Ni hao from Beijing! On the first day of ISH China 2014, select exhibitors, members of the press and other VIPs were welcomed by show partners, including Andreas Lücke, CEO, Federal Industrial Association of Germany House, Energy and Environmental Technology. Lücke’s group also is associated with the huge ISH Frankfurt trade fair in Germany.

While many American and European companies are ISH China exhibitors, very few speak English. But then these products aren’t being marketed to the States. Some of the companies I saw on the first day include Grundfos, REHAU, Calorique, Watts Water Technologies, Caleffi, Bosch Thermotechnology, A. O. Smith, Weil-McLain and Honeywell, as well as Korea-based Navien and Italy-based Lamborghini.

Walking through the six halls of the trade show, I saw a lot of tankless water heaters and wall-hung boilers. Condensing technology is also big on the show floor. And I saw panel radiators in pastels and bright colors.

During the afternoon, I tried to attend the first China International Building Water Supply and Drainage Forum — the topic was Rainwater Harvesting, Utilization and Drainage Management — but the room was small and packed with people.

Instead, I sat in on the Sino European HVAC Congress discussion on central heating, which was billed as “conducted in English and Mandarin with simultaneous interpretation.” I expected some kind of audio translation, but had to make due with a few slides in English.

While I didn’t get much out of the discussion, I did notice mostly young people in the audience, and many were women. I’m not sure if they were students or young engineers, but it was such a contrast to the conventions and trade shows I attend in the States, where young people are a minority. It may be because of the sheer population numbers in Beijing, but it was gratifying to see.

Radiant floor heating seems to be a hot topic in China, and tomorrow I’ll be sitting in on the International Floor-Heating Forum.

Stay tuned for more from the ISH China trade show floor.