In a physical industry such as AM, physical shows have always had the utmost importance. As anyone who has ever visited one knows well, one thing is to see a 3D printer in a video and an entirely different thing is seeing produce live. And then there is the face to face business that follows. At the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we reported that the very first effect of the virus was Asian AM shows being postponed. We are now happy to report that the first Asian AM show, TCT Asia 2020, is back online… Ehrm… Offline… Well, you get it.
While the Pandemic is not nearly over (we have the hard-headedness of certain world leaders to thank for that), this is undeniably very good news for the world and the entire industry. When the first Asian shows were postponed, official global cases amounted to just 6 thousand and a global crisis still seemed a remote possibility. But it happened (and if you bothered to look at that early rate of growth – with as many official cases in two weeks as the first SARS did in its entire course – you’d have known it right away, without having to wait for additional indications from China or the WHO). Now, with over 3 million cases around the world, the Pandemic seems far from over, but if Asia is, again, an indication, it will come to an end eventually.
And now TCT Asia in China is one of the very first exhibitions to open post-COVID-19. Originally scheduled for February 2020, the event is now taking place from 8-10 July 2020 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). The venue for the event is unchanged, but the new dates meant a move to halls E5-E6.
“We are delighted that TCT Asia will play its part early in the post-COVID-19 resurgence. It sends an important message to the wider exhibition industry and to the market that we serve,” remarked Duncan Wood, Chairman of VNU Rapid News Co. Ltd. “We will of course be putting the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and employees first with increased cleaning and hygiene plans alongside a very closely regulated and managed visitor registration process. We will also adhere to the social distancing requirements that are in place to ensure that TCT Asia is a safe and successful event enabling business to flourish once again in the live environment. We all know there is no substitute for face to face interaction – it’s exciting to be introducing it again, even if under some new protocols.”
The decision to hold the event in July has been made after careful consideration and consultation with exhibitors and stakeholders and is in light of the improving COVID-19 situation in China together with the Government’s announcement that exhibitions in China would gradually resume from May onwards.
With businesses starting to re-open and looking to catch up after months of lockdown, the timing of TCT Asia 2020 in July will help the 3D printing & additive manufacturing industry seize market opportunities during this critical period of economic rebound.
TCT Asia hosts over 220 exhibitors, representing the entire 3D printing and additive manufacturing ecosystem, with a range of new machines on show alongside software, post-processing and inspection technologies. Market-leaders from China and around the world such as Farsoon, Z-RAPID, Raise3D, FlashForge, Polymaker, EOS, Stratasys, 3D Systems, Formlabs and SLM Solutions will feature on the vibrant show floor. Crowds are not as jammed packed as they have been in the past but the show appears to be lively and also safe enough in terms of distancing and mask-wearing.
TCT Asia is focused on developing a 360-degree understanding of the potential of additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology to increase utilization at all stages of design, engineering and manufacturing. Alongside the exhibition visitors can look forward to an exciting conference program across three stages: Each stream offers cutting-edge applications, expert analysis and commentary to help designers, engineers and buyers evaluate, adopt and optimize their additive requirements.
A new initiative for 2020 is TCT Asia ExpoReach. This is a digital program designed to connect and build key business relationships starting with a 1-2-1 Zoom appointment with exhibitors during the show. This program has been specifically designed with overseas attendees who may not be able to travel in mind. This will offer the opportunity to connect and evaluate the technologies on the show floor, even if travel is restricted.