Taking full advantage of trade fair potential for 2024

“For us METAV 2022 came at the right time to re-start. Of course, we could have done with a few more visitors, but we had a break of a few years now and can’t wait forever until the circumstances are perfect again”, says Rainer Betz, Head of Marketing and Sales at Jansen-Maschinen GmbH from Rastdorf, summarising the results of the trade fair. Sascha Gersmann, Head of Marketing at Esslinger Citizen Machinery Europe GmbH, adds: “We are always happy to be represented in person at trade fairs. The quality of visitors was right and has provided us with a successful fair despite the challenging dates with many concurrent events.” Both statements reflect the mood in the exhibition hall.

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director at METAV organizer VDW (German Machine Tool Builders Association), Frankfurt am Main, says: “The METAV dates in March were impossible to keep due to the pandemic and this is why we were forced to postpone the event to June. This proved a major drawback because over 200 exhibitors had to cancel their participation due to in-house exhibitions planned a long time in advance or due to other obligations. However, we succeeded in presenting a good solution in terms of content with the world’s leading trade fairs wire and Tube, which also had to be re-scheduled. This has increased the quality of visitors in view of their international origin and decision-making competence yet again.” The visitor survey shows that in addition to the regular METAV visitors, up to 30 percent of additional participants took advantage of the synergy effects and visited the METAV after wire and Tube.

Competent visitors with intentions to invest

This benefited the exhibitors present who were able to welcome additional competent visitors. The visitor survey also reveals that one in two trade fair visitors was in the management of their companies, one in three had their sights on a concrete investment project and almost every fourth guest was planning an investment or had solidified their investment intention as a result of their METAV visit. Moreover, seven in ten visitors stated they were directly or indirectly involved in purchasing decisions.

This competence was noticeable at the stands. Markus Horn, CEO at the Tübingen-based tool manufacturer Paul Horn GmbH, explains: “A great deal of our visitors approached us with very specific enquiries. An interesting observation of this METAV is that we welcomed quite a balanced ratio of new and existing customers to our stand.” Dominik Jauch, Managing Director of Spinner Automation GmbH, Markgröningen, shares this assessment: “We have very concrete projects at our stand every day and have already been able to conclude deals here, both with new and existing customers.” And METAV was also successful for Düsseldorf-based Sodick Deutschland GmbH, as Director of Sales and Vice-President Giuseppe Addelia explains: “Of the three machines we exhibited, we were able to sell two at METAV 2022, and we are currently in negotiations for the third. What is positive here is that only one of these three visitors was an existing customer, in two cases it was new business. Whenever we got into conversation, the moment of truth had come.”

Technology thrills visitors

The focal exhibits at METAV 2022 included machine tools, software for production and production planning, measuring devices and measuring machines, clamping devices and cutting tools.  The exhibitors used the face-to-face exhibition to exhibit a plethora of machinery. The spectrum ranged from water-jet cutting lines and machining centres to lathes, EDM machines, and 3D printers. Commenting on this Schäfer said: “It is impressive to see which machines our exhibitors have showcased. Making metal-working a ‘graspable experience’, hearing the sound of the machines and seeing current technology close-up has always been part of our DNA at METAV.” Leonardo Scardigno, General Manager at AMPioneers GmbH from Esslingen, also prompted conversations by referring to technical potential: “Many visitors came with an interest in seeing new systems and products. We often ended up talking after introducing an innovative product and showing what additive manufacturing can already deliver today.”

METAV has potential

Schäfer’s verdict after four days at the exhibition is positive overall but also contains a brief for the VDW team: “Like our exhibitors, we are relieved to finally be able to hold the exhibition again after the many challenges of the past few years. However, we have seen a METAV that took place under more challenging conditions and can’t be measured by the usual standards. Our task will be to bring METAV 2024 up to the usual level again. The potential is there: 82 per cent of the trade fair visitors were satisfied with the range of products and services on offer, 87 per cent achieved their trade fair goals at METAV. I am also encouraged by how many visitors have told us in personal conversations that they will be back again in 2024. The VDW and its largest exhibitors will work to ensure that the trade show calendar is streamlined again in the future.”

Author: Dr. Stefan Schwaneck, VDW

Save the date: the next METAV will be held from 20 to 23 February 2024 in Düsseldorf.