After 27 years, Michael Duck will be handing over his role as APLF Director to his Hong Kong colleague David Bondi.
Under his leadership and commitment, APLF steadily evolved through being a busy location for companies to sell raw and semi-processed material and to learn about China and the wider Asian world at a time of advancing globalization. He led APLF to become more than just a trade fair as it was transformed into an integrated, international event with fashion shows, seminars, conferences, and trend areas – designed to cover all aspects of the industry alongside a more traditional trade fair where the most important companies were exhibiting from over 80 countries worldwide.
For many exhibitors and visitors, Duck has been the public face of APLF being as he was always at the forefront of the opening ceremonies and fair press conferences that took place in Hong Kong from 1994 and in firstly Beijing then Shanghai for ACLE since 1998. His command of fact and figures as well as his imposing presence and cool, firm presentation style has made him the ideal “front man” for international events. Such a combination provided APLF with the credibility needed before in front of the international specialist media that attended the press conferences.
Perhaps the most successful launch in which Duck was involved was that of the All-China Leather Exhibition in 1998. The aim was to offer more direct access to China for international leather and chemical suppliers. ACLE started out on a smaller scale with about 400 exhibitors and 6000 visitors in its first edition held in Beijing. From 1999 onward, this trade fair moved to Shanghai and continued to expand rapidly to reach over 1400+ exhibitors and 23,000 visitors of which 19,000 came from the main manufacturing provinces of China.
After dedicating 27 years to the leather and fashion sectors, Duck laid the foundation for APLF to maintain its leadership as 'The Meeting Place for the Global Leather Industry'. With experienced management now in place with a background in various sectors, APLF is set to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and offer both digital and hybrid events as well as the physical Hong Kong and Shanghai trade fair so as to consolidate its mission of serving the leather and fashion industries.