A Look at the World’s Largest Vape Expo: IECIE Shenzhen 2019
The center of vape manufacturing
In the vape world, Shenzhen is almost as important as ejuice, atomizers, and batteries! Take away any of those things and we wouldn’t have vaping as we know it. Shenzhen is the vape manufacturing capital of the world… and a few of us from Vaping360 attended their 5th IECIE E-Cig Expo. The event was held from April 14 – 16, where virtually every manufacturer in China was all under one roof. Technically, there were four separate halls in an arena. But the total size of it all was huge!
There was an almost never-ending array of vape products on display. It was an amazing and overwhelming experience to attend one of these expos, especially one on this scale. But the IECIE Expo isn’t the expo to go to if your interest is in designer rebuildables, high-end box mods, and the latest hot e-juice line. I was even surprised to learn that the IECIE isn’t that much of a draw for vape celebrities, although Phil and the Vaping Greek seem to get around no matter the country. That kind of expo is happening right now in Birmingham, UK (The VaperExpo UK). IECIE is different than that, and it’s virtually all Chinese, but nonetheless an amazing experience just on a consumer level. That said, the crux of IECIE is business!
Overview and background of IECIE
The Expo was held at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center Hall in the Futian District of Shenzhen City. The first IECIE was held in 2015 and the show has expanded a lot within just five years. The whole arena was buzzing from activity and nicotine! Here’s a closer look at the numbers to give you an idea of the scale:
· 1500 brands represented
· 400+ exhibitors
· 40,000 sq/m (over 430,000 sq/ft) of exhibition space
· 71,572 total visitors over three days
Impressions of 2019 IECIE
I’ve been to a few expos in my day, but this was by far the biggest. It was a dizzying experience between the people and the hubbub of mandarin, loud techno music, clouds, vape models, strange props and characters, and what seemed to be a maze of popular and emerging Chinese brands. It was also interesting to see the size, space, and organization of some of the booths. For instance, brands like Vaporesso, Ijoy, Aspire, Innokin, Geekvape, SMOK, Voopoo, Suorin, and UWELL had really impressive displays. Many of their “booths” were larger than vape shops I go to!
Of course, there were obligatory competitions and giveaways, tricksters, cloud blowers, and live product releases. Although there were tens of thousands of consumers in attendance, it was clear that the IECIE 2019 expo was more about B2B than anything – whether OEM, distribution, manufacturing, bulk buys, and/or collaborations. If you’re in the vape business, you may want to attend the next IECIE expo. I don’t think any retail was taking place… although lots of products were being handed out.
The main attraction
Another takeaway from the expo was HNB products. Since the IQOS just had its PMTA approved by the FDA, it looks like HNB is here to stay. Plus, heat-not-burn devices are taking off in Asia since smoking is so prevalent out there. I’m not exactly keen on mixing that in with vaping, but it makes sense from a business perspective — and it is still harm reduction, so I give it a pass. I just wish I didn’t have to smell it at a vape event!
IECIE 2020: What’s next?
The organizers of the IECIE Expo say that next year’s show will be twice as large. That’s mind-boggling considering how large this one was. But they say next year will have 60,000 sq/m (645,000+ sq/ft) of space. There will be more brands and an even stronger emphasis on vape business and product development: from industrial design, battery and power systems, heating systems, wicking technologies, e-juice flavors and related products, packing and shipping solutions, and supply chain services. I’ll say it again: if you’re in the business, you should try and get to the IECIE Expo 2020.
by Jeremy Mann