“For the first time since EMO Hannover 2019, METAV 2022 will once again give the sector the opportunity for face-to-face customer contact and extensive networking in Europe’s largest industrial hub,” enthuses Martin Göbel, Director Trade Fairs at METAV organiser VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), Frankfurt am Main. Trade visitors will finally be able to check out at first hand again the latest products, practical solutions and innovative services, to discuss with experts and, of course, to invest in equipment. Numerous manufacturers are already eagerly seizing this opportunity. Over half of the more than 400 exhibitors who registered for METAV 2020 have already confirmed they will be returning for METAV 2022.

After more than a year of digital events and virtual conferences, and of restrictions on face-to-face contact and travel, one thing has become clear: no digital solution can fully replace personal contact with customers and business partners. “This is the feedback we’ve been getting from exhibitors,” reports Stephanie Simon, VDW Trade Fairs Project Officer and responsible for the METAV. In addition, SMEs in particular use international trade fairs in Germany to boost their export business. This is what 70 per cent of manufacturing sector respondents stated in a recent Auma survey taken in April this year. There has also been a turnaround in business sentiment in the last few weeks. Demand is picking up rapidly again, especially in China and the US. There is also seeing a revival of economic activity in Europe. The METAV allows exhibitors to reach potential clients not only in Germany but also Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Austria and Switzerland.

Nevertheless, METAV organiser VDW is also planning to supplement the event with digital formats. “Hybrid trade fair concepts are the future,” predicts Martin Göbel. “Matchmaking, web sessions and other online formats allow exhibitors to reach additional customer groups and increase their reach. We certainly don’t want our customers to miss out on this possibility,” he adds.

The VDW itself also maintains contact with its customers in digital form. Instead of printed brochures or PDF files, exhibitors benefit from interactive e-publications containing all kinds of information about the METAV together with the registration documents: exhibitor and visitor statements, videos, picture galleries, text and graphics. Available at www.metav.de.