Europeans rightfully take a great deal of pride in their trade shows. They play a bigger role in the industrial culture there than they do in the United States.Sometimes the pride spills over into bragging that can get a little out of hand, however.
Fakuma, a plastics show that begin in Friedrichshafen Germany in 1981 (primarily as an injection molding show as I recall), makes this statement on its Web site:
“In its over 30-year history, the Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing has become a prominent meeting place for the industry, with international charisma. It holds second place in the overall ranking of international trade fairs for plastics. However, because of the organization cycle, it is the principal event for the industry in Fakuma years…At 85,000 m2, Fakuma occupies the entire exhibition site in Friedrichshafen and currently presents around 1,700 exhibitors. Of the around 45,000 specialist visitors from 120 countries, 30% come from abroad.”
Well, I had a great time at NPE2012 at Orlando, FL and somehow I was under the impression it would be a major plastics event globally this year.
I looked up the data:
- 1,933 exhibitors,
- 939,972 sq.ft, (87,326 sq.m) of exhibition space, and
- 55,359 visitors.
It’s not even clear what the Fakuma data are based on. The most visitors reported by Fakuma was 44,823 in 2011 when 1,630 exhibitors occupied 85,000 m2 of space.
The number of exhibitors signed up for the upcoming October show is 1,671. They will occupy 915,000 s.f. That comes up behind NPE2012. Number of visitors to be determined, but the last time I checked there was a financial crisis in Europe, which is experiencing lower overall economic growth rates than the United States.
Fakuma (which includes a broad base of processing exhibits) won’t even be the second largest plastics show held this year. Chinaplas2012, which was held right on the heels of NPE2012, attracted 109,858 visitors, 2,729 exhibitors, and sold 210,000 m2 in exhibition space.
Having said all this, I’m quite confident that Fakuma2012 will be an excellent show. In fact, so good that no exaggerations should be necessary.