The economy is in recession in many countries and the business horizon is clouded with uncertainty, but this won’t affect turnout at Achema 2003, the world’s largest exhibition for the chemical process industries. The show, May 19-24 in Frankfurt, Germany, will feature more than 5000 exhibitors, many with products and services for the plastics industry.
The importance of Achema and the chemical process industries to Germany will be evident at the opening ceremony on May 18, when German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will give a speech.
“Achema is a strategic event. People come to plan their investment for several years ahead, so we are relatively insulated from economic cycles,” says Gerhard Kreysa, ceo of Dechema e.V., the Frankfurt-based organizer of the exposition.
And attendees will come no matter how the economy is in their countries. Dechema estimates that 200,000 people will visit the show during its six-day run at the exhibition grounds in downtown Frankfurt. Of that number, more than 40% could be from outside Germany, a testament to the show’s importance. At the last Frankfurt Achema, in 2000, a record 38% of attendees were from outside Germany.
Turnout, of course, means little if quality attendees aren’t present. Dechema says that Achema does well in attracting executive-level decision-makers. Sixteen percent of visitors are at the ceo or board member level; 40% of visitors are in what Dechema describes as the top two tiers of management; and, importantly, 44% of attendees will be first-time Achema visitors.
Attendees will not only see a huge show, but one with greater levels of comfort and convenience than at the last Achema, due to an expansion of the showgrounds. New this year is Hall 3 and the Forum, which provide enough space to group exhibitors in related industries together, thus easing the distance visitors must traverse to see companies in a specific industry, and offer room to expand.
There is certainly plenty of activity worldwide to make the show a must-see event for anyone involved with resin processing, production, or compounding. Overall, the buildup of industry in developing regions of Asia (notably China), Latin America, and Eastern Europe, is expected to bring professionals in droves from those areas to update themselves on the latest advances in their fields of interest. Western Europe and North America will be strongly represented by attendees and exhibitors. Manufacturing growth in these areas is not as explosive as in developing regions, but it is solid, sustainable, and represents commanding volumes and value.
In Germany, moreover, 2003 is the “Year of Chemistry,” and Kreysa says Dechema has worked hard to promote the show — and the chemical process industries — against this backdrop. “German public opinion about chemistry is significantly better than five years ago, and the number of chemistry students has been rising for two years… It’s a good sign for the future.”
And for the future of Achema.
Achema is part of a three-show global lineup that runs in different venues on a triennial basis. In addition to the Frankfurt show there is AchemAsia (in Beijing, May 11-15, 2004) and AchemAmerica (in Mexico City, May 12-15, 2005).
Process areas at the show include: research and innovation; engineering; mechanical and thermal processes; equipment; laboratory and analytical techniques; pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and environmental protection; packaging and storage; instrumentation, controls, and automation; and materials technology and testing.
There will also be daily panel discussions, in German, and six plenary lectures, in English.
Attendees and exhibitors can use Achema to look for positions or to fill positions. A Recruitment Forum will be offered to bring job-seekers together with employers at the show. Registration for this forum is open to attendees and exhibitors. It is free, and online at www.achema.de/recruitmentforum. This site will be accessible until July 31. During Achema, people can register at the information stand in Hall 4.2. And on May 24, registered job-seekers enter Achema for free.
For information on the show, go to the Web site: www.achema.de; or contact Dechema, tel: +49-69-7564-129; fax: +49-69-7564-304.
Achema 2003, in downtown Frankfurt, features the new Hall 3 and Forum, which give the world’s largest chemical industries process expo even more space for its broad and diverse offering.