By Chris Smith, European Plastics News, a Crain publication
Duesseldorf, Germany -- K 2010 show organiser Messe Duesseldorf announced 4 Nov that more than 220 000 visitors attended the German event during its eight-day run, down by around 9 percent on the 2007 figures but considerably more than is internal expectation of around 200 000.
Speaking at a wrap-up press meeting on the last day of the show, Messe Duesseldorf president and ceo Werner Matthias Dornscheidt said the fair exceeded the expectations of both organiser and exhibitors.
"When K 2010 closes tonight we will have registered more than 220 000 visitors. As we expected about 200,000 this is a delight," he said.
Commenting on the mood of the show, Dornscheidt said the spirit of exhibitors was very high. "We have not received a single complaint and I am proud of that as we have 3100 exhibitors here. All are reporting a real willingness of customers to enter into serious discussions and contracts," he said.
While visitor numbers were down by almost 10 percent on the 2007 level, Dornscheidt attributes that more to the record level of activity in the global plastics market rather than the current situation.
"Back in 2007 the industry was in a boom phase. When that came to such a dramatic end no-one could have expected that this K would have been so good or that the turnaround in Germany would happen so fast," he said. was down to 54 percent.
Dornscheidt said that the biggest growth in visitors was from the Asian region, which represented around 30,000 visitors. While a number of exhibitors remarked that they had seen fewer Chinese visitors, Dornscheidt said visitor attendance from China was at about the same level as in 2007.
More than 10 000 visitors to the 2010 show were drawn from Latin America and around 6800 from North America.
Dornscheidt's positive comments were echoed by Ulrich Reifenhaüser, chairman of the K 2010 Exhibitor Council as well as chairman of the German VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery.
"What we are experiencing here is a K show that has happened just at the right time to give the upswing impetus," he said.
"The upswing we have seen here is not limited to the German exhibitors. I know that the Italian exhibitors have also seen an upswing. This is a worldwide improvement.
Dornscheidt said that Messe Düsseldorf was now turning its attention to the next K show, which will take place 16-23 Oct, 2013.
One of its challenges will potentially be space allocation, as some of the major exhibitors that cut their stand space after the 2007 event may now want to grow again.
"Some of the big companies were careful and took a little less space. We only have 285,000 square meters gross space and if they want more that will mean less for others. But we will of course try to arrange it if they ask," he said.
Close to 60 percent of attendees at this year's event came from outside of Germany, a figure similar to the 2007 event. However, while 57 percent of foreign visitors at the previous show were from Europe, this time the proportion