Strange days, indeed, as Hannover Messe gets started

Hannover Messe 2016 has had some unexpected challenges with weather, transit, and security as the world's largest manufacturing show gets underway.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media April 26, 2016

Notes from the opening two days of Hannover Messe:

Strange days: For a show that prides itself on running with German precision, Hannover Messe 2016 has had its share of unusual events. On Sunday, it snowed just before President Obama’s arrival at the Centrum for the opening ceremonies. While Hannover is in the northwestern part of Germany, late spring usually is much warmer than the 40-degree days that have greeted fairgoers this year. Snow is almost unheard of. The weather has fluctuated between clouds, bright sunshine, occasional sleet and some rain-sometimes within the span of an hour.

The tight security around Obama’s visit also was unprecedented, and it left attendees stranded outside of halls for most of Monday morning, and left several members of the media stranded inside the USA pavilion, where Obama officially opened the fair with German chancellor Angela Merkel. By 11 a.m., though, the show was opened and began to return to its normal pace.

And for good measure Tuesday morning, local transit workers went on a one-day strike, eliminating the convenient train system right to the fairgrounds. With taxi drivers very busy with the increased demand, many attendees were forced to take shuttle buses to Hannover Messe.

Cool shoes: Harting didn’t just win the Hermes Award, given to the top innovation in manufacturing. It also got the prize for the best booth uniform, that includes two-toned bowling style shoes in white and Harting’s signature yellow. Even Obama commented on the shoes during his booth tour on Monday.

Students on the show floor:

While Hannover Messe is a business show, it also has become a place where German students interested in manufacturing careers can come and meet top automation and control companies.

The Tec 2 You pavilion is where students can congregate to meet with companies and explore automation systems, but the students also are warmly welcomed in the show floor by show companies, and they travel in large groups to see up close what the future of manufacturing looks like. It’s a model for U.S. trade events of all kinds who are dealing with workforce shortage for the future.

Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media,

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See additional Hannover Messe 2016 coverage linked below.