Exhibitors especially stressed how very well qualified visitors were - more than 70% were top managers with decision-making powers. This was also made clear both by the many deals concluded at the fair itself and by the talks held there paving the way for promising new business relationships. Commenting on the event President of the glasstec advi-sory council Siegfried Glaser said: "A very positive mood prevailed, espe-cially amongst machinery manufacturers, many of whom qualified glasstec 2004 as the best in years. Backing this up they said they had received many positive enquiries and had concluded many deals." Approx. 54,000 specialist visitors from 81 countries came to the fair on the Rhine; this meant glasstec was able to match the good results it posted at the previous event in 2002. The number of international visi-tors once again rose significantly over glasstec 2002: around 60% of visitors came from outside Germany (at glasstec 2002 the figure was 56%). "We far exceeded our fair objectives on each day of the fair. We are up 50% on the targets we set ourselves," added Christian Willers from Saint-Gobain also summing up the positive assessment of glasstec by the glass industry.
At glasstec 1,080 exhibitors plus a further 170 associations, scientific institutions and representatives from the skilled craft trades presented innovative solutions and products on net exhibition space of 65,800 m2. The interest of visitors at glasstec was primarily focused on glass proc-essing and finishing (48%), glass production (40%), glass products and applications (37%) as well as on tools, spare and wear parts (30%). 20% of visitors were especially interested in solar technology.
"This is the largest and most comprehensive dedicated glass fair around," said David Beck, Sales Manager at Grenzebach, confirming Messe Düsseldorf's success. Of particular note was the strong interest (24%) shown in the new fields at this year's glasstec - laser technology and special thin glass (primarily display glass). "The focus on these new technologies was extremely well received and they should become a fixed part of the range at glasstec," said Siegfried Glaser.
Also attending the fair with an extended range was the special show "glass technology live". In particular, it was the transparent design of the attractive exhibition and its extended range (alongside facades and a unique solar exhibition it also included interior construction using glass) that proved to be magnets for the remarkably high contingent of visitors from architect's and engineer's offices. "The special exhibition with its accompanying symposium was again received with incredibly great interest. Solar technology is now increasingly being used, particu-larly in façade construction. We took this trend into account both in the exhibition and the symposium programme. Without a doubt glasstec is a shop window on innovation," said Prof. Stefan Behling, Head of the Institute for Structural Design at the University of Stuttgart and partner at Sir Norman Foster's architects' bureau in London. "This year, for the first time, we decided to rent a stand at the fair because glasstec is the ideal meeting place for our target group architects, not purely on the basis of the glass technology live show," said Albert Müller, architectural consultant at Gartner, one of the largest façade builders worldwide.
For all those involved glasstec 2004 was a complete success. "Given the economic climate and the rather subdued mood prior to the fair this result is particularly significant. It was pleasing for all those involved to see how good visitor response was both in terms of quality and quantity. With its complete range glasstec was able to provide an international hub for the comprehensive exchange of know-how, thereby confirming its position as a leading fair in this sector," said Marianne Hohenschutz, Project Coordinator at glasstec 2004, summing up the trade fair.
The next glasstec event will be held in Düsseldorf from 24 to 28 October 2006.