Informex signals a rebound?

Informex '04 closed today to strong crowds of buyers and sellers from the specialty batch and custom chemical industry. 'The show is a sign of good things ahead,' said Stuart Needleman, Informex '04 chairman. 'The record-size exhibit and healthy attendance are indicators that the economy and our industry are on the upward bound.'

Informex '04 closed today to strong crowds of buyers and sellers from the specialty batch and custom chemical industry. 'The show is a sign of good things ahead,' said Stuart Needleman, Informex '04 chairman. 'The record-size exhibit and healthy attendance are indicators that the economy and our industry are on the upward bound.'

Figures released by SOCMA show that attendance was 3% higher than last year, with 4,100 people in attendance - this is 30x greater than the first show 20 years ago. This week's show featured nearly 480 exhibiting companies, a 4% increase on last year, with 85 companies here for the first time.

It was also interesting to see that there were visitors from 32 countries, with 30% of the attendees coming from outside the US. This would seem to vindicate SOCMA's decision to move the show from its regular home in New Orleans. 'Following a string of growth years in New Orleans, the show has been relocated to reflect its unparalleled size and better serve the preferences of international visitors,' Kirsten Bourke, SOCMA's communications manager said.

Comments from exhibitors at the show did suggest the industry is on course for an improving 2004. 'The [US] economy, stock market, and growth are all improving,' said Nick Green, president Rhodia Pharma Solutions. 'From Rhodia's point of view, this improvement, coupled with our Chambers Works site coming on line during the year, shows encouraging signs for our pharma division, and the industry.'

However, one question on delegates' minds was what will happen next year? With CPhI showcasing in December '04, that leaves about six weeks before Informex '05, which includes the Christmas break. 'We'll be saying "Hello" to the same people in Las Vegas that we said "Goodbye" to in Brussels, without doing any work in between!' was the comment from a senior industry professional.

Informex '05 will take place from 17-20th January, 2005, again at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas.

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