From 24 to 28 October 2006 Düsseldorf became the global meeting point for the industry. Over 54,000 visitors gathered information on current products and trends in the glass industry, in glass machinery and equipment as well as in the glazier trade. Compared to glasstec 2004 the visitor participation increased slightly (53.752). The majority of the exhibitors praised the high quality of the vistors which was reflected in numerous business contracts. In addition, exhibitors expect a positive post show business. Altogether over 1,300 companies, associations and research institutes from 46 countries were presented to the international trade audience.
Summarising trade fair results, Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, said: “glasstec is the only trade fair worldwide to showcase the entire spectrum of the glass sector and has proven again this year that the innovative potential of glass as a construction material and the operational excellence of manufacturers, finishers and machinery manufacturers is far from being fully exploited.” He went on to say that especially such forward-looking areas as thin special glass, insulation glass, laser technology, photovoltaics and solar thermal systems met with avid interest among visitors. 60% of visitors, he said, were particularly interested in these innovative topics. Siegfried Glaser, Chairman of the glasstec Advisory Board, summed up the general assessment of the event by saying: “Both exhibitors and visitors are in high spirits! The glass business thrives on innovation, high technology and reliability – and glasstec, as the “innovation show” has once again presented tomorrow’s visions.”
Exhibitors highly appreciate the international standing of this trade fair: “In our view glasstec is the most important trade fair for the global glass industry. Here you find all nations and customers with high purchasing potential united in one place,” says Florian A. Stoffel, Managing Director at Bystronic from Switzerland. Approximately 60% of visitors came, not from Germany, but from one of the 84 foreign countries ranging from Argentina to South Africa. Furthermore, over 70% of these visitors were executives with decision-making powers.
Also meeting with avid interest among visitors was the Special Show “glass technology live“ with its accompanying symposium. 94% of visitors rated the Special Show positively and for 77% the Special Show formed a key component of their visit to glasstec. “glass technology live“ was conceived of and organised by Prof. Stefan Behling, Senior Partner at Foster and Partners London office, in cooperation with his team from Stuttgart University. The Special Show presents innovations and visions of the glass industry ranging from coloured thin-film cells and switchable glass to the world’s largest free-span all-glass staircase. This year the Special Show was entitled “Houses of the Future” and impressively demonstrated the varied applications of glass in both technical and aesthetic terms. The exposition was accompanied by a Symposium addressing different focal topics each day. Renowned speakers from leading research institutes, associations, companies and architects’ offices presented lectures on current and forward-looking subjects such as “Emotion and Materiality” or “Glass and Energy”.
The ground-breaking importance of “energy efficiency” and, hence, the latest technological development for the future was also clearly outlined by Christa Thoben, the Economics Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, in her opening address: “We are living in the energetic Stone Age in North Rhine-Westphalia and simply must tap into the efficiency potential that glass offers us. Glass is a construction material with a bright future.”
The next glasstec will be held in Düsseldorf in October 2008.
Some photos from glasstec 2006:
copyright © Rene Tillmann