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October 1, 2004

8 Min Read
K 2004 Preview

It’s finally here: the world’s largest plastics industry trade show. The triennial K (German for Kunststoffe, which means “plastics”) runs Oct. 20-27 in Düsseldorf, Germany at the massive Düsseldorf Trade Fair Centre. Spread over 17 halls and 1.7 million sq ft, the show is a prime opportunity to see the latest and greatest in technology, equipment, materials, and supplies. Start packing your bags.

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. To download a pdf of technology and product highlights, click here.K 2004Dates: Oct. 20-27, 2004
Location: Düsseldorf Trade Fair Centre, Düsseldorf, Germany
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Day ticket 55 euros
Day ticket, schoolhttps://www.plasticstoday.com/college student 15 euros
Three-day ticket 120 euros
Website: www.k-online.deGetting AroundInside 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. For information: Call +49 (180) 599 6633 or visit www.bahn.de (click on “Int. Guests” for English).The spirit of inventionThe Kunststoff-Museums-Verein (Plastic Museum Society) promises more than just a “boring chemistry lesson,” at K 2004, according to the museum’s president, Edgar Schwickert. Situated at North Entrance 07 and 08, this exhibit aims to remind show attendees why we all gathered in Düsseldorf. Ten scientists and their revolutionary products, including Leo Hendrik Baekeland, who registered the bakelite patent in 1907, and macromolecule theorist Hermann Staudinger, who won the 1953 Nobel prize in chemistry, will be presented.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.For information: Call +49 (211) 172020 or e-mail [email protected] 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 tramhttps://www.plasticstoday.com/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 e13.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 Kölnhttps://www.plasticstoday.com/Cologne. It’s valid from two days before the show starts until two days after closing. Any admission ticket is your “ticket to ride.”Download more K resourcesMap of Düsseldorf Trade Fair Centre (pdf)Düsseldorf street maps (pdf)Preview of featured products (pdf)Plastics in sports
If you found yourself pondering the many applications of plastics while watching the Olympic games this summer, you weren’t alone. K 2004 show organizers have put together a mini sports arena presenting the concept, “Plastics—First Choice for Winners,” which will illustrate the contribution of polymers to sports excellence. Positioned in the center of Hall 6, the “arena” will hold a 140-seat grandstand (plastic, of course) and display islands highlighting water, street, winter, ball, and field sports. The big draw? Some athletes who participated in Athens will give live demonstrations, including members of the German Olympic high diving team.Dining in DüsseldorfMost visitors to Düsseldorf are immediately advised to indulge in two of the city’s finest gastronomic inventions: the dark Alt beer brewed in the time-honored natural tradition, and the Altstadt, the city’s Old Town. Altstadt consists of narrow lanes and old churches, along with quaint breweries and ancient pubs, hip bars and clubs, French fries, and high-quality fare. It’s easy to find your way there from the fairgrounds (see maps, opposite) and in most pubs and restaurants, the next Alt beer comes without ordering.There are several dining establishments and just as many cuisines from which to choose. Traditional German dishes include Rheinisch sauerbraten, warm floenz (blood sausage), or a hearty aehzezupp (pea soup). Don’t forget to try mostert, Düsseldorf's famous mustard.Lunch at (or near) the fairgrounds. While restaurants near the fairgrounds are few, most of the halls offer a variety of restaurants, snack bars, bistros, self-service, and carry-out facilities. There are also outdoor stands that offer sausage, crepes, sandwiches, and beer. A complete list is posted at www.k-online.de.Wining and dining beyond the fairgrounds. Düsseldorf boasts more than 220 restaurants in a variety of price ranges. A few caveats to keep in mind: After 10 p.m., most places serve only cold food.Most Düsseldorf pubs and restaurants close at 1 a.m. Nightclubs and discos stay open later than 1 a.m. Service charges are included in hotel and restaurant bills. However, it is not unusual to leave a modest tip.To get you started on your gastronomic adventure in Düsseldorf, we’ve compiled a short list of restaurants that have received high marks from Marcellino’s Restaurant Report (www.marcelinos.de).For haute cuisine:Im Schiffchen. Considered the best triple-star restaurant by many, dishes are acclaimed by diners as “pure perfection.” Pricey, but worth it. D-Kaiserswerth, Kaiserswerther Markt 9 (1st floor), +49 (211) 40 10 50. La Terrazza. This Italian gold-medal establishment offers views of the Kö (short for Königsallee, the city’s main shopping boulevard) from the second floor on Düsseldorf's Golden Mile, and is relatively affordable. Königsallee 30, +49 (211) 32 75 40. Victorian. Three floors house a bistro, one-star restaurant, and private party rooms, with menus that run the gamut from German casseroles to French and American cuisine. An excellent value for the money. Königstrasse 3a, +49 (211) 8 65 50 20. If you get homesick:Stateside Bar & Restaurant. Creative cocktails, big burgers, and quick service. Altstadt, Berger Strasse 15, +49 (211) 3 23 88 15. Louisiana. Deep South dishes. Altstadt, Bolkerstrasse 18, +49 (211) 86 58 90. McDonald's Altstadt. Neustrasse 16, +49 (211) 32 68 82.For international eateries:Café Uferlos. Salsa club. Altstadt, Rheinort 5, +49 (211) 3 23 07 65. Confetti's. Good Italian food. D-Oberkassel, Düsseldorfer Strasse 2, +49 (211) 57 26 66. Le Doc. A taste of France. Sternstrasse 68, +49 (211) 48 53 47.Quaglinos. Pasta, burgers, and salads. Rheinorthttps://www.plasticstoday.com/Rathausufer, +49 (211) 3 23 07 65.

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