On the 15th of November 2017, Maurizio, Agnese, and I left for Shanghai to visit one of the most important fairs in the pet industry, the China International Pet Show, now in its 21st year. Also, the appointment for the next CIPS exhibition location is Canton, in September 2018. The CIPS is a trade show and exhibition unlike any other. We’re talking about an immense fair, where the majority of the distributors are Chinese companies, both start-ups and well-established entities. Many companies brought new ideas, new products to develop, or projects in their embryonic phase. Even the booths inside the fair are very different from the ones we’re used to seeing in Europe and America.
Entering the CIPS 2017
As we always do, let’s begin with this editorial, starting with our personal experiences in order to give you the overall impression and feeling of the fair. Then, in the next few days, we will go into detail about the the most interesting products, show you the fish, the beautiful aquascaping, and the marine aquariums competition. The fair took up 2 buildings (out of the 8 present) and 2 levels, for a total of 4 pavilions. In addition, there were two smaller pavilions within the principal entrance of the exhibition. The metro stop is practically inside the fair itself, and then you have to queue a very long time, both for buying the tickets, and to be accredited. And the lines are controlled and enforced by soldiers in uniform. Thanks to our DaniReef/Reefs.com pass, we entered directly from the V.I.P. entry without queue, just passing through the metal detector, like many other place we’ve visited in China. But this Chinese show wasn’t like the ones we’re used to in Europe; the pressroom, called the V.I.P. room for the occasion, had a about ten tables, some leather armchairs, some snacks and water. No lockers or computers, so we had to carry our bags with us. However, there are warnings (yellow plastic cards hung in all the booths) everywhere about not leaving things around. As you can see from the previous picture, the booths are in line with the rest of the fair: enormous, huge, incredibly big. And all very well-finished. There were a few little booths, but the unwritten rule seemed to be that all displays must be huge.
There were some Italian participants, but instead of having their own booths, they generally shared space with their distributors. Even the American companies didn’t have particular booths, with the exception of Seachem and Red Sea. We noted the presence of the Italian Sicce, Teco, Hydor, and Prodac. In addiction to these, we saw Aquatlantis, Collar, Ikari, Reeflowers, and the already mentioned Seachem and Red Sea. Inside the distributors, there was Aquarium Systems,Biopod, Ecotech Marine, Fauna Marin, JBL, Ocean Nutrition, Prodibio, Royal Exlusiv, Salifert, Skimz, Tropic Marine, Two Little Fishies, and Vertex. It’s hard to mention all of them because they weren’t promoted in their websites or in the official publication. It was really hard to find them in the first place. And then there were the Asian companies, starting with the well known AutoAqua, Bubble Magus, Conch, Hailea, Jebao, Macro Aqua, Maxspect, and Zetlight. In addition, there were the “outsiders”, those that you have never heard of, and in the next page we will talk about some of these.
Truthfully, there were quite a few. You can see one exciting development in this beautiful aquarium, Peninsula by Red Sea.Zetlight delighted us with a submarine ceiling light. And obviously this isn’t the way you’re going to use it, but you can’t say it’s not waterproof. The trend of the moment are tools for automatic water changes. They’ve been presented by almost everyone, it seems, and here you can see the one we liked the most, by a little Chinese company in search of investors, Smart Reef. We will talk about it again soon. Another very interesting Chinese company, RedStarFish, presented an incredible plate for spreading bubbles in skimmers. You should see what a foam it can produce. As the Americans say… unbelievable! …Indeed! Another Automatic Water Changer by AutoAqua. The tool was already seen at MACNA. Titanium impellers by Macro Aqua, ready for their own square skimmers. Very weird… Jiyin presented a booth resembling an Apple Store, with aquaristic tools and accessories sold in boxes like iPhones. We will revisit this booth, because we have a lot to say about it.
Be prepared to be amazed. We saw things that we can’t forget… It’s hard to choose the most beautiful. But we took a picture of (almost) all of them (some weren’t finished yet) because we’re going to show them to you in the near future.
The fish, or rather the king of the CIPS 2017: the Arowana!
We’re talking about the king of these latitudes, the Arowana. Very strange fish, colorful and enormous. They were really impressive. They were red or golden for the most part. Below, you can see all the pictures; their price was of several tens of thousands of dollars…