Over the last few weeks, Barcelona has been at the center of global attention thanks to news about a Catalan independence referendum. Meanwhile, the science business community gathered in the city for Expoquimia 2017, the leading show and meeting point for the biotechnology, chemistry and biochemistry industries. Experts from multinational logistics and transportation company AsstrA Associated Traffic AG exhibited at this international trade fair and observed the main trends, ideas, and highlights there.
At Expoquimia, a wide variety of business influencers come together in one place: opinion leaders, stakeholders, key buyers, specifiers, international suppliers, and other leading professionals. This year the event attracted over 40,000 visitors and 3,000 different brands.
According to Artur Antonin, Spain Country Manager at AsstrA, chemicals are Spain's second largest industry by import and export volume. Since 2009, chemical production has seen steady growth and is worth an estimated 59 billion euros this year. In the Spanish chemical industry are over 3,000 unique enterprises located all around the country. The industry plays a significant role in the Spanish economy and sustains 12.6% of its GDP.
“Barcelona, Tarragona, and Huelva are at the heart of the chemical industry in the region. So, we exhibited at Expoquimia 2017 to let key industry players know about AsstrA's involvement in the chemical and biotech product supply chain in the Spanish market. We were proud to spread our message, ideas, and plans in Barcelona during these extraordinary times, especially given that this international gathering takes place only once every 3 years,” says Mr. Antonin.
Despite the massive ongoing protests in Barcelona, along with Expoquimia two other industry trade fairs, EUROSURFAS and EQUIPLAST, were being held at the same exhibition center. That meant even more opportunities for exhibitors to explore potential partnerships with customers.
“The political instability surrounding the independence referendum in Catalonia on the 3rd of October led to significantly less attendance at the trade fairs – but we turned it to our advantage. It wasn't necessary for our full team to be at our stand, so we were able to circulate and meet other exhibitors. This way we attracted more than 60 new business contacts for future business development. Also, more than 20 different companies visited AsstrA's stand. In total we collected more than 100 contacts from both exhibitors and visitors. I hope that these new contacts will grow into long term partnerships in the Spanish market,” continues Mr. Antonin.
Vitali Eremenco, Deputy COO of Road Freight Transportation Operations at AsstrA, says that his doubts about the Expoquimia trade fair's timing and industrial focus completely faded away when he entered the exhibition area.
“I was amazed by the quality of exhibitors and the brands represented at the trade fair. This experience at Expoquimia proved that sector-specific trade fairs can actually be an excellent way for transport and logistics companies like AsstrA to attract new clients. Interesting exibitors and visitors mean more potential to help them on interesting projects and on new routes. It was nice to feel the interest of global brands in our company and the services we can offer them. I am looking forward to exhibiting at this tradeshow next time!” says Mr. Eremenco.
Mr. Eremenco also mentioned that being one of the only participants from the logistics industry at the event was a key competitive advantage for AsstrA.