingly.

CHEManager Europe asked him about the organizer's efforts ahead of this year's 23rd edition at the Feria de Madrid, Spain, to take place October 9-11.

CHEManager Europe: The CPhI has continued to gain international interest and attendance. Tell us a little bit about that, as well as why attendees should be excited for Madrid.

Andrew Pert: Not only is Madrid a popular venue with exhibitors and visitors, but we are also going into 2012 with many records already broken. It is a great time to be a part of CPhI, ISCE, P-MEC Europe and InnoPack and we are looking forward to being onsite at the Feria! We have more exhibitors than any previous year, many of them returning, and 108 new companies have joined us. Event attendance retention is the highest ever this year at 84% and our zones have also seen growth with 9 new exhibitors in the biopharmaceuticals zone and doubling of exhibitors in the ICSE logistics and supply chain zone.

Bigger is not always better: What is more important than exhibitor space when developing future CPhI Worldwide events?

Andrew Pert: The most important thing to us as an event organizer is our exhibitor and attendee return on investment (ROI). Throughout the years the events have grown, which has allowed us to continuously shape them based on feedback from our visitors and the experiences we have had. We recognize that it is no small undertaking for our visitors to participate in an event of this magnitude, so we need to be sure that they are more than worthwhile to our visitors.

Which new services for visitors and exhibitors do you offer prior to the Madrid event?

Andrew Pert: As we prepare for Madrid in 2012, we are taking many concepts live through new technologies and improvements in existing features. Leading into the show, UBM is offering webinars to help exhibitors and attendees prepare for the event, as well as offering a new CPhI Global Meetings programme that acts as a matchmaker for scheduling customized meetings into your diary. The Pre-Connect series will return a day before the full event goes live and will feature information on the top industry trends and regulations, including ways to enter new markets.
We are also very excited to introduce the CPhI mobile app in Madrid! It will make searching for suppliers easier by offering real-time navigation and pointers for guests who are on site at the event, as well as functionality to connect and network with other attendees via social media. Also on the navigation front, we have put a great amount of research and effort into expanding the zoning format to include new zones that better match exhibitor profiles and make locating products and services easier for guests. The new zone offering includes:

  • CPhI Worldwide: APIs; Generic APIs; Custom Manufacturing; Fine Chemicals; Intermediates; Excipients/Formulations; Biopharmaceuticals; General
  • ICSE: Logistics & Supply Chain; BioServices; Analytical & Lab Services; (Pre) Clinical Trials, CRO & Clinical Data Management Zone; New Exhibitors; North America Zone; General Floor
  • P-MEC Europe: LABWorld
  • Innopack: Labelling

Will CPhI become even more international regarding exhibitors and visitors?

Andrew Pert: We are very excited to talk about how the events continue to expand internationally. We have fifteen Global Pavilions this year that highlight suppliers from specific regions. This is also a record for us, due to the fact that we are introducing global Pavilions for Russia and Malaysia, two regions that have been experiencing rapid growth in the pharmaceutical industry. They will be complemented by the return of Pavilions for Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Korea, Morocco, Portugal, Scotland, UK and North America, which now features SOCMA. The North American Pavilion is also having a record year with a 10% increase in participating exhibitors.

What does that mean for your global expansion plans?

Andrew Pert: In order to support our global expansion we have put a great amount of time into creating strategic partnerships with key international organizations. This includes an extended partnership with the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) and Pharmexcil to promote the progress in the Indian Pharma market. UBM Live is also pleased to partner with Scottish Enterprise, PharmaChemical Ireland, Egypt Expo &Convention Authority, Pharma Portugal, Matrade in Malaysia, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, and the CCPIT Sub-council of Chemical Industry and CCCMHPIE in China to name a few.

What other items are notable this year?

Andrew Pert: The CPhI Innovations Awards return with a twist this year. The line-up has been rebranded as the CPhI Pharma Awards and features an additional category, for a total of three award categories: two returning and one new. The rebranding reflects the diversification in the industry, which has been evident through the changes in the types of entries over the past nine years in which the awards have taken place.

The returning Best Innovation in Pharma Awards category will feature five finalists competing for gold, silver and bronze. This category has expanded over the years to include not only chemistry innovations, but also to showcase exhibitors with groundbreaking innovations in formulation, drug delivery, chemical manufacturing of APIs and intermediates, and biomanufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and intermediates. The Sustainable Stand Design Award returns to celebrate one exhibitor that has minimized their environmental impact through the materials, labor, and resources used in their stand at the events. Finally, the Best Sustainable Packaging Design Award has been introduced to recognize one exhibitor that offered a specific material, machine, or supply during 2011 that facilitated sustainable packaging and processes.

In terms of the search for the perfect location, CPhI Worldwide has recently moved between the European cities of Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid and Paris with plans to return to Frankfurt in 2013. Do you think about other cities that might provide a good location for a global pharmaceutical show like CPhI?

Andrew Pert: Location choice is really about staying focused on making the event valuable to attendees. Even as we continue to grow, we do everything we can to ensure that the events are accessible and easy to participate in. Part of that involves working with venues that meet the needs of our attendees. We do continuously review new venue ideas throughout Europe, but many have insufficient space or do not meet other requirements, such as having availability during October.

As a global event, a very important key factor in venue selection is the feasibility for overseas visitors to reach the city. Among other considerations, we need to be sure that convenient flights are available, that we can work within the dates we have identified, consider visa requirements for people travelling outside of Europe, ensure there are a sufficient number of hotel rooms in a particular city, and look into public transportation connections between the airport and the venue. In addition to these practical points, we also survey our exhibitor and visitor attendance regularly, and these cities continually receive positive feedback.

Of course, as time goes on, new venues will be built, existing ones will be expanded and flight patterns will change, so we keep a live eye out for new venue possibilities at all times. We are always open to exhibitor and visitor input for future planning. 

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