Trade fair grounds completely booked out

Full house at Messe Stuttgart with Blechexpo, Schweisstec and In.Stand – participants delighted with personal interaction

Over a thousand exhibitors attending Blechexpo, Schweisstec and In.Stand, the three trade fairs that run parallel, meant a full house for Messe Stuttgart at the end of October 2021 for the first time since the pandemic started. After successfully reopening for trade fair business in September, this represents yet another step back to normality. “That our business operations have returned to full capacity after a year and a half of lockdown is a milestone that we have long been waiting for. The joy and relief is palpable, not only among the organisers but the exhibitors and visitors too,” says Stefan Lohnert, President of Messe Stuttgart. “Trade fairs are particularly important for many companies, especially those in the technology sector, as they are used to communicate the latest innovative ideas and developments in the respective industry.” Messe Stuttgart's Safe Expo, a sophisticated safety management concept involving access control, wide aisles and spacious catering areas, has provided the ideal setting for a relaxed trade fair visit.

Speakers at the opening press conference for the two guest events and the flagship trade fairs Blechexpo, international trade fair for sheet metal working, and Schweisstec, international trade fair for joining technology, used the event to emphasise the importance of personal interaction for their industry. All were in agreement that customers are looking to produce more variations, in smaller quantities and in less time. At industrial machine manufacturing company Trumpf, this demand is being met with a stronger focus on digitalisation and networking, a “Smart Factory” approach, with the aim of keeping unproductive process times in manufacturing to a minimum.

Welding expert Lorch is providing additional support for its employees in the form of the welding cobot (collaborative robot) that can be easily programmed by the welders on site. Small and medium-sized businesses are being targeted here, as Germany is already experiencing a shortage of around 100,000 trained welders and there is no sign of this trend improving. 

For Schuler, the world's largest manufacturer of presses, digitalisation is also a key focus. Modern presses are now able to identify maintenance requirements early on. The customer receives an email from Schuler requesting, for example, that he refill the lubricating oil, well before the low oil level negatively affects the machine and subsequently production.

Ground-breaking developments like this one can really only be adequately explained and the potential solutions outlined in person. “In these highly innovative industries, personal encounters are essential. The trade fairs are highly anticipated events for everyone involved. We were also very lucky that Blechexpo and Schweisstec could take place as normal in 2019 and continue in their usual two-year cycle without any great upset,” explains Bettina Schall, Managing Director of P.E. Schall GmbH & Co.KG and organiser of both trade fairs. “With a superb atmosphere and top-notch accompanying programme, the chance to share experiences with cutting-edge technology for detailed and system solutions in the production of sheet metal, profiles and pipe parts was embraced. The trade fair halls were full and the exhibitors appeared to be more than satisfied. There really is nothing that can replace attending a trade fair in person,” she concluded.

In.Stand, the trade fair for maintenance and services, a home-grown event from Messe Stuttgart that took place for the first time in 2019, also left a positive impression on exhibitors. Many were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of visitors, which exceeded expectations. Visitors arrived at the trade fair stands with specific project requests, which they wanted implemented quickly. A digital platform meant external participants were also able to “attend” via the studio livestream. Popular topics included predictive maintenance, retrofitting, spare part management and modernisation in general.