50 years of IFAT, a success story that started out in 1966 with 147 exhibitors and 10,200 visitors and is continuing seamlessly today in 2016. Around 138,000 visitors from over 170 countries came to Munich for the anniversary edition of IFAT between May 30 and June 3, 2016.
Stefan Rummel, Managing Director of Messe München, is delighted with what has happened this year: “The feedback from all our participants was overwhelming. The further rise in participation figures is impressive proof of how for fifty years IFAT has been shaping the development of the environmental technology sector.” Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff, Chairman of the Advisory Board of IFAT and Managing Partner of Kirchhoff Ecotec, can only concur: “The exceptional performance of IFAT is continuing in 2016. Excellent new contacts were forged for our companies, in particular in the international arena. Overall IFAT has been a tremendous success in its anniversary year.”
International trade fair with a global impact
That’s an assessment shared by the exhibitors. Because this year, again, one of the outstanding features of the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management was the high level of international participation. For Ludger Rethmann, Board Chairman at Remondis, it was clear “that IFAT is still very much the uncontested No. 1 trade fair for the themes of recycling, water and services for municipal authorities and industry. This event is like a lighthouse, beaming out a strong message around the globe that we should use the resources of our planet sustainably.” Carsten Krumm, Chief Operating Officer at WILO, also shares this opinion: “In the 50th year since launch, IFAT has once again proven its value as an international sector gathering with a global impact. Almost 50 percent of the visitors who came to the Wilo booth were not from Germany. That certainly underlines IFAT’s continuing status as the world’s leading trade fair for the growth sector of water management and industry, and therefore as the most important gathering place for this sector.” Kari Kangas, CEO at Tana, agrees: “IFAT is clearly the most international show in the field and it is the only show at which Tana is present as a manufacturer.”
After Germany, the top ten countries of origin among the visitors were: Austria, Italy, Switzerland, China, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Denmark and Turkey. Strong growth on the visitor side was noted from Australia, China, Israel, Italy and Singapore. The overall proportion of visitors from outside Germany was 47 percent.
A total of 3,097 exhibitors—1,695 companies from Germany and 1,402 from around the world—coming from 59 countries, presented their innovations and new developments for the environmental technology sector on 230,000 square meters of exhibition space. At 45 percent the proportion of exhibitors from outside Germany was higher than ever before at IFAT.
Quantity and quality
The quality of the trade visitors at this year’s IFAT was also top class, as Ferdinand Doppstadt, Managing Director of Doppstadt, confirms: “As one of the biggest exhibitors at IFAT 2016, this has been a very positive experience for us. We were able to successfully present our international solutions competence to our target groups—to existing customers and new customers, and also to developers and young engineers.” For Ivan Franičević, CEO of Rasco, IFAT is “a critical and permanent part of our event calendar. The quantity and quality of contacts made during the exhibition is superb.”
Worldwide innovations platform
A particular attraction of IFAT is that for the exhibiting companies this event is a platform for presenting their innovations to the sector for the first time. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Rong, Director of Technology & Production and Vice CEO at Huber, said: “IFAT 2016 has significantly exceeded our expectations in all areas. For the Huber Group, on both a domestic and international front, this fair is therefore the most important platform at which to present our innovative products and services and for demonstrating our market position.” Alexander Mayringer, Business Development Manager at Manitou, added: “IFAT is the most important show for the Manitou Group to display our solutions for the environmental business.”
A sector gathering for doing business
In addition IFAT again presented itself not only as the sector’s No. 1 meeting place, but also as the top event for doing business. Jens Pulczynski, Managing Director at Alfa Laval Mid Europe, confirmed: “This year we were able to achieve our very high goals within just three days. We were very impressed by the interest on the part of the visitors and the intensity of the talks.” Another exhibitor also delighted with the show was Rick Koks, CEO of the Koks Group: “Our booth attracted a great deal of attention from numerous countries. Not only existing customers, dealers and suppliers found their way to our booth, but also a lot of new, interesting and international contacts have been made. More than that, even trucks have been sold and new contracts have been entered into at our booth. Our participation in IFAT in 2016 also proved that IFAT is an event that cannot missed by us.”
Picture: The crowded Entrance West during IFAT 2016