While delegates to this week’s World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi presumably must decide which of the title’s categories e-cigarettes fall into, those who’ve missed it have another choice to make: just how many of the plethora of e-cig-related events in upcoming months they should attend.
The conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is quickly followed by Innovaping Days on 23rd-24th March in Paris, and then ECig East Coast on 31st March-1st April in Washington, DC.
Innovaping Days is a large exhibition designed to showcase new brands and products coming into the market, while ECig East Coast will be devoted to discussing developing regulation, market analysis and safety issues, with an American slant.
April then sees the industry’s attention turn east with two conferences in the main manufacturing hub – and burgeoning domestic market – of China. On 9th-11th April Shenzhen welcomes the industry to the CECMOL expo, where an astonishing 100,000-200,000 visitors are expected. It is closely followed by the Shenzhen International Electronic Cigarette Industry Expo, also – unsurprisingly – in Shenzhen and running 15th-17th April.
CECMOL has government support and promises to bring the biggest and best of Chinese manufacturers into contact with those looking to work with them. But the second Shenzhen expo may offer attendees a slightly different experience. Geared more toward the Chinese market, it will host an awards ceremony for the most innovative new e-cigarette products and also run a forum on pressing issues facing the sector.
The conferences then start to come thick and fast through May, with no fewer than seven major events scheduled. In Europe, ShishaMesse takes place on 2nd-3rd May in Frankfurt, an exhibition blending the worlds of vapour and hookahs whose organisers pride themselves on connecting eastern and western markets.
A few days later, Vape Jam UK is in London on 8th-9th May. Open to vapers as well as vendors and manufacturers, it promises to provide a slightly more rocking alternative to the conventional conference.
In the States, meanwhile, events kick off with the SFATA (Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association) Annual Conference on 4th-5th May in Chicago. One of the largest e-cigarette trade organisations in the world, SFATA is this year building its conference around the theme “Revolution to evolution: next steps for the vapor industry” and featuring Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as star speaker.
Zeller’s presence and indeed the event itself should be quite timely, with the FDA’s e-cigarette deeming regulations promised for the following month.
Next up in the U.S. are a couple of tobacco events, with World Tobacco launching the inaugural WT North America – a development of its WT series of global tobacco conferences. Taking place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia, the 12th-14th May event will be quickly followed by the TMA (Tobacco Merchants Association) Centennial Celebration and Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia on 18th-20th May.
As well as celebrating the organisation’s first (and quite possibly last) hundred years, the event will also examine issues such as the deeming regulations, tobacco harm reduction and the financial outlook for the industry.
Miami and Macau
Rounding out May in the U.S. is a dedicated e-cig event – the World Vapor Expo and Electronic Cigarette Show on 29th-31st May in Miami. The organisers promise to bring together hundreds of suppliers, retailers, distributors, wholesalers, regulators and others from around the globe while also offering a series of discussions and talks on topics of interest to the industry and consumers.
The Global Forum on Nicotine 2015 will be taking place in Warsaw on 5th-6th June. Speakers include Hon Lik, the man credited with inventing the e-cigarette; Konstantinos Farsalinos, one of the pre-eminent researchers into the health effects of e-cigs; and Barnaby Page, ECigIntelligence’s own editorial director. We plan to feature interviews with some of the speakers over the coming months.
And finally – for now – 4th-6th August sees Macau’s Venetian play host to Asia Vapor Expo 2015, gathering investors, producers and distributors under one roof. The event is organised in conjunction with CECMOL as well as the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.
Further details of all these get-togethers can be found on our events page (and if you’re running one we haven’t included, do let us know).
– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff