Fakuma opens with fewer exhibitors but big topics for in-person talks
Organizers of Fakuma 2021 had 1,600 booth reservations early in planning for the event in Friedrichshafen, Germany. But as the show opened Oct. 12, 1,470 booths were occupied.
Bettina Schall, managing director of show organizer P.E. Schall & GmbH Co. KG, said at a press event opening the show that some potential exhibitors expressed concerns about whether they should participate. That is an understandable concern, she said.
That lower number, however, is close to the participation at Fakuma 2018, the last event prior to the pandemic, and the same amount of floor space is being used — 85,000 square meters.
Schall pointed out that Fakuma 2021 is "one of the largest presence fairs this fall." Schall's own Motek/Bondexpo fair, held earlier in October, showed the need for such trade fairs.
"Exhibitors are going with us in the new start and we are happy about this. What counts is that we are making the restart with a lively exhibition, so visitors meet each other again. This is precisely what we have waited for," she said.
Certainly there is much to discuss: recycling, climate, professional staff shortages, digitization, raw material shortages, supply chains, "and all of these themes are not at all trivial."
Fakuma Project Manager Annemarie Schur said this year's exhibitors came from 39 countries, with 800 exhibitors coming from Germany. With foreign exhibitors accounting for 12 percent of the total, Italy leads with 180 exhibitors, followed by 86 from Switzerland and 71 each from Austria and France. Schur said almost all of the exhibitors had planed to attend Fakuma 2020, but Schall was forced to cancel the event: "This was painful," she said.
"We want to go into the future with confidence, large exciting themes, such as e-mobility, circular economy, sustainability. Be assured that this Fakuma offers the platform to master this task," she continued. The image of plastics seems to have become worse than ever, Schur observed, "but they are indispensable." It is easy to say "get rid of plastics, but that is more easily said than done."