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October 1, 2004

4 Min Read
K 2004 is less than a month away—are you ready?

If you’ve been to NPE, you know what a big plastics trade show is like. When it comes to K, however, you’ll have to ratchet up your expectations. Think orders of magnitude bigger. The exhibits are bigger, the crowds are larger, and the sheer mass of exhibition space can take days to cover fairly. But done right, you can leave K with a wealth of knowledge about the new molding, materials, and moldmaking technologies that are shaping this industry.

Before you go, do your research and make sure you understand which exhibitors you’re going to see and when. K does a nice job of grouping like technologies (for instance, all injection molding machine makers are confined to a couple of halls).

Don’t forget your German-English dictionary before you go, and prep your palate for schweinshaxe and wiener schnitzel (pork shin and breaded veal cutlet). And you’d better like beer. For K newbies, IMM offers these travel and dining tips for managing K and Düsseldorf.

Getting Around

Inside the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds there is exactly one way of getting around: your feet. Treat them well. To and from the fairgrounds and the city, as well as around the area, your choices of transport are abundant. On the K website (www.k-online.de) you will find travel information in the Hotel & City Info category.

  • Getting there by air. Düsseldorf International Airport (www.duesseldorf-international.de) is connected to 180 other airports on four continents by 70 airlines. It is only 3 km from the fairgrounds, connected by Bus 896 or a e10 taxi ride that takes 10 minutes—if it’s not rush hour. The S1 or S7 trains take you to the main train station, Düsseldorf HBF in the city center, in 25 minutes.

    Düsseldorf-Moenchengladbach Airport is 25 km west of the city. Bus line 010 gets you to the local train station for a ride to Düsseldorf HBF. The Cologne-Bonn Airport is south of Bonn. A shuttle from the airport to the Cologne (Köln) train station and a train from there to Düsseldorf HBF will take about 1.5 hours total.Getting there by train. If you land in another airport in Europe, there are many train connections to Düsseldorf. For example: Amsterdam, 2.5 hours; Brussels, 3.5 hours; Paris (Thalys train to Köln), 4.5 hours; Zurich, 6.8 hours; Frankfurt, 2 hours; Munich, 5.5 hours; Stuttgart, 3.7 hours. More than 1000 trains stop in Düsseldorf every day and a Messe Düsseldorf info desk is open in the main station during the show.4For information: Call +49 (180) 599 6633 or visit www.bahn.de (click on "Int. Guests" for English).Places to stay. There are many travel services that can be accessed via the Internet; just search for "Düsseldorf hotels" or check the official K website. Your best bet if booking late—it already is late; be prepared for sticker shock—would be the city’s tourist agency, which works closely with show management. Düsseldorf Marketing Tourismus can organize tours and package deals, reservations, and even show ticket presales. Their office is opposite the main rail station.4For information: Call +49 (211) 172020 or e-mail [email protected].Getting around the fair and town. Congratulations—you’ve made it to the bonus round. First, remember that in German, U-Bahn is pronounced "oo-bahn," not "you-bahn," but if you say "you" most Germans will know what you mean.Getting around Düsseldorf is almost as easy. For the trip between the fair and the city center, you can take the U78 and U79 tram/subway lines and Bus 722. The bus stops at all the show entrances. The tram stops marked Messe Ost (east) and Messe Nord (north) are within walking distance of those entrances. The U78 also goes to the Eingang Nord (North Entrance), and leaves from there for the return trip.Some of the city’s 1350 taxis queue at fairground entrances, but it is you who will queue at closing time—though not for long. A ride between the fairgrounds and the train station is e15 and 15 minutes; to and from the Altstadt (Old Town) takes a few minutes less and about e 13.Finally, show management and the VRR (Rhine-Ruhr Regional Transport Network) have come up with the offer you can’t refuse. The KombiTicket, which is included with your admission as an exhibitor or attendee, lets you ride free on the trams, buses, and trains (second class) in the VRR zone. That includes a fairly large area around Düsseldorf and the city itself, but not Köln/Cologne. It’s valid from two days before the show starts until two days after closing. Any admission ticket is your "ticket to ride."

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