Editor's note: PestEx 2011 was held April 6-7 in London. Frances McKim, editor of UK-based Pest magazine www.pestmagazine.co.uk filed this report for PCT.
|PestEx in London drew visitors from around the globe – including Rob Lederer (right) executive vice-president from NPMA, seen here in conversation with Simon Forrester, chief executive of PestEx organizers, BPCA. (Photo: BPCA).
|The American pest control industry was well represented. Frank Meek, Orkin, was over looking to sign-up new international franchises. (Photo: BPCA)
|First time exhibitors at PestEx included Techinicide from San Clemente, Calif. (Photo: BPCA).
LONDON — Organized by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), PestEx 2011 was held April 6-7, in the ExCeL exhibition centre, in the heart of the old docklands area of London – in a venue which is to play host to several of the Olympic sporting events in 2012.Like the Olympics, both exhibitors and visitors came from around the globe. With every stand sold in advance of the event opening, there were more than 70 exhibitors packing the hall.
Over one-third of the exhibitors came from overseas – from as far away as China and Australia, with several from the U.S. (including AP&G, Earth Care Products, Kness and Technicide) in addition to companies from the UK and Europe. What is good news is that 20% of all exhibitors were present for the very first time – an excellent indication of the state of health and innovation within the international pest control industry.
There was also a noticeable number of visitors from abroad – and most of these were from the pest control trade. These included manufacturers meeting distributors, or distributors there to research new products to add to their ranges. Also present in large numbers were European pest management professionals eager to find out the latest trends, products and legislation.
But the practical UK pest management professionals were by no means overlooked, as the total attendance figures record. The official figures provided by the BPCA show a dramatic increase in total numbers of over 50% –from 1,011 in 2009 to 1,632 in 2011. The 2011 figure includes 418 people who came for both days. In addition, there were 279 registered exhibitor personnel. Meaning, in total over 2,000 people were involved with the event in one way or another.
LESS BED BUG EMPHASIS. Unlike the most recent PestWorld event, products and techniques for bed bug management were not as strikingly obvious. Indicative, surely, as to the way the industry will finally go, were an increasing number of stands promoting digital recording systems for use by pest technicians. Also noticeable were manufacturers who were responding to the recessionary financial cutbacks within the UK, by introducing new ranges of retail DIY pest control products.
This was the first PestEx event organized by new BPCA Chief Executive Simon Forrester, who summed-up his feelings by saying, “I’ve organized many events across different sectors but PestEx is right up there with the best. I was very impressed by the quality and breadth of exhibitors, and the range of UK and international visitors, from technicians keen to improve their knowledge to senior management networking with their peers and suppliers. One delegate I spoke to said they always attend PestEx because of the quality of people to meet – almost everyone who’s anyone is there.
“The business and practical seminars went down very well with delegates, and the panel discussions often got a good debate going. It’s clear that proposed amendments to EU Directives which are likely to affect the way practical technicians go about their work was uppermost on their minds.”
Another first-timer was Jessica Bassman, from Kness, who was on her first sales mission to Europe. Bassman said: “PestEx was a tremendous opportunity to meet with many of our valued customers from around Europe. It’s wonderful to be able to put names with faces. As a U.S. manufacturer it is critical for us to understand how our products are being received in foreign markets. PestEx offers us the chance to meet one-on-one with end-users, customers and other manufacturers of pest control products. The experience and the information gathered from attending PestEx is incredibly useful and important for determining our international business strategies for the future.