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My CIIE Story • Grand Strategy: Expo grows Heraeus' circle of friends

By Chen Libin | | Updated: 2022-07-29 10:10
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Some staff members of Heraeus pose for a group photo during the fourth CIIE in November, 2021. [Photo provided to]

Editor's Note: This year marks the 5th anniversary of the China International Import Expo. The CIIE Bureau and the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) launched the "My CIIE Story" activity on June 1 to invite people who were involved in the previous CIIEs to share their stories and have received a large number of warm responses so far. We are going to publish the excellent works of "My CIIE Story" in succession. In July, the stories will center on "grand strategy", which showcases the CIIE's role in promoting key national strategies, diplomatic relationships and international public good. Let's follow the words written by the authors and look back on their wonderful moments from the past five years.

Every day after waking up at 7 am, the first thing I usually do is to check the messages from the WeChat group titled "CIIE neighbors" as I do not want to miss any notices released by the expo organizers or the latest policies and activities related to the event, especially when the fair is taking place.

As the director of marketing communication and the coordinator of all CIIE-related affairs at Heraeus, a German technology group, I had participated in the previous four editions of the CIIE and worked with my colleagues to find new business opportunities for the company.

I also got to make new friends with exhibitors, some of whom are in the WeChat group I mentioned. During the inaugural edition of the CIIE in 2018, the group had only about 30 representatives from companies in the intelligent industry and information technology exhibition area where Heraeus' booth is located, such as Brother, Ingersoll Rand, Trumpf, and Nokia. We talked about matters like our booths, activities, media coverage and gifts prepared for visitors in the group.

Today, the group has people from more than 100 companies related to medical equipment and healthcare products, automobile, and consumer goods. The topics that we discuss in this group have also become more diverse. They can range from chatting about creating a corporate image for a high-tech company to hosting a live-streaming event that can attract over 100,000 viewers.

Members of the group have even managed to find opportunity to work with one another. For example, Heraeus once held a forum on material innovation concerning the integrated circuit industry during the fourth CIIE and Roland Berger sent representatives to support the forum.

There was also the time when Accenture said it was planning to roll out a program that allows children in rural areas to learn more about the CIIE online, and members in the group worked together to showcase the cutting-edge technologies displayed at the expo to over 1,000 children within a single day.

Through the CIIE, a wide range of advanced technologies and products have entered the Chinese market and helped accelerate the country's industrial upgrading. This has in turn improved the lives of millions of people.

Heraeus has been increasing its exhibition space and the number of exhibits at the CIIE. Our booth received more than 10,000 visitors and our online activities and advertisements reached about 10 million people during the last four CIIEs. We have also benefitted in terms of business cooperation, governmental communication and brand building.

Despite all kinds of challenges, Heraeus and most members of the "CIIE neighbors" group will continue to participate in the fifth edition this year. I hope more foreign companies can join us and expand their footprint in China through the CIIE.

The author is the director of marketing communication and the coordinator of CIIE projects at Heraeus. He is responsible for booth design, media promotion, hosting government officials and holding client activities during the expo.

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