The over 3,200 exhibiting raw material producers, processors and machinery manufacturers from 59 countries agreed. They particularly noted the increased internationality of the visitors, their remarkable specialist expertise and the above-average high number of top managers attending.
Some 218,000 trade visitors from more than 120 nations came to K 2013. “Once again it becomes very clear that K is and remains the most important event in the rubber and plastics industry. This is where new technologies are premiered alongside fully matured further developments and this is also where orders are placed for these innovations. Foreign visitors to K 2013, in particular, showed an extremely high willingness to invest and one in two visitors came to Düsseldorf with specific purchasing intentions in mind. Even if the size of delegations from the individual purchasing companies dropped slightly, no firm producing or using plastic goods missed this opportunity to find out about the innovations of today and the trends of the future at K 2013,” says Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president/CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. When K was last held in 2010, 222,486 visitors and 3,094 exhibitors took part.
Visitor survey results also underscore the exhibitors’ assessment about the rise in international visitor participation: 58% (126,000 trade visitors) came from abroad. Almost 50% of all foreign visitors travelled from overseas – from as far away as Angola, Burkina Faso, the Falkland Islands, the Yemen, Malawi, Nepal, New Caledonia, Oman, Peru and Turkmenistan. As expected, the proportion of attendees from Asia accounted for the largest group of foreign visitors – some 30,000 came from South, East and Central Asia as well as from the Near and Middle East. Visitors from India were again the largest group while the number of trade visitors from China, Indonesia, Iran, Japan and Taiwan rose considerably. Another increase was noted in the number of visitors from South Africa - with some 2,000 arriving from this continent.
Also posting a significant plus was the proportion of visitors from North America: some 8,100 visitors were registered from the U.S. and Canada – 1,300 more than at K 2010. On the exhibitor side, 115 U.S. companies showcased their products at K 2013, 38 of them within the two successful U.S. Pavilions which were organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by The Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI).
Some 11,000 visitors at K 2013 were from Latin America, about as many three years ago. The majority of these attendees were from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.
Among visitors from neighboring European countries, the Netherlands dominated with 8,000 visitors followed by France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy. There was also a noticeable rise in interest from Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Overall, an above-average high number of visitors with management positions participated in K 2013, with about two-thirds from top or middle management. More than 50% of them played a decisive or co-determining role in their companies’ investment decisions. The proportion of visitors from research, development and design was also considerable.
Solutions for saving resources and energy efficiency dominate many product launches and the sector is marked by the request to manufacture products in an environmentally friendly yet cost-effective way. Machinery and plant construction, the largest exhibiting sector at K 2013 with some 1,900 exhibitors, was also the focus of visitor interest: according to a survey, about two-thirds of all visitors came to gather information on the innovations in this sector. For 42% of the trade visitors the exhibits of raw and ancillary material producers were their key interest while 22% were mainly interested in semi-finished goods and technical components made of rubber and plastic. Visitors came from all key user sectors – from the building, vehicle construction, packaging, electrical and medical engineering and agriculture industries. A total of 96% gave K 2013 high ratings and confirmed that they fully achieved the goals of their visit.
A highlight at K 2013 was the special show “Plastics move the World," emphasizing the contribution made by plastics to a “life in movement." The aim was to address the direct contribution of plastics to the varied facets of mobility as well as emotional movement – for instance through art and design. Future-oriented issues revolving around the major themes of population growth, energy needs and climate change were also addressed. At the special exhibit opening on Oct. 16, Germany’s former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer discussed the issue of sustainability.
The next K trade fair will be held Oct. 19-26, 2016, in Düsseldorf, Germany.