By Alyssa Stahr
Photos by Wen Ning
Even though the e-cigarette is thought to be conceived in China, it wasn’t until last year that the first huge convention came to the motherland in the form of CECMOL in Shenzhen. CECMOL is China’s largest platform for the electronic cigarette industry, providing not only a convention but an online platform service with two million users each year. We spoke with Roger Luo, the operations director of CECMOL, about the second annual event at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center held in October.
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VAPE: What were some highlights of this year’s show for you personally?
Luo: We had more than 30 overseas e-cig and e-liquid brands at this October’s vape expo, such as E-Liquid Solutions (USA), Baker White (USA), Khali Vapors (USA), COV (USA), iBliss (Canada), J WELL (France), Babylon Vape (Russia), Liquid Factory (Malaysia), LSS (South Korea) and many more. Some of them built a stage at their booths and had dancers and a DJ, creating a vaping lifestyle that is very new in China’s expo world, compared with other traditional and serious B2B expos.
Additionally, VGOD team’s vape tricks show on the big stage attracted thousands of young Chinese vapers and followers at our expo. We held a vape cloud competition on the big stage and had around 100 vapers attend it. The prices were in cash: ￥8888RMB, ￥3888RMB and ￥2888RMB.
VAPE: How many vendors did you have and how many attendees?
Luo: We had 158 vendors and brands, and around 52,000 attendees.
VAPE: Any challenges or unexpected things that happened?
Luo: It’s our second time to organize CECMOL and we had good preparations and there were not many challenges for us. The unexpected things were that we had great success both on our New Product Launch on the first day and Vape Cloud Competition on the second day, so some exhibitors asked us at the last minute to arrange other events for them, so we added more events and shows on the big stage on the third day of our expo.
VAPE: There were no speakers this time around. Do you plan on changing that for the next CECMOL?
Luo: Our next E-Cig Forum will be on April 7, the day before our third expo from April 8 to 10 in 2016.
VAPE: Let’s talk about advocacy. How does your show approach this?
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Luo: We advocate tobacco harm reduction and a healthy vaping lifestyle. We promoted our advocacy through 2,000 media partners worldwide, including on the billboard of Times Square in New York.
VAPE: How does your show approach the stigma of cloning in China, and how do you hope to work together with other countries on a global scale?
Luo: We prohibit the clones to be exhibited at our expo. We send a statement to all the Chinese exhibitors before the expo that we prohibit any clones to be exhibited at our expo. If we still find any domestic exhibitor exhibiting clones at our expo, we will strictly deal with it and ask them to take the clones off the shelves immediately. We will discuss it with other speakers from overseas countries about how to work together with them on a global scale at our next E-cig Forum on April 7.
VAPE: Do you plan on doing anything for the next CECMOL?
Luo: We will try our best to promote our third CECMOL China to attract more vendors, buyers, distributors and visitors, and we will also make good preparations for our third International E-Cig Forum, New Product Launch and Vape Cloud Competition.
VAPE: There are so many shows being put on in our industry. What sets yours apart as the must-see show of the year?
Luo: Compared with other vape expos in China, ours is the biggest and most professional one. We have the rich experience of organizing the first two CECMOLs, and we are the organizer of the first vape expo, the first E-Cig Forum and the first Vape Cloud Competition in China. On April 8 to 10, we will have estimated more than 1,000 new products to be exhibited at our expo, as well as the New Product Launch and Vape Cloud Competition, which introduces the latest vaping lifestyle of European and American countries. Also the top level of E-Cig Forum, which gathers together the global elites in the vaping industry, makes our expo the must-see show of the year.
For more information, visit http://expoen.cecmol.com/.