The launch of AWE2021 (March 11-14 2021 at Shanghai New International Expo Center) set the mind of industry insiders at rest. With AWE2020 canceled due to the outbreak, enterprises have been waiting for AWE2021 with bated breath as if expecting an old friend.
A tech-powered smart life show
It is learned that the theme of AWE2021 is Smartize the Future. Jiang Feng, President of AWE’s organizer China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA), reveals that, AWE will be built into a more innovative, more open and more inclusive technology-based ecosystem. Xu Dongsheng, Vice President of CHEAA, points out that smartness, technology and ecology are the three key words that point to the growth pattern of AWE down the road.
Xu Dongsheng stresses that, technology has become a trend and a growth engine for China’s home appliance industry in its upgrading. “In the past, home appliance was a self-contained industry whose technology improvement mostly centers on individual functions such as the cooling performance of air conditioners and the cleaning performance of washing machines. But now, the development of mobile internet, IoT and AI is pushing the boundaries of home appliance industry, making home appliance a systematically controlled terminal of a home rather than a simple device that is powered by electricity. In fact, it not only changes products, but more importantly, the supply chain of the industry, the manufacturing mode and the organization structure of enterprises. Technology, or more specifically, smartness is the future of home appliance industry. To achieve smartness, an ecology that allows machine-machine interaction, machine-environment interaction and human-machine interaction needs to be built to make the whole system alive. We believe that, technology is a future trend of home appliance industry with smartness being a constant driving force and ecology as a distinct feature.”
AWE is more than a home appliance show.
As a witness of AWE’s growth, I saw the changes of it in the past 10 years when AWE expanded its portfolio from traditional home appliance makers such as Haier, Midea, Hisense and TCL to include high-tech enterprises such as Huawei, Honor, DJI and Tencent. I can vividly remember the long waiting line of visitors when Tesla’s new energy car made a presence at AWE2017. In fact, AWE has been housing more and more cross-industry enterprises in recent years such as high-tech enterprises including Xiaomi, Baidu, 360, iFlytek and GoPro, multinational heavyweights such as Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and LG who brought their 3C products and digital products to AWE despite their display of home appliances. Even traditional Chinese home appliance brands such as Midea, Hisense and Haier are stepping up their technology transformation with more and more tech-powered products rolled out.
A strong comeback
It’s worth noting that AWE2021 will launch a series of online activities such as cloud forum, cloud show and cloud live streams to target online visitors. These activities will be complementary to the regular show amid the pandemic thanks to the development of live streaming mode, AR and VR that make a cloud show possible. “The integration of online and offline is a future trend. Online channel is going to be a good complement of an exhibition.” Xu Dongsheng says. But he points out that, online show cannot offer the hands-on experience the offline does. “The immersive, hands-on experience is the biggest edge of an offline show. The face-to-face communication, the hands-on experience and the details of products could only be achieved and felt offline. The cloud show, on the other hand, have the upper hand when it comes to distant watching and playback. It’s like watching a match on TV, the atmosphere will not be the same.” But cloud show is a tentative exploration.
It is learned that AWE Organizing Committee has decided to allow products applied for AWE Award 2020 to resubmit for AWE Award 2021. The news set the mind of enterprises at rest. One of my interviewee tells me that, the outbreak upset the product marketing plan this year. Many new products were rolled out online. Distributors and consumers have not really seen the products in person. It would be a pity to miss AWE Award for the outbreak. The years of R&D efforts and the innovation of great products deserve an award.
For the coming 2021, AWE will join hands with 36Kr to build an “Unexpected Infinite City” that integrates entertainment with hands-on experience to add more fun and engagement to the show. Liu Cheng, head of AWE, reveals that there will be several themes to allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the future life in an immersive way.
AWE2021 is expected to be a confidence booster for the industry. Xu Dongsheng says, “Both the home appliance and consumer electronics industry have been hard hit this year. We have survived in some sense. Black swan event can be an opportunity too despite its unexpected aftermath. I have faith in the future development of the industry and hope the industry can offer consumers better products and service when our society and the industry get back to track.”
March 11-14, 2021
Hall W1~W5，N1~N5，E1, Shanghai New International Expo Center