All good things must come to an end, even K 2016, ‘the best, most dynamic and exhilarating’ K Show ever, according to Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the K 2016 Advisory Board. His view was echoed by the exhibitors, visitors and organizers of the exhibition, all of whom were unanimous in their satisfaction at the way the massive, eight-day event had gone.
One of the things that made this K so special was that many of the visitors who came, came with shopping lists and their wallets out. As Reifenhäuser rhapsodized: “I have never seen such a vast number of decisive customers willing to buy at a trade fair before! The number and magnitude of deals, some of which were concluded here spontaneously, as well as the many concrete enquiries about new projects by far exceed our expectations!”
“It was clear from day one that customers wanted to not only find out about new technologies but also purchase them. There is strong investment in all our customer industries and in all regions of the world.”
The sheer number of visitors - an impressive 230,000 in total – demonstrates that the trade show has lost none of its appeal or importance over the years. “We can record a constantly good level of demand from Germany and a very high level of interest from abroad, especially from overseas,” said Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. “It is known the world over that K in Düsseldorf is THE innovation platform for the entire sector. A visit here is simply indispensable for everyone wanting to stay ahead of the competition.”
Some 70% of visitors came from abroad. More than 40% of all foreign visitors were from overseas – including from as far away as Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Oman, Madagascar, Mauritius, Surinam and Togo. Asians accounted for the largest group among foreign guests, with India in the lead with 11,542 visitors alone. The percentage of attendees from US and Canada held stable at 6%. Of the European countries, the largest group of visitors came from Italy - over 10,000, in total - followed by the Netherlands with about 9,500, and Belgium (6,300).
What delighted exhibitors most was the high percentage of executives that attended the show with decision-making powers. The K Show affects investment decisions: almost half the visitors stated that they waited for the trade fair before deciding on any purchasing projects. Having the decision-makers there was a decisive factor in the number of deals closed.
According to the visitors’ survey, machinery and plant manufacturing, which occupied the largest exhibit area at K 2016 with over 1,900 exhibitors, was a main attraction for visitors: about two thirds ranked this segment first. 46% were predominantly interested in raw and auxiliary materials, while 25% were mostly interested in semi-finished products and technical parts made of plastic and rubber.
Energy, material and resource efficiency and, especially, Industry 4.0 were the dominating themes at K 2016. As Reifenhäuser pointed out: “The possibilities the Internet of Things brings stimulates strong, serious interest – especially among younger, IT-savvy customers from throughout the world. Industry 4.0 is a theme of the future that will keep us busy for years to come.”
The next K Show is scheduled to take place from October 16 – 23, 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany.