EVERY three years, everyone who is anyone in the global plastics industry descends on the German city of Düsseldorf to do business at the leading international trade fair for plastics and rubber.
Gernot Ringling, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf Asia-Oceania, and in New Zealand recently to promote K 2010, calls the fair one of “the Olympics of industry”. “All the big players in the plastics and rubber industries are there.It’s like a gathering of the tribe – everyone knows each other, even though they come from all over the world.
“K has 13 halls alone, out of 19 in total – dedicated to machinery, raw materials and product – so it is wise to pre-plan your visit,” says Ringling. K 2010 will be held in Düsseldorf from October 27 to November 3 and 3000 exhibitors are already busy with preparations, including New Zealand company Mastip Technology, which has had a stand at every K since 1992.
Linton Nisbet, New Zealand sales manager for Mastip, says the success of their company is based on its global distribution network, and K, besides being the “biggest plastics show on the planet” is vital for maintaining business relationships. “Our continued presence cements relationships with our distributors, manufacturers and, most importantly, customers from around the globe.” Ringling says it is difficult to secure a stand at K unless you book well in advance. “The fair is over-subscribed – many exhibitors book three years ahead, from one show to the next – the deadline is 18 months prior to the show, and there’s no guarantee after that deadline. However, we would always try our hardest to find a space for a New Zealand company,” he says.
New for K 2010 is the ‘Innovation Compass’. Found at www.k-online.de, the Innovation Compass is a tool that enables users to tailor their own visit to K 2010.
“It offers a search matrix for innovations at the fair that can bring major improvements or even fundamental changes,” explains Ringling. “Thus making it possible to generate real competitive advantages.
“And, of course, it helps the 250,000 or so visitors to make the most of their time there.” Robert Laing, MD of Messe Reps. & Travel, New Zealand agents for the Düsseldorf fairs, says the three-yearly intervals for K means that the world’s big equipment manufacturers can time their major new releases and equipment updates for the show.
"K brings the whole plastics and rubber industries into focus at the one venue. Why charge around Europe visiting 30 suppliers or manufacturers when you can visit K and see them all under the same roof?” He expects around 150 visitors from New Zealand will attend the show. Terry Mischefski, MD of Expol is a regular visitor to K and goes primarily to update himself on new equipment. “Generally I go with a view to purchasing equipment one or two years down the track, then I can start planning for that purchase. “I recommend people go – I find K invaluable for increasing your knowledge on plastics machinery.”