Florian Hess emphasises the advantages of the simultaneous dates for the Hardware Fair and Usetec. The organisers of the Used Machine-Tool Fair are convinced of a positive synergy.
Herr Hess, what is your opinion in retrospect of the first occasion in 2011 in which both the venue and the name of the fair were changed?
The Usetec last year was a very good opening event. When the fair venue is changed, there is always the question of whether the customers will accept the change to the extent that one hoped for. The change was, however, well received and customers who were at first hesitant are now coming again.
What is the reaction of exhibitors and visitors to changing the date in order to coincide with the Hardware Fair?
In 2012 at the new venue we have the chance of sharing the dates with the Hardware Fair. It was not an easy decision because due to the earlier date we have less time for preparation and the exhibitors have less time to decide whether to participate. In addition, for the exhibitors showing their machines in the open the situation is unfamiliar because of the possibility of bad weather at the beginning of March. However, at least in theory, there is a great overlap of interest between the two groups of visitors, and we want to take advantage of this.
Whose idea was it to extend the scope of the fair by adding moulds and tools, and what is the aim of this?
The addition of precision-tools was decided together with the FDM, because among their members are a number of tool dealers. There are also used-machine dealers who have in the past sold tools. In this sense, the addition simply reflects an existing situation. Up till now, tools were included as a sub-group in the relevant categories: Now they enjoy a section of their own with its own name, which benefits from the knowhow of the FDM. We thus are hoping for exhibitors who are specialised in tools.
Is this intended as a deliberate link to the hand-tools shown on the Hardware Fair?
We see it as mutual support. For the same reason there are on both fairs information stands which should help to draw the attention of visitors to one of the fairs to the parallel fair. The trade associations involved in both fairs are also expected to work together.Up till now there has been great interest among the Arab countries in used machines.
What has been the effect of the current political problems on the Usetec?
We noticed this in particular when a delegation from Iran recently cancelled their hotel reservations. This is clearly due to the political situation. We read every week that sanctions are being intensified. If potential customers from Iran can no longer rely on their banks, which hitherto have been involved in finalising business deals with European companies, then nothing can be done. At the moment there is a state of turmoil in many Arab countries. It is quite possible that in some of these countries the demand will recede for some time.
Do you believe nevertheless that it will once again be possible to achieve a figure of 10,000 visitors?
This should be possible, for two reasons. One is because we are exhibiting at the same time as the Hardware Fair. This fair attracts up to 60,000 visitors of whom around 30% are industrial buyers, and there is a large proportion of foreign visitors. At the same time we have used a marketing concept from the Cologne Fair, the so-called Visitor-Promotion-Package. In this way exhibitors can, for a low flat rate, invite as many visitors as they want. Many exhibitors are taking advantage of this.
Dr. Rolf Langbein