President’s Blog: Making connections at Ecomondo
WBA President David Newman gives his take on this year’s Ecomondo trade show, which took place in Rimini, Italy last week
Ecomondo grows and grows, this year exceeding its organisers’ expectations again. The exhibition halls are huge and all 28 of them were practically full with exhibitors from the waste, water, energy, transport, innovation, and smart cities sectors, with a good mix of Italian and non-Italian companies and organisations. WBA shared a stand with members Landia (from Denmark), EMS and ADBA (from the UK), and Frisoli (from Italy). Around 15 WBA members also attended a dinner held on Wednesday in an excellent restaurant in Rimini; hearing back from them, the experience of exhibiting at Ecomondo was positive both in terms of contacts and new business done.
Delegations attended the show from a wide range of countries and I met friends working in biogas from Turkey, India, China, Spain, Morocco, South Africa and of course from all over Europe. Over 120,000 visitors fill Ecomondo over the four days and although many of them are groups of students on a voyage of discovery, enough delegates interested in business are there to make the trip worthwhile. I therefore expect an opportunity for even more WBA members to participate in a joint stand at Ecomondo 2019.
I presented WBA’s Global Food Management Waste Report in one of the conference sessions to a large audience and a second speaker underlined the messages we transmitted about the importance of preventing, reducing and separately collecting food waste so it can be treated appropriately.
As with many trade shows, I left Rimini exhausted – just the sheer number of conversations is enough to make your head spin, while the long days and longer nights mean that you are sleep deprived by the third day!
My lasting impression of Ecomondo was one of optimism: at some trade shows you feel people are going through the motions and really are not expecting much in the way of new contacts and business. By way of contrast, the vibe at Ecomondo was positive; the place was bubbling and the growth of the “green” sector was easy to see and tangible. This means two things: firstly, Ecomondo has got its mix right and is attracting an increasingly international audience and exhibitors; and secondly, the sustainability industry is now mainstream, moving into all sectors of our economy on a scale enough to fill 28 huge halls over four days.
I look forward to seeing you there in November 2019.
EMS Sales Manager Steve Hannigan on his experience of Ecomondo 2018:
Being a member of WBA afforded us the opportunity to attend Ecomondo at relatively low cost with the objective of trying to promote our pumps and solutions in the European AD marketplace, which is an area where we currently do not have customers.
Our key outputs from the visit were creating contacts with new AD plant manufacturers and upgraders, with some follow-up information required which hopefully may lead to business creation in European markets.
It was also very useful to us to understand the European perspective of AD to understand if the same issues in the UK are also prevalent in Europe.
Mikkel Joergensen, Area Sales Manager at Landia:
Landia opted to join the WBA stand at Ecomondo as we wanted to strengthen our membership profile, and to explore the potential yield of participating in a joint WBA stand. Landia already have a strong foothold in Italy with more than 30 years in the market. Therefore, we wanted to put out a feeler to get an impression of the Ecomondo trade fair in general to evaluate whether we should be present (with our own stand) at future editions of this exhibition.
We benefited from several positive meetings with existing business partners in Italy. To some extent this makes up for the lack of new potential contacts encountered during the show. As Ecomondo boasts about a staggering amount of visitors it was good to get a first hand impression of which sectors these visitors were interested in.