High expectations for K 2013 exceededMüller Ahlhorn
Düsseldorf | 24.10.2013
Companies from the plastics and rubber industry came to Düsseldorf for their most important trade fair worldwide, K 2013, with high expectations.
A sector economy that has been picking up for months and the certainty of the companies that they will be able to present groundbreaking product innovations for all areas of the value chain had raised justified hopes for a good trade fair and lively post-fair business.
Companies from the plastics and rubber industry came to Düsseldorf for their most important trade fair worldwide, K 2013, with high expectations. The fact that the sector had been picking up for months and that the companies were certain that they would be able to present groundbreaking product innovations for all areas of the value chain had raised justified hopes for a good trade fair and brisk post-fair business. And expectations were even exceeded during the eight days of the trade fair. The exhibitors unanimously reported a large number of concrete project enquiries, intensive negotiations with trade visitors from all over the world and a remarkable number of business deals, some of them spontaneous, many of them worth millions.
Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the K 2013 exhibitor advisory board, draws an extremely positive balance: “We had not expected the visitors’ willingness to invest to such an extent! The many innovative products and applications that premiered in Düsseldorf attracted the greatest attention from trade visitors. And the new products were not only marvelled at, a great many concrete negotiations have already been held and contracts signed. Many customers are expanding their capacities and investing in new technologies in order to hold their own in global competition. We are very confident about strong post-fair business and expect continued growth for our industry”.
This assessment runs through all areas of the fair and was shared equally by the more than 3,200 exhibiting raw material producers, processors and machine builders. The exhibitors particularly emphasised the once again increased internationality and the high level of professional competence of the visitors as well as the fact that an above-average number of top managers had made the trip to Düsseldorf.
The approximately 218,000 trade visitors to K 2013 came from well over 120 countries. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe Düsseldorf, and his team were delighted with the excellent response: “Once again it was very clear: K is and remains the most important event for the plastics and rubber industry! This is where completely new technologies and materials are premiered, as well as sophisticated further developments, and this is the place where these innovations are ordered. The willingness to invest was particularly high among the international guests at K 2013, with one in two of them coming to Düsseldorf with specific purchase intentions. Even though the size of the delegations from the individual customer companies has declined slightly, no company that manufactures or uses plastic goods has missed the opportunity to experience today’s innovations and tomorrow’s trends at K 2013”.
The previous event in 2010 had attracted 222,486 visitors and 3,094 exhibitors.
The results of the visitor survey underpin the exhibitors’ assessment that the internationality of the guests has increased once again: 58 percent, or around 126,000 experts, were of foreign origin. Just under half of all foreign visitors came from overseas – they even came to Düsseldorf from Angola, Burkina Faso, the Falkland Islands, Yemen, Malawi, Nepal, New Caledonia, Oman, Peru and Turkmenistan. As expected, the proportion of trade visitors from Asia represented the largest group among the foreign visitors – around 30,000 experts had come to the Rhine from South, East and Central Asia as well as the Near and Middle East. Guests from India were once again the largest group, with a significant increase in the proportion of trade visitors from China, Indonesia, Iran, Japan and Taiwan.
There was also a significant increase in the proportion of visitors from North America: Around 8,100 participants were registered from the USA and Canada, around 1,300 more than at K 2010, and around 11,000 experts came from Latin America, about the same number as three years ago. The largest contingents were made up of experts from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.
There was also a pleasing increase in the number of visitors from South Africa, with around 2,000 guests coming from there.
Among the guests from neighbouring European countries, the Netherlands dominated with 8,000 visitors, followed by France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy. There was a noticeable increase in interest from Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
The proportion of managers among the trade visitors was above average across all national borders: around two thirds belong to top and middle management. Well over half of them have a decisive or co-decisive influence on investments in their companies. The high proportion of visitors from research, development and construction is also remarkable.
Many product launches were dominated by solutions for resource conservation and energy efficiency, and the industry is characterised by the desire to produce in an environmentally friendly and at the same time cost-effective manner. The mechanical and plant engineering sector, with around 1,900 exhibitors the largest exhibition area at K 2013, was also the focus of visitor interest: almost two thirds of all visitors surveyed said that they wanted to find out more about the innovations in this sector. For 42 percent of the trade visitors, the presentations by raw materials and auxiliaries producers were of primary interest, while 22 percent paid particular attention to semi-finished products and technical parts made of plastic and rubber (multiple answers possible). The visitors came from all important user sectors – from the construction industry and vehicle construction, packaging, electrical and medical technology to agriculture. Overall, visitors to K 2013 gave top marks to the range of products and services on show in the 19 exhibition halls: 96 percent said they had fully achieved their visit objectives.
Special show “Plastics on the move
The special show at K 2013 entitled “Plastics on the move” also met with great interest among experts from all over the world. Here it became clear what contribution plastics make to a “life in motion”. The focus was on plastics’ direct contributions to the various facets of mobility, but also on emotional movement, for example through art and design. Future-oriented questions relating to the major themes of population growth, energy requirements and climate change were also addressed. At the stand opening on 16 October, former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer spoke on the subject of sustainability.
The next K Düsseldorf will take place from 19 to 26 October 2016.