Fakuma founder Paul E. Schall dies unexpectedly

Paul Schall, founder and owner of P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG, the trade fair company which organizes the Fakuma exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, died on February 19, just short of his 77th birthday.

Born February 24, 1939, as one of six children, Paul Eberhard Schall came from a family of entrepreneurs. By the age of twenty-three, he had already started his first company, which sold machinery for the graphics industry and was called Paul Schall jun. Grafische Maschinen, Neuffen. The young business owner soon discovered a talent for organizing open house events, and, in turn for trade shows, which became his passion in life. As he was later to say: “For me, doing trade fairs was never just a way of making money. Trade fairs are addictive—and, even today, I cannot imagine doing anything else.”

In 1975, Schall founded his highly successful trade show enterprise P. E. Schall KG, with headquarters in Frickenhausen-Linsenhofen, which fast became the motor for a wide range of shows—with themes varying from sheet metal processing to erotica—all staged in the southern part of Germany. Schall consistently pursued a niche market philosophy, developing promising technical topics into specialized trade fairs, which presented the full spectrum of their respective fields, all within a manageable amount of floor He combined a willingness to take risks and a constant readiness to innovate, with a conviction that trade shows should provide first class service for exhibitors and visitors alike. Paul Schall was a true pioneer of the concept of the Euro regional specialized trade fair.

The first Fakuma, an international trade fair for the plastics processing industry—the name stands for “Fachmesse für KunststoffMaschinen”—took place in Friedrichshafen in 1981.

Over the thirty-odd years since its founding, the Fakuma has become a prominent meeting place for the industry, taking place every year except the years in which a K Show is held. The 2015 edition boasted some 1,800 exhibitors, and attracted almost 46,000 visitors from all over the world.

Other major exhibitions organized by Schall’s company are Control (quality assurance), Faszination Modellbau (model construction), Motek (automation in production and assembly), Blechexpo (sheet metal), Bondexpo (bonding), Druck+Form (printing), Optatec (optical), Schweisstec (welding) and Stanztec (stamping) fairs. Subsidiary events are also held internationally.

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