Visitor research during and after the last VIV Asia exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, produced an intriguing contrast. At the 2005 show, more visitors said they were interested in poultry (76%) than in pigs (52%). But a follow-up conducted several months later found that an estimated €1 billion of subsequent investments had been mainly in the areas of feed manufacture and pig production, with shares of 46% and 42% respectively.

The pig section of the event is back for the 2007 VIV Asia in a bigger form than ever, boosted by the Asian business done in the intervening period and the forecasts of more bright prospects for pigs in the region. Moreover, suggestions by visitors last time that they had missed finding exhibits of suppliers specialising in feed machinery have brought the deliberate launch of a feed-themed pavilion with the emphasis on feedmill equipment, feed additives and ingredients.

In fact, show manager Ruwan Berculo says feed ingredients and animal health products will represent the categories with most exhibitors when VIV Asia opens on 7th March 2007 for its 3-day run until 9th March. Expect the event to be over 20% larger for net display area than in 2005, he adds. The 10 000m² net area filled 2 years ago at the BITEC exhibition centre in Bangkok will certainly grow to 12 000m², not least in order to accommodate such factors as an expansion of the meat processing segment and the increased presence of companies from South Korea and China.

"Exhibits related to processing covered about 250m² in 2005 and they related only to poultrymeat and eggs," he remarks. "Now for March 2007 it is already up to 468m² and this is largely because of our first really visible reference on red-meat processing. A first-time exhibitor from Thailand called Food Processing Technology has booked a stand of 80m2 to represent 16 German brands of red-meat processing equipment as well as others in the sector from Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands."

VIV Asia 2005 occupied one large hall at BITEC. Now it will have an additional smaller hall of about 2500m². This will be devoted totally to an animal health focus.

To help visitors find the companies they seek, the organisers have introduced a match-making service in which those people who pre-register online will receive a digital package tailored to suit their specific interests. Part of the package is to be a sectorial floor-plan of exhibits. Similar information will be made available in paper form for other visitors on their arrival at the show.

Show entry is free of charge, as is participation in the conference programme that runs in parallel with the exhibition at the same location. Here too there is opportunity for visitors to register in advance according to the conference of their choice. One of the options this year is a feed-to-meat programme that includes an afternoon session on 7th March with speakers from the American Soybean Association and Texas A&M University in the USA to discuss the processing and use of soybeans for animal feeds. A non-commercial VIV Main Conference being arranged by the show organisers with Rabobank sponsorship is scheduled for the morning of 8th March, to feature keynote lectures from Nan-Dirk Mulder of Rabobank and Nancy Morgan of FAO on international meat markets. PIGI