But how have things actually turned out? Despite everything Europe’s going through and the western market situation, it looks like the year will be posting a low growth rate but with significant peaks of satisfaction which, as far as the glass industry is concerned, are coming from new markets again.
Vitrum 2011 opened on a cautiously optimistic note, featuring the first Vitrum Gourmet Festival this year in a special area at Pavilion 22.
Vitrum 2011 is quite a faithful picture of this situation, and in the four pavilions at the 17th exhibition - the most important in Europe and which takes place every two years -- visitors will be able to see for themselves the excellent state of health and highly innovative skills of Italian companies which have been very successful in sourcing very interesting demand for their products in Asia and South America. The 482 exhibitors, 251 from Italy, will have access to Europe’s most important glass showcase of the year for four days. This event attracts an ever growing number of foreign visitors (up by 3.8% over the previous event) from more than 100 countries worldwide.
The offerings will be mainly evaluated in two ways: the technological innovation and the achievement of ever higher quality levels. These are the two underlying aspects of technologies developed to achieve higher performance levels in more traditional applications (industrial glass, glass for the building and furniture industries) or for more innovative ones, such as solar energy, as well as for applications that seek to achieve a better relationship between man and his working environment (machinery with lower consumption levels and needing less servicing, longer lasting units, accessories, components and materials of a very high quality and non “aggressive” use).
The traditional Flat Glass, Hollow Glass and Energy sections will be given the same attention in the four Vitrum pavilions, demonstrating that even energy-saving technologies and those to exploit renewable energy sources have now become part and parcel of the glass industry and are the most outstanding, innovative aspect of glass companies.
On a final note the Vitrum Gourmet Festival, the very first food showcase-restaurant at an international trade fair. And where else could this be but in Italy: while every country in the world has its own style, culture and culinary excellencies, one of the finest and most readily accessible expressions of Italian creative skills is its great cuisine. The only the problem is that not always is it easy to get acquainted with the art of these master chefs first-hand: this is now possible at Vitrum with all exhibitors having the opportunity to host their clients and visitors in a special area. What will most surprise the lucky ones who get to experience this is that fine cuisine has also been able to make great strides forward because of technology. Simply put, innovation is driven by creativity and technological developments.