TCT Asia to Return as First Major AM Event Post COVID-19 Shutdown

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TCT Asia is set to be one of the first exhibitions to be held after the general shutdown of events since the onset of COVID-19. The event will be held July 8-10 this year at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). It’s being framed as an opportunity to spark the additive manufacturing markets back to life, with over 220 exhibitors set to feature the latest in the additive manufacturing ecosystem over the three days.

The organizers of the event, VNU Rapid News Co. Ltd, have been focused on expanding TCT to a pan-Asian audience, as a joint-venture between Rapid News Publications Ltd and VNU Exhibitions Asia. As the COVID-19 situation improves in China, the national government has permitted the holding of exhibitions since May. The intent is that, as businesses in China and other parts of the world reopen, TCT Asia in July would provide a much-needed boost to the 3D printing industry, enabling businesses to capitalize on opportunities to connect, recover, and grow, as it’s the first major industry event to be held in the last five months. Leading businesses from China and globally, including Farsoon, Z-Rapid, Raise3D, FlashForge, Polymaker, EOS, Stratasys, 3D Systems, Formlabs, SLM Solutions, are slated to feature at the event.

The organizers have introduced new initiatives to accommodate for limitations caused due to the pandemic, such as TCT Asia ExpoReach. This is a digital program where exhibitors can connect with overseas attendees virtually, over a Zoom appointment during the show, and form business relationships or evaluate products and solutions particularly for those who are unable to travel due to restrictions. China is addressing international travel restrictions at a local or city level, with international flights resuming in a limited capacity, and has introduced fast track channels for certain countries. However, travel from or to the EU is still subject to restrictions going into July. The UK does permit travel if considered essential, while the U.S. has recommended against all travel to China.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, beginning in China, TCT Asia was the first industry event in Asia to be postponed in January, after being originally scheduled for February 19-21, 2020. Several AM industry events have since been cancelled or postponed to late 2020 or early-mid 2021, including RAPID + TCT 2020 and AMUG in the US, TCT3Sixty and Advanced Materials Show and Ceramics in the UK, IDTechEx in Germany, 3D Print Congress & Exhibition in France, Materialise World Summit in Belgium, to name a few.

IMTS has also been cancelled, for the first time since World War II, although organizers moved quickly to announce the soon-to-be launched IMTS Network, for live-streaming of featured topics and human-interest stories in manufacturing technology; IMTS Spark, a digital platform for exhibitors and attendees to network and connect’ and ReBuilding the Supply chain, a website to help businesses understand and address their supply chain issues after disruptions due to COVID-19. Formnext 2020, however, is still expected to be held as scheduled in Frankfurt, Germany from November, 10-13th, 2020.

In this regard, addressing concerns regarding health and safety, Duncan Wood, Chairman of VNU Rapid News Co. Ltd said:

“We are delighted that TCT Asia will play its part early in the post COVID-19 resurgence. It sends an important message to the wider exhibition industry and to the market that we serve. We will of course be putting the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and employees first with increased cleaning and hygiene plans alongside a very closely regulated and managed visitor registration process. We will also adhere to the social distancing requirements that are in place to ensure that TCT Asia is a safe and successful event enabling business to flourish once again in the live environment. We all know there is no substitute for face to face interaction – it’s exciting to be introducing it again, even if under some new protocols.”

Highlights from the TCT Asia 2019 event can be viewed here.

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