PLAST’06 – STATISTICAL SURVEY
Please find herewith a table containing key figures about PLAST’06, in comparison with the previous edition of the triennial show.
It is possible to see a decrease in the number of registered visitors – also because of the not completely effective control system as regards multiple possibilities of accessing the Fairgrounds which, as seen by many, made visitors’ entrances possible also not through the receptions – and a downsize of the exhibitors, mainly due to concurrent IPACK-IMA, what led most of former common exhibitors taking part at only one exhibition but that offered Italian and foreign visitors an interesting overview of the plastics packaging sector.
Furthermore, it is not to be under evaluated, as regards Asian visitors, the negative factor of the almost overlapping PLASTINDIA, in New Delhi.
Next PLAST is scheduled to take place on March 10 to 14, 2009, concurrent with IPACK-IMA again.
PLAST’06 Secretariat is at disposal for any further information whilst photos of the show can be found in the web site www.plast06.org.
ONCE AGAIN, EVERY THREE YEARS
A few days from the opening of PLAST’06, the picture of the triennal international trade show appears to have more shadows than bright spots… Let us take them in turn. Comparing the number of direct exhibitors at PLAST’06 with those of three years ago, there has been a decline of about 6%. A more difficult comparison is that of the net area occupied by the booths. In fact, thanks to the greatly superior amenities of the halls at the new fairgrounds of Fiera Milano, this year the show has for the first time enabled a significant number of exhibitors to reserve booths built on two levels. Obviously, this translates into a smaller area than that previously occupied by only single level booths… Nevertheless, without taking the intermediate floors into account, the exhibition area is down by approximately 6%, for a total that appears to have settled at around 65,000 net sqm just a few days before the trade show opens.
What are the reasons for this downturn? According to the fair management, a primary cause is the negative economic climate that has prevailed over the past few months, not only in but also in the major European markets. This deeply recessive phase has affected the plastics and rubber processing industry across Western Europe, causing companies to shutdown or relocate to more profitable regions, and likewise prompting the manufacturers of machinery and auxiliary equipment to restructure, with drastic cuts to their advertising and promotional budgets including those allocated for taking part in trade shows. The effects of this were clearly evident, within our own sector, at the trade shows held near the end of 2005 in Birmingham, Paris and Barcelona, while other product sectors such as machine tools suffered comparable declines in terms of participants and exhibition space. Another contributing factor is certainly that Italian enterprises, with their typically smaller size, have been harder hit than their generally better structured German competitors by the tendency of globalisation to disadvantage companies that operate in “old markets” (such as Europe) relative to those in the developing world. There is no doubt, however, that the reduction in the exhibition area at PLAST’06 compared with previous years is also due to the decision to stage it in conjunction with the IPACK-IMA packaging technology trade show. This was an easily foreseeable consequence, accurately predicted by the organisers, resulting from the overlap of several exhibitors who, until now, had at three yearly intervals participated in both these events spaced just a few weeks apart. However this is in our view an organisational sacrifice made to benefit the exhibitors and, especially, the visitors, many of whom operate precisely in the plastic packaging sector and will now be able to attend a single event showcasing the technology offerings as well as the raw materials used to make the plastic packaging or semifinished products that feed packaging and packing lines. Hopefully, prospective visitors from Italy and abroad will appreciate this pairing of the shows and attend, in ever greater numbers, the combined event to be held at the new fairgrounds of Fiera Milano, in the north-west outskirts of Milan.
Looking instead at the bright spots, at PLAST’06 exhibitors from 51 countries will cover the full range of technology offerings, with none of the gaps that have marred other industry trade shows (for example, where were the makers of extrusion and thermoforming lines at Fakuma in Germany or NPE in Chicago etc?).
PLAST’06 is therefore reconfirmed, despite the negative trends discussed above, as the second largest trade show in the world (and the largest of 2006) in terms of the number of machines and equipment on display, and so affords a comprehensive “state of the art” review of the process and equipment manufacturing sectors, as well as a litmus test for gauging the short and medium term prospects for the industry in Italy and Europe.
The new Fiera Milano district will, for the five-day duration of the show, become a major crossroads for exhibitors and visitors alike, with pre-registration data for the provenance of visitors confirming the international character of the event. A result achieved through concerted efforts made by the organisers of PLAST’06 to attract qualified attendees to Milan. In fact a series of 18 presentation conferences, conducted in as many foreign cities – from Cairo to Algiers, from Buenos Aires to Caracas, from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur etc. – successfully generated considerable interest in visiting the Milanese show.
As in previous editions, the central section of PLAST will group together the Italian companies (to be “set against” by their many European and Oriental competitors), and so the level of visitor interest in the individual halls will help to indicate whether “made in Italy”, as a whole, can continue to retain its long-held leadership position.
But the real moment of truth will come from 10 am on Tuesday February 14 until 6 pm on Saturday 18, when the attendance figures and surveys of exhibitors and visitors will provide the final realistic picture of PLAST’06.
IN 2006 PLAST AND IPACK-IMA TOGETHER AT THE NEW EXHIBITION COMPLEX IN RHO-PERO
PLAST and IPACK-IMA together: two large-scale events held every three years that have always been hosted by Fiera Milano will take place on the same dates (February 14-18) for the first time in 2006. The two exhibitions will be hosted in the halls of the new exhibition centre in Rho-Pero. This will be an important opportunity to test Fiera Milano’s new facilities –currently under construction – with a technical exhibition that has an international reach, and involves extensive logistical and organisational efforts.
The two organising companies, PROMAPLAST srl and IPACK-IMA srl, have decided to combine the two large-scale exhibitions dedicated to plastics and packing, two worlds that are synergetic in many ways. The result will be a wide-ranging and vast event, with almost 3,500 exhibitors (the last IPACK-IMA and PLAST, held respectively in March and May 2003, had more than 1,700 exhibitors each) and with a potential for more than 100,000 trade visitors (45,000 visitors at IPACK-IMA and 67,000 at PLAST).
The size of the exhibition will also be impressive (it will occupy a total of almost 140,000 net square meters) as will its international scope since the separate events have always attracted large numbers of overseas trade visitors, from more than 120 countries.
“PLAST and IPACK-IMA together – commented Piergiacomo Ferrari, managing director of Fiera Milano – is a great idea. Yet the potential of Milan Fair’s new complex will also be put to the test. Trade fairs have become obsolete and super specialized shows have reached their limits because they segment markets a great deal. The future is all about “system” exhibitions. The latter allow trade people to make the most of their time and visits and therefore, more than any other event, attract international visitors. PLAST and IPACK-IMA will create a large-scale event for the plastic-packing industry – through two well-established shows that are being held on the same dates, while maintaining their own identity. The trade people working in these closely-related sectors will have an opportunity to take advantage of the information and business opportunities offered.
They may ask, and rightly so, why such a useful and important synergy was not implemented before. Well, the answer is simply: because during the spring months when there is a very high turnover of exhibitions, the Fiera Milano facilities were not large enough to cope with two events of this scale and previously there was no alternative out of the city”.
“The synergy between the two sectors is strong,” observed Guido Corbella, managing director of IPACK-IMA. “Just think that 50% of packing materials are in plastic. Now we have an extraordinary showcase to display these to the world. We wanted to create a worldwide forum for plastic and packing in Milan, a cornerstone event for international trade people who are often interested in both packing and the intermediary products used. We think we are right on target: it will take just one trip to Milan to visit two showcases of excellence, side by side and featuring synergetic technologies”.
“The synergy between the two sectors – commented Claudio Celata, director of PLAST – also means that our shows have some exhibitors in common and therefore, by staging both on the same dates, each exhibition will lose some companies. Despite this, we went ahead: because we believe that staging PLAST and IPACK-IMA together will offer an extraordinary service to our visitors – especially those from other countries. And this will benefit our exhibitors as well. The objectives and programs for exhibitors not strictly related to packing will remain the same of course. Exhibitors of machinery for other applications will also benefit from a more extensive advertising campaign and more visibility for the two events”.