Looking for an attendance bump at Hannover Fair

The first day of this conference saw lower attendance; day two could be key to boosting numbers.
By Bob Vavra, Editor, Plant Engineering April 21, 2009

Day two at the 2009 Hannover Fair could be a pivotal one for this year’s event. Day one attendance, while impressive by just about any other standard in the United States, was down noticeably from last year. That show preceded the sharp drop in the economy, which has fueled so much concern at this year’s event.

In major automation booths such as ABB, Phoenix Contact, and Siemens, traffic has been constant and solid, with product managers staying busy at all times. Still no one is suggesting that the opening day traffic would signal that the fair would attract the anticipated 250,000 attendees.

Every major political and business leader speaking at this year’s show has acknowledged the economic challenges, but all have encouraged a continued outreach to exports and growth for the manufacturing sector.

Fair organizers Deutsche Messe and the b2fair European networking initiative are actively promoting international partnerships at the fair.

"Companies have realized that now is the time to seek out the opportunities afforded by international partnerships," said Jürgen Schäfer of Handwerk International, one of the co-founders of b2fair.

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