The European pharma industry has been very quiet in the summer months, but September has seen a flurry of action (and press releases to my inbox) as companies start gearing up for one of the most important European events for the pharma industry: CPhI Worldwide. The show starts on 25 October, and I hope you’ve made your travel arrangements to Frankfurt (Germany) because some flights and hotels are fully booked! This show is one of the most important in many European companies’ calendars.
I’ve been reading a lot about CPhI this week as companies prepare their media campaigns and with the start of October looming, I thought I’d take a brief look at where the behemoth event started and where it’s going.
CPhI debuted in 1990 in Frankfurt as a small international convention for ingredients and intermediates, with only 16 exhibitors and 250 delegates. The event has been held annually ever since and I wonder if the original delegates from 1990 would even recognise it. 2011’s event will run for three days (25–27 October) and is expected to see 1900 exhibitors and 28,500 industry professionals from more than 120 countries.
Although this year’s event, like the inaugural show, will be held in Frankfurt, CPhI has visited many European cities over the years including Amsterdam, Belgium, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. Frankfurt is a popular location for European trade shows, but hasn’t hosted CPhI since 2008. With Germany being one of the leading pharmaceutical markets in Europe, it’s safe to say that it’s a fitting setting for a pharmaceutical event.
Even twenty two-years after its debut, ingredients and intermediates are still a huge part of CPhI. Over the years, however, the event has begun to include several collocated events dedicated to contract services (ICSE — debuted in 2001), pharmaceutical machinery and equipment (P-MEC — debuted in 2006), and biopharmaceuticals (BioPh — debuted in 2009). This year will also see the debut of a new collocated event called InnoPack dedicated to (you guessed it) packaging.
As big and important as CPhI is, however, its location in Europe inevitably makes it trickier for visitors to attend from regions such as Asia and South America. In the last decade, CPhI has expanded its global reach by initiating events in China (2001), Japan (2002), India (2006) and South America (2008). In particular, the Indian and Chinese events are growing fast, which is a testament to the growing pharma industries in these developing markets, as well as the increasing interest of Western companies looking to emerging markets for new opportunities.
The next CPhI China event, due to be held in June 2012 in Shanghai, is expected to attract 1700 exhibitors and 27000 attendees, which is close to the numbers of the worldwide show. CPhI India 2011, due to be held this November, is also expected to see attendee numbers in excess of 26,000, which is remarkable considering that the event only debuted in 2006. The event was met with strong interest from the beginning when the inaugural show featured 325 exhibitors and 11,000 attendees — the largest ever debut for a CPhI show.
Of course, it’s not just pharma companies that will be descending on Frankfurt at the end of October — members of the Pharmaceutical Technology Europe team will be attending too. My colleagues will be at booth 51F53 and would love to hear any thought from you about our website or magazine so please do come and say hello. As for me, I’ll be in the office keeping a close eye on the latest CPhI trends and discussions on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Looking to next year, the organisers are already outlining plans for CPhI 2012. The event will be held in Madrid (Spain) at the Feria de Madrid. The show will run from 9–11 October so keep these dates free!