Editor's note: ConExPest, held in Kraków, Poland May 19-20 and organized by the Polish Pest Control Association (PSPDDD), was more than double the size of the initial event (held three years ago) and attracted exhibitors and visitors from across Eastern Europe. Frances McKim of Pest magazine file the following report for PCT.
KRAKOW, Poland — Congratulations must go to the Polish Pest Control Association (PSPDDD for organizing ConExPest held in Kraków, Poland, May 19-20. Following on from their initial event three years ago, this time around ConExPest was more than double the size and attracted exhibitors and visitors from across Eastern Europe.
Cleverly, the Polish association joined together with pest control associations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to make ConExPest an entry point into the rapidly growing East European markets. And, being held in Kraków, in the extreme south of Poland, this meant access was easy for delegates from all four countries. With nearly 40 exhibitors, there was plenty to see on the stands at ConExPest in Poland. Despite the pest control industry becoming increasingly global with the same multinational manufacturers present at ever event, at ConExPest there was a fresh approach.
There were companies exhibiting you had never heard of and, with names that more than likely, you had difficulty pronouncing. All the leading Polish pest control distributors were present, such as Agro-Trade, ASPlant, Killgerm Polska and Themar as well as DDD Servis from the Czech Republic. It was also obvious from the general buzz that these East European markets are seen as growth areas for pest control, but to make your mark in these Eastern markets, such as Poland, you need local representation – a Polish company in Poland. However, there were a large number of managers from other international manufacturers spotted visiting the exhibition, obviously eyeing up the market potential and, no doubt, considering whether to exhibit in three years time.
Without doubt the driving force behind the international success of ConExPest was ‘Mr Poland Pest’ – Adam Puscinski. Having worked within the Polish pest control industry for 23 years, Adam knows the market inside-out having started his career with Wellcome, then moving with the various company changes through Rousell, AgrEvo, Aventis and now Bayer Environmental Science. He is also a driving force within the Polish association and is currently one of their vice presidents. Asked for his feedback on ConExPest, Puscinski said: “I’m happy and very satisfied. In particular I would like to thank all those who participated – both visitors and exhibitors, as well as the management team from the venue, Targi. The scale of the event has certainly grown since we organised the initial ConExPest in 2009. But a gap of three years between events I feel is appropriate as this allows time for the arrival of new products onto the market.”
CEPA Europest running alongside the exhibition was the CEPA General Assembly followed by the Europest conference. Having been in post almost one year, the CEPA director general, Roland Higgins, reported that income from membership was down from Euros 148,000 to Euros 133,000 yet despite this the association was still in credit. In his review of activities, Roland highlighted their communications work – both in developing allies within the European community in Brussels, but also within the European pest management industry. One key current project is the creation of a European standard for the provision of pest management services in collaboration with the European Standards Institute (CEN). How this voluntary industry-led initiative stacks-up with what is forecast to occur within the forthcoming EU Sustainable Use Directive (the statutory approach) caused some heated debate during the Europest part of the proceedings. Should ConExPest once again be held in Kraków in three years time, anyone who has not yet visited this European city should make a mental note.
Several exhibitors and visitors found time in the evenings, or stayed on for the weekend, to see the sights of this beautifully preserved city dating back to the 7th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.