It's official: 2014 was the best Fakuma ever, reports exhibitor advisory committee spokesperson Ulrich Eberhardt. With exactly 45,689 expert visitors from a total of 117 countries, attendance was well above expectation, establishing Fakuma as what Eberhardt called "a globally recognised business platform for all of the players involved in the plastics industry." While the majority of attendees still hailed from Germany, fully 33% of all visitors came from abroad, up from the last edition's figure of 31%.
Exhibitor numbers, exhibition floor space, visitor numbers and foreign participation have all demonstrated continuous growth over the past few years - with the exception of the decline in 2009 due to the recession. Despite grumblings heard about infrastructure and accessibility, available exhibition floor space at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre has been fully booked out at Fakuma for years. This year, even the reserve floor space in the foyers at the east and west entrances was occupied.
According to Ulrich Eberhardt, the Fakuma is "a marketplace for innovative solutions covering all aspects of injection molding, thermoforming and extrusion, as a trend barometer for the industry and as a lastingly important trade fair for suppliers and users of plastics technologies." This year, these solutions ranged from energy and resource efficiency, 3D printing, additive and generative processes for prototyping and production in small series to metal-plastic combinations, hybrid solutions and fastening/joining processes. In addition, many exhibitors took advantage of the opportunity offered by Fakuma to announce news and innovations, recognizing the show as a chance to reach a broad swathe of the international plastics community - a gratifying confirmation of the status Fakuma enjoys as one of the most important European plastics events.
The next Fakuma is scheduled to take place through October 13-17, 2015. Once again, the venue will be at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Center.