Tips for the interlift 2019!
Joachim Kalsdorf has been the trade fair’s project manager since it started, 28 years ago. The 59-year old gave tips for exhibitors and talked about the new features in an interview with LIFTjournal.
A new hall, new online shop and another shuttlebus line: interlift 2019 is going all out to do justice to its title as "leading world trade fair" for the lift industry.
What new features can visitors and exhibitors look forward to at interlift 2019?
Joachim Kalsdorf: Hall 2 is completely new. Its completion will be timed to the minute, at the moment it’s still under construction. It has many advantages over its predecessor: 8,500 m2 instead of 6,000 m2, completely uncluttered by supporting pillar and as a result easy to reach for exhibitor vehicles. Instead of 5 m high, its overall height is 13 m: for a vertical industry like the lift sector, this obviously has immense advantages when it comes to designing the stands. From July 2019, we'll be getting information about new features from the companies involved and will publish it at www.interlift.de.
What will exhibitors find that’s new?
Kalsdorf: For the first time, we’ll be offering our exhibitors an online service centre. Unlike previous events, exhibitors can already be at their stands from 7.00 a.m. instead of only at 8.00 a.m. This will help to ease the arriving traffic in the mornings and facilitate far more relaxed preparation of the trade fair day.
How many exhibitors have registered so far?
Kalsdorf: We’re expecting between 550 and 600 exhibitors, which is more or less comparable with 2017 (573 exhibitors). Since we have no closing date for registrations at the interlift, exhibitors can still be accommodated at the last minute. But of course, we’d then be talking about very small stands, by then the leading market players will have long since booked their large-scale participation. Incidentally, interlift is the only lift trade fair outside of China that has been able to register growth, despite the current problems in Turkey, to date one of the Top 5 lift countries at the interlift.
Do you have any insider tips on how exhibitors can grab visitors’ attention – there’s a lot of competition!
Kalsdorf: I can above all tell you what you shouldn’t do: don’t put on any deafening show. Obviously, a certain minimum size is an advantage, but you can also score points with originality. What’s very important is announcing your participation in advance, inviting customers and making them curious about your presentation. We also offer our exhibitors a range of free advertising methods. I'd always recommend inviting your most important customers to make a free visit with a guest card. Personally, I find open-design stands much better, exhibitors shouldn’t build castles.
Is Augsburg still the right location for such a big international trade fair? The city doesn’t have an airport and the number of beds is limited …
Kalsdorf: If Augsburg weren’t the right location, the interlift would never have been able to develop into the leading world trade fair in the lift sector. In addition, we offer exhibitors and visitors far more service than the big international locations. In 2019, we’ll be introducing another shuttlebus line, which will bring guests directly to the interlift from Munich Central Station. And to be quite honest: when you look at mega-cities like Istanbul, Shanghai, Moscow or Mumbai, the journey from your hotel to the fairgrounds easily takes over an hour. By contrast, Munich Airport is just under an hour away. There has been a very positive development in the number of hotel beds; by 2021 we'll have over 30 percent more beds.
Some SMEs are worried about a shift at the interlift to big industry and the major SMEs ...
Kalsdorf: Right from the very start, the interlift has been an SME-dominated component fair. If with big industry you mean the "Big Five" of the sector, they've never been here for exactly that reason – at least as exhibitors. As visitors, they're always here, after all, their market partners are almost completely represented at the interlift. Nothing about this structure has changed since 1991. As far as the big SMEs goes: they've been here from the start, just like the many smaller and medium-sized lift companies, which moreover like to see themselves placed close to the "big ones" – in this way, they also benefit from their visitors.
How do you assess the massive presence of exhibitors from South-East Asia?
Kalsdorf: The interlift is by far the most international of all lift trade fairs. There are correspondingly many Asian companies now represented in Augsburg. Unlike other trade fairs, there is no separate hall for these companies. We began with an approximately 600 to 700 m² joint participation in Hall 3. A whole range of companies moved away and can now be found in their own representative stands. They've learnt that trade fair visitors want to see products, just distributing brochures here achieves nothing. We expect Chinese exhibitors to occupy about 1,500 m² in 2019.
Ulrike Lotze conducted the interview.