An efficient path to customers

Date: 26 November 2009
Source: Messe-Duesseldorf
When faced with a generally difficult economic environment the maintaining of existing contacts and acquisition of new customers is more important than ever, a fact which also applies to the companies in the glass industry and their suppliers.

Being present as an exhibitor at a leading international trade fair provides the best preconditions for achieving this.

The global financial and economic crisis has also left its mark on the glass industry worldwide. In particular the flat glass industry, which is heavily dependent on the construction and automobile markets, has had to contend with considerable sales declines in 2009. An example of the trend on an international level is the situation facing the German glass industry. Following increases in the first nine months of 2008, sales slumps in the fourth quarter resulted in a marked decline in production. The flat glass sector was particularly badly affected by this. Overall, according to the annual report published by the Federal Association of the German Glass Industry (Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V. – BIV), although the glass industry was still able to close 2009 with turnover for the year of 8.57 billion Euro and slight growth of 0.2 percent (flat glass production: plus 5.3%, flat glass finishing: minus 1.4%), for 2009 the association expects a considerable decline in total turnover.

The suppliers are also automatically affected by this trend and this is clearly confirmed by the situation for the world’s leading German manufacturers of glass machinery and plant. They too had to face declines from the fourth quarter of 2008 onwards. Overall, according to information from the VDMA (German Engineering Federation), although the sector, with sales for the year of 834 million Euro, was still able to register increased growth of 13 percent compared to 2007, for the outgoing year the mechanical engineering companies also expect a much lower sales level.

Active market servicing

Worldwide the companies of the glass industry and their suppliers are responding to the sales crisis with economy programmes and parallel to these measures are intensifying their sales and marketing activities. The intensive servicing of regular customers and new customer acquisition currently has the highest priority. An ideal framework for this is provided by participations at international trade fairs, because they offer much more than a pure product and services exhibition. Marketing experts agree: no other marketing or sales measure enables so many valuable customer contacts to be cultivated and developed in just a few days.

An example here is glasstec – International Trade Fair for Glass Production - Processing – Products, the world’s leading trade fair for the international glass industry and its suppliers. The fair has a focus on glass machinery, glass industry as well as glazier’s trade and will be held in 2010 from 28 September to 1 October in Düsseldorf.

It offers a unique platform for product innovations, forward-looking processing technologies and new glass applications. “The unique thematic spectrum at glasstec attracts trade visitors from all over the world to the Düsseldorf exhibition halls. For the internationally operating manufacturers of glass machines and plant the setting is perfect for presenting their products and cultivating and developing customer contacts”, explains Dr. Bernd-Holger Zippe, Chairman Glass Technology Forum within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), looking at the visitor structure at the international trade fair. Anyone who exhibits in Düsseldorf can be sure that their clientele is also present there. Also of great interest to exhibitors at glasstec are for example the numerous architects who visit the exhibition halls, the "glass technology live" Special Show and the parallel international architect’s conference to obtain information about the latest developments and trends in architectural glass applications.

Over half the total of around 55,000 trade visitors at glasstec 2008 came from top management echelons. The significance of this high share of so-called decision-makers for the exhibitors is revealed by a representative survey - commissioned by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Ausstellungs- und Messeausschusses der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. - AUMA) and conducted in October 2006 - of 500 companies who exhibit at trade visitor-orientated fairs. When questioned about the objectives of their trade fair participation, 92 percent of the responses stated new customer acquisition, 88 percent regular customer cultivation, 85 percent the presentation of new products/services and 70 percent the development of new markets. The fact that these targets are attainable at international trade fairs is confirmed by trade fair success trainer A. Peter Kunzweiler from the Düsseldorf-based company ProConception GmbH & CO KG. “When applied correctly, trade fair participation is still the most effective marketing instrument of all”, explains the specialist in trade fair marketing and employee qualification. He said that in addition to an impressive fair stand, the essential prerequisite for a successful participation is however also a well-trained, active stand personnel.

Opportunity also for small and medium-sized companies

When it comes to trade fair participation, companies often state the costs associated with a fair stand and the uncertain amortization as the reason for non-involvement. In addition to the expected direct business deals and transactions at the fair, the long-term effects of trade fair participation should however also be taken into consideration, says Mario Wille, Executive Director of the medium-sized glass fitting manufacturer MWE Edelstahlmanufaktur GmbH, speaking from personal experience. “Particularly at times when we have difficult general parameters, it is important to be present at a trade fair of such significance for the sector as glasstec and to show your products and services to the international trade world. The many new contacts made on our stand in recent years have later developed into long-standing business relations.” The diverse visitor structure at a trade fair enables contacts to be made with potential customers, who it is difficult to reach or who cannot be reached at all via classic sales and marketing. In relation to glasstec, this applies to small and medium-sized companies from the glass industry, glass engineering and glazier trades. No other trade fair any where in the world offers a better environment enabling you to recommend yourself to a gathering of (inter-) national trade visitors as the supplier of individual special products or as a professionally competent implementation partner.

Press Contact glasstec 2010

Sebastian Pflügge/Corinna Kuhn

Tel.: +49(0)211/4560-464 or -598

Fax: +49(0)211/4560-87 464

E-Mail: or

600450 An efficient path to customers
Date: 26 November 2009
Source: Messe-Duesseldorf

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