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We have liftoff

The show is here, and it''s now time for our esteemed group of editors to offer you their unsolicited, yet sage advice and insights regarding K.

We couldn''t bear to tally up our combined years of K experience, but it''s a reasonable number, rest assured. In no particular order, our tips:

  • Forget the freebie queues. Do you really want to waste your time standing by a machine waiting for a fancy fruit bowl, or bucket with no handle? Chances are the machine will stop when you are second in line anyway. And even if it doesn''t, how are you going to fit the thing in your luggage?

  • Eat light. There are umpteen restaurants on the show grounds, and they are always bursting at the seams. So why not just have a snack outside? You''ll get some fresh air, and German sausages are the best.

  • Take public transport home. If you are lucky enough to have a room in Düsseldorf, it''s great value, it''s fairly regular, and you''ll be sitting down in the hotel bar before your friend who decided to take a taxi gets even a hint of his first traffic jam. Not for the claustrophobic.

  • See the sights beyond Düsseldorf. Bonn, Cologne, all of Europe, are within easy reach. Take a few days off after the show and spread your wings a tad.

  • Visit the semi-finished products hall. You never know what you might find.

  • Plan your route through the halls. It could be a long way back to Hall 1 if you miss an exhibitor. If you have to go back, use the free shuttle buses. And if you need a rest for 10 minutes and it''s raining outside and crowded in, get on a bus and take a seat.

  • Hydrate often with bottled water. For this American, finding a water fountain in Europe is akin to finding an oasis in the desert, and about as common. The tap water tastes fine, too.

  • Remember your aspirin. Düsseldorf''s specialty, Altbier, never gets old, and the K show nights often extend into early morning. Or get really crazy and go to bed early a few nights.

  • Europe=220V. North America=110V.

  • Use the International Lounge. Located at the Messe Center, it boasts comfortable arm chairs, snacks, drinks, international TV and newspapers, office services, meeting rooms, and an information desk with multilingual hostesses.

  • Use the Fair''s shopping arcade. It has a supermarket, courier service, post office, a "Fair Shop" for souvenirs, and a bank that accepts travelers'' checks and provides currency exchange. ATMs are next to the bank and at the North and East entrances.

  • Use KATI. It''s the fair''s computer-aided information service. With more than 70 terminals located in the halls, visitors have immediate access to exhibition information in five languages.

  • Consider the technical conferences. It''s 30 minutes off your feet where you can learn something and buttonhole some contacts.

  • Don''t mix your libations. Beer, wine, and even cocktails can flow as freely as resin on the showfloor-limit yourself to one family.

  • Spend euro change. For showgoers from outside the EU, especially the U.S., spend your euro change before returning home, unless you collect it. Currency exchanges in the States usually won''t take change, and if they do, the exchange fee could leave you footing the bill.

  • Pass gut auf. Take good care, as the Düsseldorfers might say, and we''ll see you at the show.

    10 things we love about K: No. 1

    News and views of the latest happenings during K 2004 are featured in the English-language Modern Plastics K Show Daily newspaper. More than 100,000 copies are distributed from the main hall entrances and at the Modern Plastics booths, EN1/4 and 5F20. Manned by a staff of 11 experienced, multilingual editors, each day''s edition brings the hottest topics from the show floor.

    Have you got breaking news about your company or organization that could appear in the next day''s issue? The Modern Plastics K Show Daily editorial offices are located on the upper level of the North Entrance building, room 211. Editorial deadline each day is 1 p.m., but play it safe and contact the office earlier with your information! Tel.: 0171 3731646, 0173 9122138, +39 339 7761494, or e-mail: [email protected].

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