The statement from the Exhibition Advisory Committee of the Hannover Fair (which now incorporates Interkama+) is full of good vibes. How much wishful thinking and how much clutching at straws remains to be seen! In any case organiser board chairman, Wolfram von Fritsch said “Rather than dwelling on the crisis and agonizing over its causes, this show was about finding the most promising ways forward.”
In the event approximately 210,000 visitors from over 80 different nations visted the 6,150 exhibitors from 61 countries. Some show!
The organisers went around the exhibitors and based on what they heard they state:
“29% of exhibitor respondents regard their current situation as “positive”, and three percent even as “very positive”. A high proportion of exhibitors – over 40% – rate their current situation as neither positive nor negative. In terms of the business outlook after the fair, 43% of German businesses expect a slight improvement in sales revenue, and four percent expect a sharp upswing. The equivalent figures for respondents from other countries are slightly higher, at 45% for a slight improvement and six percent for a sharp increase. One business in two is intending to keep domestic investment steady over the next 12 months, with 23% planning a slight increase and five percent a sharp increase.”
Obviously they play up the German economy and the wonderful things that are happening in Germany to counteract the “interesting times” in which the whole world finds itself. Nevertheless it is no bad thing to hear optimistic things in industry when we are inundated with “gloom and doom” from every quarter. And who know maybe some of it will take!
This theme of optimism is also clear in this article from the British based publication HazardEX. Quoting keynote speaker, architect Max Frisch they say, “he would emphasise that optimism is an absolute must in these difficult economic climate.”
Funnily enough Greg Hale of INTECH has a completely different perspective is one of his Hannover Reports, not contradictory but different, from this European perspective. He obviously is looking at how Europe is viewing the post-Bush US. Reporting on one of the business forums he says, “The fear of U.S. protectionism seems to be a fear throughout Europe…in a discussion focused on ‘The first 100 days of the Obama administration.'”
Personally I think that this fear, although there, is not as all pervasive as this seems to indicate. His article does however reflect the change in the European perception of the US since the new president was elected.
The English speaking automation media are as a whole strangely quiet about this show. Perhaps they will be more vocal next week when they get home – if they were there at all! I’m particularly looking forward to more from Control Engineering Europe which is usually quite perceptive. I say strange because I would imagine that they ought to have their finger on the pulse of a show that attracted over 120000 vistors and over 6000 exhibitors, albeit not all are automation oriented but a substantial number are. Compare this response to that for the ISAEXPO in Houston, which, though of great importance in the automation world, is about 10% of the size of this show. Where were you guys?
The committee themselves conclude their statement as follows: “We will all be heading home with bags full of optimism. At the beginning of the week, hardly any of us would have envisaged such a lively and motivating Hannover Messe. The products and solutions displayed here reflect our unwavering commitment to asserting our leadership role and increasing our edge on the market. All around the world, “made in Germany” stands for innovation and quality, and that’s something worth fighting for. For us, sitting around and waiting for someone else to fix this crisis is certainly not the name of the game.”
And so say all of us!
The next fair is scheduled for Apr 19 – 23; 2010