Save the dates - It's Tire Technology Season
This is the time of year when we plan which shows we are going to attend. And – my goodness – there are a lot of them.
Next week most of the tire world will be in Cologne for the Tire Technology Expo. This has become the leading show in the world for new machinery and material developments. Pretty much everyone who is anyone goes there and I am pleased to say that my own involvement with the show will be increasing from the 2015 event.
Not only do they hold a series of awards to recognise suppliers, tire makers and key contributors to the industry, but the dinner there is great fun. The only down side to this event is that the last day seems to coincide with the Cologne Karneval's riotous drunken evening of Weiberfestnacht. I'll be giving a presentation there about the China Tire Industry – see here.
The first show of the year, however, was in India, where the AIRIA held the Indian Rubber Expo in New Delhi. I was fortunate to attend that show at the invitation of the organisers, but I can't say it was one of the leading global shows. For anyone interested in India of course, it was a key event. The Indian industry is sophisticated. Senior managers are smart, well-informed and have a truly global perspective. While the Indian tire sector is evolving steadily, the tire makers in India are undergoing a revolution in terms of management and vision. That's definitely one to watch.
The next big event on the rubber scene will be the World Rubber Week in Singapore at the end of March. This brings together the World Rubber Summit organised by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) and Tyexpo Asia organised by Sing-Ex. It's the only event where the tire retail and maintenance community merges with the global rubber traders and bankers. I love this event and will be going there for the fourth consecutive year.
For the last couple of years I've given presentations at the Marcus Evans conference on tires in Berlin at the start of April, but it looks like they are not running it this year.
Just after the Easter break, the China Rubber Conference will take place in Guangzhou. This is the 30th birthday event for the China Rubber industry and the organisers have invited a series of key speakers for the bi-lingual event. The exhibition will bring in most of the international players as well as a large number of Chinese companies. For Westerners looking to expand their sourcing and those seeking new business in China its a must-attend event.
The following week we have a new show on the scene. I was not sure what to make of the invitation to attend the North American Tire & Retread Expo in New Orleans in mid-April, but everyone I asked expects it to channel the spirit of the old ARA show that was held in Louisville for many years. And Gus Lima, who is organising it, has done so well with his show in Panama that it is likely to be successful.
Unfortunately, the new show coincides with the Clemson University Global Tire Conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This is a well-established event and attracts a loyal audience.
Another new event pops up in May and that's the Traction conference by Smithers. Again I'm not sure how that one is going to go, but the programme is looking good so far. Unfortunately I won't be at that one, but I'd be interested to hear how it goes.
Back in India, the Asian Tyre & Rubber Conference takes place in Chennai in mid-June. This is organised by my good friends at Rubber Asia magazine .
Then in Late June, the CRIA is organising a tire technology conference and exhibition in Dalian China, where I have been asked to speak.
The TyreExpo series puts their Indian event into Chennai in July and Gus Lima's Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo will happen again in Panama, but that's pretty much it for the first half of the year
The Autumn season starts with the Tire Society's annual event in Akron in early September. This is much less commercial than the other events, but by all accounts it's a great networking event.
After that, Citexpo takes place in Shanghai, but this is primarily an exhibition with minimal conference support.
The big event in Europe toward the end of the year is the VDI's bi-annual conference in Hannover in October. I'll be giving a one-day seminar there on the Tire industry in China.
That is likely to be followed by the IQPC's Intelligent tire event, which brings in speakers from the automotive industry as well as top tire makers. This is one of the key events in the tire industry calendar. IQPC has not got around to naming the dates yet.
So far as I can tell, the final international event of 2015 is likely to be the RubberCon conference in Chennai in early December.
Looks like I'm going to be at most of those events, one way or another, so please look me up and have a chat about the tire industry. Always glad to exchange views with industry experts.