K 2016 Receives Top Reviews

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY | K 2016, held October 16–23 in Düsseldorf, was in top form, says organizer Messe Düsseldorf. The fair for the plastics and rubber industry featured 3,285 exhibitors (compared to 3,220 at K 2013) and is said to have benefitted from the good economic state of this sector and the positive outlook for the future. Companies reported a number of new leads, with many closed deals. Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of the K 2016 Advisory Board, says, “I have never seen such a vast number of decisive customers willing to buy at a trade fair before. The number and magnitude of deals, some of which were concluded here spontaneously, as well as the many concrete enquiries about new projects, far exceeded our expectations.” 

Organizers say exhibitors confirmed that trade visitors were very serious about their business negotiations and showed a pronounced willingness to invest. In addition, they reported a higher percentage of international visitors with impressive professional expertise as well as a high number of top managers and company owners.

A total of 230,000 trade visitors (up from 218,000 at K 2013) from more than 160 countries took part in the show. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, says, “…the breakdown of trade visitors was of an exceedingly high standard. We can record a constantly good level of demand from Germany and a very high level of interest from abroad, especially from overseas.”

The results from the visitor survey support the exhibitors’ evaluation that the proportion of international guests has increased again, with some 70% coming from abroad. More than 40% of all foreign visitors were from overseas—including from as far-away as Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Oman, Madagascar, Mauritius, Surinam, and Togo. As expected, attendees from Asia accounted for the largest group among foreign guests, which increased again: Nearly 30,000 came from South, East, and Central Asia. Visitors from India again made up the largest contingent, but the number of attendees from China, South Korea, and Iran also rose significantly, says Messe Düsseldorf.

With some 6% of all foreign visitors. the proportion of visitors from the US and Canada remained stable. The US was also well represented on the exhibitor side: 119 exhibitors showed their products at K 2016, including companies within the two US Pavilions, which were organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.

With reference to visitors from neighboring European countries Italy dominated with over 10,000 visitors followed by the Netherlands (some 9,500), France (some 6,700), Belgium (some 6,300), Spain and Poland (some 5,000 each). There was a noticeable stronger participation from Turkey, Hungary, and Greece.

Approximately two-thirds of the executives among the visitors were from the top or middle management, and almost 60% have final decision making authority or are decisively involved in their companies’ investment decisions. More than 70% of the visitors said they received information on news and trends, 60% of industry decision-makers visited the trade fair with concrete intentions to invest, and 58% found new suppliers The results of the visitor survey also confirms the positive business condition in the downstream sectors of the plastics and rubber industries: 60% of the visitors rated the current situation as “very good” and “good” while the same percentage expects the condition to improve over the next 12 months.

Energy, material, and resource efficiency were the dominating themes at K 2016, organizers says, with visitors interested in new materials, innovative recycling concepts, new application areas for organic plastics, and additive manufacturing. Smart, quick and flexible lines and services was their main focus. Industry 4.0 dominated not only lectures and discussions but was also demonstrated hands-on at many stands. Says Reifenhäuser, “The possibilities the Internet of Things brings stimulates strong, serious interest—especially among younger, IT-savvy customers from throughout the world.”

Machinery and plant manufacturing, which occupied the largest exhibit area at K 2016 with more than 1,900 exhibitors, was also a main attraction for visitors: about two-thirds ranked this segment first; 46% were predominantly interested in raw and auxiliary materials, while 25% were mostly interested in semi-finished products and technical parts made of plastic and rubber.

Visitors came from the construction, automotive, packaging, electrical, medical device technology, and agriculture sectors. Reportedly, 97% reached their goal and 96% were impressed with the products on display.

Also well received, says the organizers, was the line-up of ancillary events at K 2016, especially the Special Show “Plastics shape the future” and the Science Campus. The individual themed days of the Special Show illustrated the impact of plastics on modern living environments, and The Science Campus provided an overview of scientific activities and results in the plastics and rubber sectors.

The next K staging will take place October 16–23, 2019, in Düsseldorf.

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