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(c) Neonyt/Messe Frankfurt GmbH
30.03.2021

Circularity and Fashion: Interview about the Business and Communication Platform Neonyt

Circular instead of throwaway economy - from fast fashion to zero-waste philosophy. The key elements of the circular economy in the fashion business are: Avoiding waste and pollution through new processes, continuous recycling of products and materials, and regeneration of natural systems. Textination talked with Olaf Schmidt, Vice President of Textiles & Textile Technologies, and Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director of Neonyt, from Messe Frankfurt about the Neonyt trade show as a business and communication platform for circularity & fashion.
 
It has been about 10 years since Messe Frankfurt ventured onto the "sustainable" fashion trade show stage. Initially with the Ethical Fashion Show, then with the Greenshowroom, there were two trade show formats in Berlin dedicated to the topic of green fashion. What prompted you as a trade show organizer to launch such a special format in Germany at that time?

Circular instead of throwaway economy - from fast fashion to zero-waste philosophy. The key elements of the circular economy in the fashion business are: Avoiding waste and pollution through new processes, continuous recycling of products and materials, and regeneration of natural systems. Textination talked with Olaf Schmidt, Vice President of Textiles & Textile Technologies, and Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director of Neonyt, from Messe Frankfurt about the Neonyt trade show as a business and communication platform for circularity & fashion.
 
It has been about 10 years since Messe Frankfurt ventured onto the "sustainable" fashion trade show stage. Initially with the Ethical Fashion Show, then with the Greenshowroom, there were two trade show formats in Berlin dedicated to the topic of green fashion. What prompted you as a trade show organizer to launch such a special format in Germany at that time?

Olaf Schmidt: Messe Frankfurt's Texpertise Network brings together the world's most important textile trade shows - at around 60 events worldwide, we show what drives the textile and fashion industry. We present the current topics and trends and set impulses for the entire textile value chain. Messe Frankfurt recognized the need for a suitable platform for the future topic of sustainability at an early stage. It was therefore obvious to expand our expertise in the field of fashion and to meet the demand from this segment. To achieve this, we have adapted and realigned existing formats: After launching the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris in 2004, Messe Frankfurt France took over the event in 2010. Two years later, Messe Frankfurt founded the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin in Germany and found, with the moving of the event to the polarizing capital, the ideal location for the coming years. Messe Frankfurt merged the already existing Greenshowroom with the Ethical Fashion Show, and from January 2015 the two shows took place in one venue. For Messe Frankfurt, hosting these events was the next logical step on our way to a sustainable fashion future - the concept is now established in the sustainable fashion market and has a continuous growth potential. The merging of the trade show duo in 2019, with the current name Neonyt, allowed us, our exhibitors and visitors a new content orientation and a holistic approach to the topic of sustainability as well as a more direct access to the conventional fashion market, especially with regard to retail. In summer 2021, Neonyt will take place for the first time in the new fashion hotspot Frankfurt as part of the new Frankfurt Fashion Week.

 
In 2019, both event formats were merged, the new trade show Neonyt was born and 1 + 1 became what? What components does Neonyt offer in addition to the previous trade show concepts, what is so "new-new" and how did you actually come up with the name?

Thimo Schwenzfeier: One plus one, as you so nicely put it, did not simply add up to two with Neonyt. One plus one equals unique, neo-new, internationally relevant: Among other things, the trade show business was supplemented by the international conference format Fashionsustain and a showcase to gradually bring
together the topic of sustainability with the topics of technology, innovation and prepress. Our content creator format Prepeek ensures the necessary lifestyle and the fashion show provides the glamour of the fashion world. Neonyt combines the most important elements of the international textile and fashion industry - style, business, inspiration, innovation, knowledge, fun and community. And that is exactly what makes Neonyt so "new-new". Progressive and polarizing - the artificial word Neonyt is derived from the ancient Greek word "neo" (eng. new, revolutionary) and the Scandinavian word "nytt" (eng. new). "The renewed new" - Neonyt is our synonym for the fundamental transformation process of the textile and fashion industry, a reinterpretation of what has already been there and our commitment not to stand still and to promote positive change together.

 
For the Neonyt trade show format, you have teamed up with partners - for example, for conferencing components and in the design area. What expertise do they provide, and what is the added value for exhibitors and visitors?

Thimo Schwenzfeier: We know which future topics our brands and the community are currently dealing with and therefore create the right platform - for personal encounters and exchange, for networking and successful business deals. To put it simply: we organize trade shows, we organize events, we provide the right setting, we connect people and business. Neonyt therefore forms the global interface between the various players in the textile and fashion industry - between industry, trade, politics, services and consumption. And so that a lively, transparent and, above all, authentic dialog can develop between all counterparts, we naturally draw on the knowledge of industry experts and form strong partnerships to push fashion and sustainability forward. Only together can we achieve real change and guarantee that our community is provided with sufficient and, above all, the right information to make self-determined decisions.
 

In recent years, the keyword circularity - or rather closing the loop - has been encountered everywhere in the fashion industry. Whether Stella McCartney, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, or large retail groups - many players and decision-makers are of the opinion that the future of the fashion world lies only in a circular economy and not in downcycling of any kind. What is Neonyt's view on this?
         
Thimo Schwenzfeier: That's right, the concept of circular economy is not new, nor is it limited to the textile and fashion industry. Circularity - actually the ultimate for every product, every industry, for our global society. The concept is supposedly simple: All materials and products are kept in a closed loop, the useful life is increased and at the end of the product life cycle everything is recycled. Many sustainable fashion labels are already showing how it's done. Neonyt brands are right at the forefront and are already implementing practices that should become the norm as soon as possible: starting with T-shirts or shoes made from recycled materials and take-back systems for collection items. As well as compostable clothing that "dissolves" at the end of the product life cycle and breaks down into its natural components, and on to repair services and leasing models for denim and co. - thinking holistically, acting in a sustainable manner and producing in a circular way are definitely the trends of the coming fashion seasons and at least one important, if not the most important, component of the future fashion world.

 
For the idea of a circular economy to be implemented successfully, there needs to be an interplay between technology, production, design and sales. What presentation options and forms of communication does Neonyt have in store for the various components?  

Thimo Schwenzfeier: The combined innovative power of technology, sustainability and digitization is an important driver of the current developments in the textile and fashion industry - including the topic of circularity. Processes and production sequences are changing along the entire value chain - the industry has to reinvent itself for the most part. Neonyt shows how this can work successfully in the long term, with the internationally established Fashionsustain conference format - including spin-offs in China, Europe and the USA - and the supplementary Showcase. Together, these two formats offer the ideal mix of orientation and inspiration to prepare the industry for the future. Virtual fashion, authentic brands and textile value chains, science and innovation as well as retail, business models and impact investment - at Fashionsustain, top-class experts will exchange ideas with an interested professional audience and discuss the change and new solutions in the textile and fashion industry. The Neonyt Showcase takes a deeper look at the topics and innovations presented and discussed on the Fashionsustain stage. Expert knowledge on-demand, so to speak: whether microfactories or installations - Neonyt brands as well as brands from the rest of the Texpertise Network of Messe Frankfurt, such as exhibitors at Texprocess, get the chance to present sustainable innovations, new technologies and materials, initiatives, change-maker campaigns or research projects. Here they interact directly and practically with Neonyt's international cross-sector community.
 

Last year was an unprecedented challenge for trade show companies due to the pandemic situation. Neonyt was also affected by this - and physical events had to be canceled. With a digital format "Neonyt on Air" you have tried to offer exhibitors and visitors an alternative platform. What has been your experience: Did the focus of the trade show and its community perhaps even help to make such a virtual event easier to launch? 

Olaf Schmidt: Corona has already changed a lot and will certainly continue to do so in one way or another. Nevertheless, it will continue to be our task as trade show organizers to offer the industry the best possible meeting platforms for presenting their new products worldwide. We are convinced that people will continue to want to meet in person and discuss new products as well as services in the future. This is particularly the case in the textile sector, where haptics plays a very crucial role. We expect that there will even be a certain catch-up effect after the crisis. Because what the last two very successful digital seasons of Neonyt on Air, for example, have nevertheless shown clearly: Fashion lives from personalities, presentation and inspiration. Digital formats can support this, but they cannot fully replace it.
 
Thimo Schwenzfeier: The digital Neonyt on Air was far from being a total replacement for the original physical seasons, but nevertheless a huge success. For one week, fashion, lifestyle and digital experts were discussing about more authenticity, immediacy and transparency in the textile and fashion industry in numerous keynotes, interviews and panel discussions. With more than 24,000 international followers on Instagram, we generated around 50,000 impressions and more than 4,700 content interactions with our presenting partners Grüner Knopf, Hessnatur and Oeko-Tex in just five days. These figures show, that the topic of sustainability has arrived in the middle of society and is being discussed across all industries. I think that the polarization and, above all, the prevailing restrictions, as far as trade and commerce are concerned, have certainly contributed to holding a successful digital format. Digitization was truly the booster for the fashion industry in this case: Instead of replacing personal exchange, it helps to maintain and expand the business activities of brands, especially in the current times. And quite clearly, the need for exchange in the fashion industry and the motivation to initiate together a change are still enormous. Neonyt on Air has once again shown us that clearly. However, we are already looking forward to the next physical edition of Neonyt.
 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also left its mark on the textile and clothing industry. When you look back on just under a year of "state of emergency" - what positive experiences do you take with you, where do you see a need for improvement, for what support are you grateful for and where did you feel you were left on your own? 

Olaf Schmidt: A year like no other - that can clearly be said about the last one. The Corona pandemic caught everyone off guard - us as trade show organizers, but of course also our exhibitors, visitors and partners. Especially in the near future, we must continue to expect, that trade shows can only be held under stricter health and safety regulations at first. Messe Frankfurt reacted quickly and developed a comprehensive safety and hygiene concept. One thing was clear: we all had to adjust and deal with a new situation. And so far, we've done a great job together, the team understanding among each other, the close contact - although physically at a distance, but globally networked - between all those involved, makes me feel positive about the future. For me, an important realization of this global pandemic, a credo almost, is to be open to new ways and opportunities and to find ways to combine things rather than separate them: Hybrid solutions, so to speak.    

Thimo Schwenzfeier: There was no master plan for Neonyt, and in places there was also the impression that we now had to "reinvent the wheel": How does collaboration work when face-to-face meetings cannot take place? Can digitized contact compensate for the social distancing that is currently being imposed and still make it possible to work closely together? How can business relationships be maintained when stores are closed? How can priorities be set when well-tested solutions and established annual plans lose their validity? Who am I, who are 'the others' and what defines community? Never have questions about our creation and existence, about what makes us who we are and what we want to be, been more relevant than right now. One thing that I take away from the current situation and that allows me to continue to look forward positively despite difficult circumstances is the fact, that cohesion and solidarity with one another - both privately and professionally - have become increasingly important. Like a magnifying glass, the crisis has magnified existing opportunities, but also challenges, and brought the essentials into focus. I think that if we continue to try to experience things more consciously and not take them for granted, we will manage together to create a " new normal " and leave this crisis with more strength.
 

As in the past in Berlin, Neonyt is currently also located in Frankfurt in the environment of the Fashion Week and conventional trade shows. Can you imagine that a special event concept like Neonyt will be unnecessary in a few years, because the circularity concept will have established itself in the clothing industry worldwide?

Olaf Schmidt: A clear no. Sustainability per se is already no longer a unique selling point. The important thing is to keep up with the times, to follow trends or, even better, to track down new trends yourself and develop them further. Things, strategies, concepts will always change - if last year showed us one thing, it was certainly that. It is more than desirable that we all learn from this crisis and reflect on the really important values, on solidarity between partners, on climate protection and sustainability. It may be exactly for this reason, that companies that place particular emphasis on sustainability will emerge even stronger from this crisis. So you can be sure that we, as a leading international trade show organizer for the textile industry, will continue to focus on sustainability and support future-oriented companies and solutions. However, this will not make our formats obsolete due to the establishment and normalization of holistic business practices in the textile industry. But it is impossible to make an exact forecast for the coming decades. Over the last few months, we have all noticed ourselves in our personal everyday lives or in our professional lives, how uncertain and volatile the future is. What is clear, however, is that the fashion industry - the world in general - will change even faster than before. And therein lies the opportunity for formats like Neonyt. The ten-year history shows in how many directions Neonyt has already developed, content focal points have been shifted and it has reinvented itself - this will also be the case in the future.
 

Mr. Schwenzfeier, in addition to your role as Director of Marketing Communications for Messe Frankfurt's textile exhibitions, you have also been Show Director of Neonyt since 2018. You have spoken to many exhibitors and visitors - which ideas or creations have particularly impressed you?

Thimo Schwenzfeier: I think it's not so much the individual innovations or creations of the exhibitors at our trade shows. And I deliberately choose the plural here. Because in my function as Director of Marketing Communications in the Textiles & Textile Technologies division of Messe Frankfurt, Neonyt is just one of "my" events. I think it's more the variety of fashion, technical and professional innovations that brands, labels, companies, start-ups and designers present every year. But if I really had to choose one innovation, it would probably be the vegan "Currywurst" sneakers made of red pepper and recycled PET bottles - the same label also offers shoes made of wood, stone, coffee and mushrooms or now even meteorite particles. It is impressive to experience every season anew of how creative the textile and fashion industry is.
 

Breaking new ground means being willing to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus also having the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, about which entrepreneurial decision by Messe Frankfurt are you particularly glad, that you made?
 
Olaf Schmidt: Clearly the decision to create Neonyt. To establish our own trade show format for fashion, sustainability and innovation and to integrate the freedom and lifestyle, which entail this topic, into our event. After more than a decade, we may be saying goodbye to Berlin in 2021, but not to our community and our spirit. Together we look back on many fashionable seasons and great locations in the capital: starting in the Hotel Adlon Kempinski to the Ewerk, the Postbahnhof, the Kronprinzenpalais, the Funkhaus and the Kraftwerk to the last physical event in Tempelhof. With the turn of the year and in the setting of Frankfurt Fashion Week, Neonyt is about to move to the metropolis by the Main. In Frankfurt, worlds collide: Skyscrapers and 19th-century villas. Architectural sins and masterpieces. Business and middle class. Red-light district and luxury boulevard. Frankfurt Fashion Week sets new impulses in this area of conflict. And in the middle of all this is Neonyt. The signs are pointing to a new beginning - a restart for the entire fashion industry, together we are taking sustainability to the next level - the focus topics Applied Sustainability and Applied Digitization are creating a completely new Fashion Week ecosystem in the metropolis by the Main.
 

If everything works out, Neonyt can be held again as a face-to-face event for the first time in July 2021. What are your plans? What and who can visitors look forward to? And what backup is there for a worst-case scenario?

Thimo Schwenzfeier: Of course, due to the currently ongoing tense situation around Covid-19, it is difficult to make binding statements about the next physical event. However, we are cur rently expecting the situation to ease into the summer summer 2021 is therefore on the health of everyone - exhibitors, visitors, partners and employees of Neonyt. Messe Frankfurt has developed a concept that includes detailed hygienic measures: Hygiene, distance and fresh air supply are important factors, which we coordinate with the responsible authorities in Frankfurt and those in charge of Frankfurt Fashion Week. In due course, the Neonyt community will receive advice and recommendations for the trade show attendance and participation, that comply with current regulations. We have not yet thought about a concrete backup for a worst-case scenario, as we are currently anticipating a physical B2B event - but the last two seasons have shown, should it not be possible to hold the Neonyt face-to-face, that we are quite well positioned with the digital Neonyt on Air and could certainly adapt the format for another summer event. We regularly exchange ideas with all market participants and try to get a sense of opinions and wishes from our community through surveys. Wait and see, one might say - in the end, we also have to act according to what the current health situation allows and what decisions are made by politicians.

The Interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius,
Managing Partner, Textination GmbH

Entries now open for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter © KontraPixel | Jana Erb
16.03.2021

Entries now open for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter

  • Calling all innovative start-ups in the outdoor industry
  • Globetrotter as official Partner
  • Online entries incl. submission of products open until May 14, 2021

Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter is taking place in 2021. The competition is open to start-ups working in the outdoor industry that have developed innovative products. 10 shortlisted start-ups will be given the opportunity to make their pitch for first place live during OutDoor by ISPO from July 6 to 8, 2021. The winner will receive a “Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship”. The outdoor retailer is the Basecamp’s official partner. The competition entry process has already been successfully launched and will remain open until May 14, 2021.

  • Calling all innovative start-ups in the outdoor industry
  • Globetrotter as official Partner
  • Online entries incl. submission of products open until May 14, 2021

Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter is taking place in 2021. The competition is open to start-ups working in the outdoor industry that have developed innovative products. 10 shortlisted start-ups will be given the opportunity to make their pitch for first place live during OutDoor by ISPO from July 6 to 8, 2021. The winner will receive a “Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship”. The outdoor retailer is the Basecamp’s official partner. The competition entry process has already been successfully launched and will remain open until May 14, 2021.

The format for start-ups, which is based on a long tradition spanning 20 years, is being slightly reworked this year: the jury, consisting of industry experts, will shortlist the 10 best entries after which the relevant entrants will be invited to make their pitch for the scholarship and other prizes live on stage at OutDoor by ISPO. 

Winners will benefit from global reach and communications strategies
The winner of the top spot will receive a Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship: the winning product will be included in Globetrotter’s range and prominently showcased and advertised in the Globetrotter Innovation Lab in Berlin for an entire season. The winning start-up will also be given the golden opportunity to present the product or service in the Globetrotter online store and in selected retail spaces. Finally, the Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship will also involve inclusion in the outdoor retailer’s communications and content strategy. Globetrotter will promote the winning product via various different digital channels, including newsletters, social media platforms, blogs, and the Globetrotter magazine. The winner may also benefit from support in terms of subsequent marketing as well as joint further development of the product.  

Outdoor and adventure photographer Jana Erb from KontraPixel will shoot a video for the runner-up about the brand, including interviews and a tour of the company. Both the product and the start-up involved will therefore benefit from professional production. The third-placed start-up will win exclusive PR material from KontraPixel, including photos of its products.
Jana Erb is thrilled about the partnership with Basecamp: “Prizes like these firstly enable fledgling brands to network with the industry’s big hitters and secondly provide them with a unique opportunity to present their new products to a diverse audience.“

Globetrotter as solid partner for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew
Globetrotter has its finger firmly on the pulse in terms of the industry’s latest developments and trends. The Globetrotter Innovation Lab has been a feature of the Berlin store since fall 2020. This area’s sole purpose is to showcase innovative developments in the outdoor retail industry. As such, Globetrotter is offering the Basecamp winner an unbeatable environment in which to present both itself as a newcomer and its award-winning product.
 
Franziska Zindl, Head of ISPO Awards & Innovations: “Not only does the cooperation demonstrate retail’s huge interest in and commitment to the summer format of ISPO Brandnew but the extensive service package is also set to provide the smallest players in our industry with yet another incredible springboard for gaining a solid foothold in the market.”

Andreas Vogler, CEO Globetrotter: “We are truly thrilled to be able to work together with the ISPO Brandnew team to offer up-and-coming new start-ups the benefit of our marketing expertise. We are proud of the fact that we are passionate about innovation and are now perfectly positioned to offer our services as a sales and launch partner. And, for us, ISPO is a partner with vision and a seemingly infinite network.”

More information:
ISPO OutDoor by Ispo
Source:

Messe München

Wanted: Start-ups with innovations for textile care © Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
09.02.2021

Wanted: Start-ups with innovations for textile care

From 24-hour deliveries, status tracking and green packaging to textile recycling and innovative cleaning technology: new services have the potential to revolutionise the business of dry cleaners and laundries. Against this background, Messe Frankfurt invites start-ups to present their products and ideas at Texcare International. The world’s most important event for the textile-care sector in Frankfurt am Main from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers young entrepreneurs outstanding opportunities to draw the market’s attention to their innovations.

From 24-hour deliveries, status tracking and green packaging to textile recycling and innovative cleaning technology: new services have the potential to revolutionise the business of dry cleaners and laundries. Against this background, Messe Frankfurt invites start-ups to present their products and ideas at Texcare International. The world’s most important event for the textile-care sector in Frankfurt am Main from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers young entrepreneurs outstanding opportunities to draw the market’s attention to their innovations.

The demands placed by both private and commercial customers on textile care are extremely high, especially in terms of speed, immediate availability, transparent communication and sustainable solutions. In this connection, Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim, Director of Texcare International at Messe Frankfurt, says, “Start-ups have an important role to play when it comes to promoting digitalisation and sustainability in the world of textile care. In many cases, they succeed quickly in transforming the results of scientific research or trends from other sectors into useful projects. To support this, we want specifically to promote young, agile companies at Texcare International and offer them an attractive ‘Start-up Package’.”

Digital platforms offer dry cleaners and laundries an opportunity to promote their services online in a modern way. Summarising what makes these platforms so important, Daniel Dalkowski, Managing Director of the European Research Association for Innovative Textile Care (EFIT), says, “Digital platforms are undoubtedly one of the most important achievements of recent times – not just because there are so many of them but also because they have found imitators in the sector. In this case, the innovation is to be seen in a combination of ordering, flexible logistics and billing in a smartphone app or online platform.”

With their robotics solutions and bright ideas for artificial intelligence, IT start-ups help textile care companies on their way to becoming smart laundries. Elgar Straub, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies, explains how machine and plant manufacturers have benefited from their input: “In the field of mechanical engineering, an important role is played by start-ups offering technical solutions covering a broad spectrum of sectors, e.g., virtual machine commissioning and the optimisation of production process chains.”

Naturally, company founders in other disciplines are also putting forward their ideas. Against the background of the plastic waste debate, there are, for instance, numerous start-ups offering biodegradable packaging materials. As well, there are start-ups in the field of textile recycling, which process used workwear or laundry and thus contribute to the circular economy. And what does the future hold for the sector? One thing is for the experts certain: artificial intelligence and automation offer a great potential for ‘outsiders’ with genuine innovations to gain a foothold in the market. Improvements in the logistics chain of laundries and dry cleaners also have excellent chances of success.

Market entry at Texcare International Texcare
International from 27 November to 1 December 2021 offers start-ups an outstanding opportunity to draw attention to their services and to make contact with established companies. The Start-up Package of Messe Frankfurt includes a turnkey exhibition stand.

The prerequisites for participation:

  • The company was founded no more than ten years ago per 27 November 2021
  • The company employs max. ten people.
  • The annual turnover does not exceed € 1 million (net).
  • The start-up offers innovative products or services especially for the textile-care sector.

The product spectrum of Texcare International embraces machines and plant, laundry and cleaning substances, IT and logistics solutions and workwear and laundry.

More information:
texcare Startup Start-ups
Source:

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

(c) Claudia Bitzer
05.01.2021

Telling good Stories - PR Challenges of the medium-sized Textile Industry

Interview with Claudia Bitzer, Owner Bitzer PR, Albstadt

The past year was not only a big economic challenge for many companies, but also in terms of communication - whether in advertising or in PR topics - new ground had to be broken. Contact restrictions up to a strict lockdown, the cancellation of many trade fairs, congresses or other event formats made it necessary to rethink.

Textination discussed it with Claudia Bitzer, owner of the PR agency of the same name in Albstadt, Baden-Württemberg. Her customers include medium-sized companies from the textile and clothing industry as well as machinery manufacturers, public clients and the media.

Interview with Claudia Bitzer, Owner Bitzer PR, Albstadt

The past year was not only a big economic challenge for many companies, but also in terms of communication - whether in advertising or in PR topics - new ground had to be broken. Contact restrictions up to a strict lockdown, the cancellation of many trade fairs, congresses or other event formats made it necessary to rethink.

Textination discussed it with Claudia Bitzer, owner of the PR agency of the same name in Albstadt, Baden-Württemberg. Her customers include medium-sized companies from the textile and clothing industry as well as machinery manufacturers, public clients and the media.

With your PR agency based in Albstadt, you have also been busy in the textile industry for a good 5 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know you: Why did you decide to become your own boss after working for an agency, and what distinguishes your work?
Actually, self-employment gave me a call: An acquaintance suggested that I take over the communication for his employer, a textile machine manufacturer in the Alb, as a freelancer. When I was on the phone, I had our ten-day-old son in my arms. I was also a PR consultant at Ketchum in Stuttgart. Because I was curious, I got to grips with the matter over the next few months. With success: The textile machines have turned out to be surprisingly tangible products, after all, they make the clothes that we wear on our bodies every day. From this my access to the textile industry developed, which I would call my home base today.

Because I serve various companies along the textile chain, I have an overall view of the industry and can offer overarching stories with different perspectives. I also have a weakness for complex, "dusty" topics, regardless of the industry. I can delve in them with devotion in order to present them vividly. That's why I would call myself a content specialist.

In addition to German, English, Spanish and French, you speak Swabian fluently. Why is it important to have regional roots when you work for export-oriented companies in the textile industry in Baden-Württemberg?
You got that about fluent Swabian from my website, right? (Laughs) But yes, it is very helpful if you can feel whether "gschwind" – Swabian for “pretty fast” - tolerates a delay or has to be dealt with immediately.

I think the Swabian is really important in terms of the mentality behind it. I grew up in the Alb, my father ran a medium-sized company of his own. I understand many things without a customer having to explain them to me.

For example, modesty in relation to one's own person. Especially in long-established family businesses, the owners play an important role. They bear a great responsibility, both in the company and at their location. Nevertheless, the focus is always on the entrepreneurial performance, the product that, manufactured somewhere in the Swabian province, can keep up with the German, European or global competition. That doesn't happen by itself, but requires courage, entrepreneurial spirit and a great deal of openness to new things, and that fascinates me. I also often notice that by the passion, that these leading family businesses bring with them, I am carried away.

Breaking new ground means being willing to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus also having the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made?
Apart from being self-employed? The first corona lockdown with home schooling and closed daycare centers was a big challenge. On the one hand, I was relieved that it became quieter on the customer side between the end of March and the beginning of June, otherwise it would not have been feasible either professionally or in terms of family. On the other hand, this silence scared me and I often asked myself whether self-employment was the right way to go.

In early summer, when the situation on all sides had stabilized somewhat, I tackled the problem head on: I looked for co-working spaces and took extensive further training in online marketing. Being honest, of course, these were business decisions. Fortunately, they are already paying off, even if I may sit alone in the office for now.

Is there any work you are particularly proud of? Which story moved you beyond normal and which thematic challenges do you love?
One project that I fondly remember is the communication referring to a repdigit anniversary one of my clients was celebrating. For this, I first put 111 years of the company’s history down on paper in weeks, no, months of archive work. Because I had delved so deeply into the subject, I came up with many ideas for the messages of the anniversary celebration. Fortunately, the client was quickly convinced. At some point we had a signet, a slogan and a really good story for the anniversary. Incidentally, we still benefit from the numerous proof points we worked out for the occasion in our product and corporate communications today.

In addition, the project has naturally deepened the relationship with this client. I also work closely with the advertising agency that accompanied the anniversary communication. I consider such long-term partnerships as a great asset.

Have the messages you want or need to communicate for your clients changed in Corona times? And what was the focus of your work in 2020?
Unsurprisingly, the focus of work in 2020 was on online communication. For almost all of my customers we will start planning and implementing new measures in this area in the coming year.

As for the messages, little has altered. This is certainly due to the fact that the meta-topics have remained the same. Take sustainability, definitely a long-running favorite in the textile industry, and the sub-topic regionality. In contrast to previous crises, the Corona pandemic has not sidelined these approaches, but intensified them because it has shown us how dependent we are on production abroad. The same applies to the issues of transparency and quality.

Precisely because the themes have stayed the same, the crucial part for me is to find a unique story within these permanent themes so as not to disappear into the big river. That requires empathy, creativity - and a good portion of diligence.

Moving away from the simple advertising message to storytelling - what recommendation would you give medium-sized companies in general regarding their communication for the coming year? Are there any special features that the textile industry in particular should consider?
I think that will go in the direction of "We are still there, and even stronger than before". After all, the crisis demanded a lot from everyone. But it is always a productive phase, because when it comes to a head, it forces us to develop further that otherwise would not have been initiated or at least would have been initiated later. Therefore, it can represent a turning point, definitely for the better.

Take digitization, which is the most obvious approach: the crisis has given rise to a boost in this area; the online shop was or is to be expanded, the service is to become more digital.

Apart from that, there are certain individual changes in every company that the crisis has brought about. You can have the courage to name and tell them, because these are stories that interest everyone.

Goodbye Facebook - good morning TikTok. Which social media platforms do you recommend to your clients and under what conditions should medium-sized companies get involved?
TikTok has so far been more of a topic that I discuss with my daughter, who is almost 12 years old. But seriously: I recently read in a study published by Hootsuite that at the beginning of 2020, less than ten percent of Germans were using TikTok. On Facebook, the user share is still over 60 percent. For that reason alone, we shouldn't simply dismiss Facebook.

When I discuss the topic of social media with my clients, it is important for me not to think from the channels. Sure, it's tempting, but other questions should be asked at the beginning: What is the long-term goal of the social media activities? What resources are available - and what budgets? By now it is well known that social media is an extensive field of activity in its own right, which ties up corresponding resources. In medium-sized businesses, where I rarely have access to a multi-headed marketing team, a solid strategy is the be-all and end-all. It must be very, very clear which target groups are to be addressed. Then I can talk about channels and choose the most important ones. This almost certainly includes LinkedIn and Xing, as well as Instagram and Facebook, the latter especially in an international environment. By the way, the evaluation is just as important, it tends to fall behind. The relationship between measured values and corporate goals is anything but trivial.

Trade fairs, events, press conferences and meetings - these have almost completely fallen by the wayside in 2020. How important do you consider face-to-face communication to be in the long term, and which channels and measures do you recommend to your customers to compensate for these losses?
Face-to-face contact remains important! Of course, we all realised last year that not every event has to be a face-to-face event. A video conference saves time and money and, with the right discipline, can be just as effective as a face-to-face meeting. Many service cases can also be solved by video telephony, no one has to travel around. I am therefore convinced that we will not return to the meeting in person culture we had before Corona, even if this will be possible again at some point.

That's why I advise my clients to take advantage of the digital opportunities that are opening up everywhere. At the moment, everyone is still a beginner, you can only learn. Take virtual trade fairs: This is a fundamentally different approach than the classic presence fair. There is no need for a large trade fair team that is ready from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are no press appointments either. It is much more important to contact the visitors directly, i.e., to collect leads, to group the visitors and to stay in touch with them after the event by providing them with tailor-made content. Speaking of content: at the latest with such online events, it becomes clear how diverse content must be prepared. To pick up customers in the virtual space, you need graphics, videos, animations and much more.

Nevertheless, it will not work without direct, physical contact. I remain convinced that people buy from people. Video conferences work particularly well when the participants already know each other from real life. And the textile industry in particular thrives on haptics. I can never feel a yarn or a fabric digitally. Nor can I feel the production speed of a machine. With every revolution there is a slight breeze. You can't get that digitally.

 

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
22.12.2020

Decade of Action: Texpertise Network launches further measures to implement the Sustainable Development Goals

Since 2019, the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network has been working with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships to bring the Sustainable Development Goals to all 58 textile events in the network worldwide. Numerous measures have already been implemented. Others are imminent.

Shortly before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutérrez hailed the start of the Decade of Action. As of 2020, the international community now has just ten years to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which the UN Member States committed themselves in the 2030 Agenda. As part of the collaboration with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network will put the SDGs on the agenda of additional events in December, thus further supporting their implementation in the fashion and textile industry.

Since 2019, the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network has been working with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships to bring the Sustainable Development Goals to all 58 textile events in the network worldwide. Numerous measures have already been implemented. Others are imminent.

Shortly before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutérrez hailed the start of the Decade of Action. As of 2020, the international community now has just ten years to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which the UN Member States committed themselves in the 2030 Agenda. As part of the collaboration with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network will put the SDGs on the agenda of additional events in December, thus further supporting their implementation in the fashion and textile industry.

Virtual event “Discover the SDGs – To Power the Decade of Action”
From 1-30 December 2020, the Texpertise Network is taking part in the virtual learning experience “Discover the SDGs”, which was initiated by the Conscious Fashion Campaign in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships. The aim of the event is to strengthen the knowledge and commitment within the fashion industry that is needed to further support the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. One component of the event is a virtual and interactive exhibition on the 17 goals, as well as on-demand discussions with industry leaders, United Nations representatives and advocates of the United Nations, including Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board, and Thimo Schwenzfeier, Director Marketing Communications Textiles and Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt, as well as from Kering, Lenzing, Allbirds, Arch and Hook, Artistic Milliners, Orta, ITL, Vogue Business, CFDA, Collina Strada and the Swarovski Foundation.

“This is a critical time to accelerate partnerships to address the world's biggest challenges – from eliminating poverty, hunger and inequalities to reversing climate change and unsustainable consumption and production practices,” said Annemarie Hou, acting Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. “The fashion industry is an important ally for the United Nations in this Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030.”

Conscious Fashion Campaign becomes a presenting partner of Frankfurt Fashion Week
Joining forces to improve the fashion industry: Frankfurt Fashion Week is positioning itself as the host of the future of fashion and actively driving forward the transformation towards a future-oriented, more sustainable fashion and textile industry. All decision-makers looking to instigate this change will be coming together in Frankfurt am Main from 5-9 July 2021. The initiators of Frankfurt Fashion Week – Messe Frankfurt and the Premium Group – have achieved a real coup: Conscious Fashion Campaign, working in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will be the presenting partner. Messe Frankfurt will build on its collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a prerequisite for exhibitors by 2023. And the Frankfurt Fashion SDG Summit by CFC is set to become the leading international conference for sustainability in the fashion world.

Expansion of internal sustainability communication
17 goals, 58 textile events worldwide, around 600,000 visitors and 23,000 exhibitors in 2019: with its global events, the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network offers unique reach for supporting the SDGs, even during the corona pandemic. The participating subsidiary companies, sales partners and Messe Frankfurt partners abroad who organise the relevant events play an important role in this. To actively expand knowledge about and further commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Texpertise Network is organising several online seminars, including for staff members in Argentina, Ethiopia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa and the USA and thus expanding its internal sustainability communication.

SDG actions up to now
Ever since the expanded collaboration between the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network, the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships was announced at the UN headquarters in New York in December 2019, the international Messe Frankfurt textile events have implemented numerous measures to support the SDGs.

At the Messe Frankfurt textile events in Germany alone, a number of things came to fruition: the most recent physical and digital editions of Heimtextil, the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles and Neonyt, global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation, offered panel discussions, press conferences and video messages, including with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and United Nations Office for Partnerships. An SDG Lounge in the Green Village at Heimtextil and selfie walls with the SDGs inspired exhibitors, visitors and influencers alike to engage with the 17 goals and share them on their social network channels. Podcasts were produced that can still be listened to on the Neonyt and Heimtextil channels and Neonyt also hosted e.g. the influencer challenge “Let's wear the goals!”.

A great deal has also already been achieved internationally: in March 2019, Neonyt organised a showcase with selected Neonyt brands to mark the foundation of the “UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion” in Nairobi. Techtextil India launched Techtextil NEXT at its 2019 edition, India’s first hackathon for technical textiles and sustainability. Among those who attended were Shrikar Dhole, founder and CEO of the SDG Foundation and Niharika Gautam, who campaigns for the achievement of the SDGs in the fashion industry and co-leads the fashion section of the All Ladies League Delhi. The Heimtextil Russia 2020 Digital Edition was able to attract a prominent figure to give a message of greeting, namely Vladimir Kuznetsov, head of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Moscow. The digital edition of Texworld USA (now Texworld New York City) and Apparel Sourcing USA in summer 2020 offered a talk by the Conscious Fashion Campaign and supported the production of a podcast with Claire Kells from the UN Global Compact.

With its SDG actions to date, Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network is estimated to have reached around 146,000 visitors, 170,000 followers on social media channels and 65,000 subscribers to newsletters about participating events at home and abroad. Added to this is also the approx. 2.5 million followers of the influencers involved in the actions.

Koelnmesse 1 (c) Koelnmesse / imm cologne
29.09.2020

imm cologne "We make it happen"

“We make it happen” is the idea that is currently guiding the whole imm cologne team. As a message to imm cologne exhibitors and visitors, it underscores Koelnmesse’s firm commitment to the industry event and signals that imm cologne will be ready to welcome visitors on 18 January 2021. To increase the event’s reach further, the trade fair organisers in Cologne are working to extend it into the digital sphere with the new imm cologne @home platform.

“We make it happen” is the idea that is currently guiding the whole imm cologne team. As a message to imm cologne exhibitors and visitors, it underscores Koelnmesse’s firm commitment to the industry event and signals that imm cologne will be ready to welcome visitors on 18 January 2021. To increase the event’s reach further, the trade fair organisers in Cologne are working to extend it into the digital sphere with the new imm cologne @home platform.

“We at Koelnmesse believe firmly that everything is possible with our hygiene and safety concept #B-SAFE4business and a positive attitude,” explains Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. “This progressive attitude is one that many national and international exhibitors and visitors share with us. They are looking forward to networking at the emotional high point of the year for the industry – even if it is clear to everyone that many things will be different next year,” he adds.

Digital formats will ensure maximum reach
The second key challenge facing the team led by Matthias Pollmann and Claire Steinbrück is reaching those visitors who are unable to or do not want to travel to Cologne due to the pandemic. “By extending the trade fair into the digital sphere, we have the best opportunities to increase our reach. Digital reach will be used as a new success criterion for all our trade fairs going forward. It will no longer simply be about the numbers of exhibitors and visitors and where our visitors come from – we want to be measured in terms of our digital reach as well,” says Matthias Pollmann, as he explains the future strategy for imm cologne. “Our goal is to show how many contacts our exhibitors can generate globally in addition to the purely physical visitors,” adds Claire Steinbrück. “gamescom was something like our future lab for reaching consumers, and DMEXCO, which will be hosted this month, will be our blueprint for trade events. Based on our experiences with these two trade fairs, we will draw up a tailored digital strategy for imm cologne by the end of October,” says the trade fair management team, sketching out imm cologne’s evolution into a hybrid format.

Ready for launch: imm cologne @home is in beta
With the launch of the new imm cologne @home platform, the Interior Business Event is doing more than simply expanding business opportunities for its exhibitors. It will also reach a broad spectrum of visitors, creating a diverse range of further possibilities for interaction. The platform will be a forum for virtual exchanges between industry peers, for networking with relevant contacts and elevating business to the next level. In addition to a variety of live-streamed digital stages – including the highly respected talks forum The Stage – there will be open and thematically curated video chats in the virtual cafe, and online trade fair visitors will be able to experience exclusive new launches by imm cologne exhibitors in private showrooms.

Exhibitors to benefit directly from additional contacts and broader reach
Unlike standard webinar and video conferencing systems, imm cologne @home will offer exhibitors more than just the option to stream content – they will also be able to start one-to-one conversations with customers directly. imm cologne @home will thereby offer real networking opportunities, direct dialogues and real-time solutions – a decisive advantage for any exhibitor.

LivingKitchen visitors and exhibitors will also benefit from the new hybrid format. In addition to presenting events and talks programmes digitally, all the functionalities of the new platform will be made available for LivingKitchen as well. Visitors to the Interior Business Event will be able to access imm cologne @home as a website and an app. The platform is designed to serve as an information and communication hub between the industry events and as a digital trade fair for visitors and exhibitors.

Digital content by imm cologne and its exhibitors is crucial to the hybrid trade fair’s success
“By the end of October, we will decide which tools we will take from the large toolbox for DMEXCO and use for imm cologne. What our exhibitors think will play an important role in this. Everything that supports their business is crucial,” says Pollmann. He adds an appeal to the industry: “The path into a hybrid future is one that we cannot and do not want to take alone. In order to reach virtual visitors, it is vitally important that our exhibitors also produce digital content to accompany the content that we can generate as imm cologne. The same rule applies here as it does with a physical trade fair: We provide the platform and activate the visitors. But the products, the innovations, the stories – this is content that has to come from the exhibitors themselves.”

“You make it possible – we make it happen.”
It is crucial for imm cologne that both exhibitors and visitors realise that the trade fair can be a success for their companies, for the entire industry and for Germany and Europe as a hub for commerce and industry only if they themselves adopt the guiding idea behind imm cologne. “You make it possible – we make it happen,” is how Matthias Pollmann puts it in his invitation to the industry to join imm cologne on this journey.

Photo: pixabay
08.09.2020

German Trade Fairs start again in September

  • 84 exhibitions still planned until the end of the year

After a shutdown of almost six months due to the Corona pandemic, major exhibitions for trade visitors and the general public will be held again in Germany from September onwards, often in modified formats and sometimes with digital supplements.
 
“Many exhibitors and visitors are waiting for trade fairs to restart, because they will once again stimulate demand through the presentation of innovations and personal trust-building communication,” explains Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, the importance of the restart for the German economy.
 

  • 84 exhibitions still planned until the end of the year

After a shutdown of almost six months due to the Corona pandemic, major exhibitions for trade visitors and the general public will be held again in Germany from September onwards, often in modified formats and sometimes with digital supplements.
 
“Many exhibitors and visitors are waiting for trade fairs to restart, because they will once again stimulate demand through the presentation of innovations and personal trust-building communication,” explains Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, the importance of the restart for the German economy.
 
“Through their participation exhibitors and visitors show that they expect high benefits from trade fairs even under altered conditions. In addition to business success, side-effects for companies such as image building are included, for example through showing innovative force, or being present in trade media or by direct exchange of experience within the industry.”

Caravan Salon is the largest exhibition to kick off
Twelve exhibitions are planned in September alone, including several international events, from the CARAVAN SALON in Dusseldorf as the largest show to restart, the compact version of the IFA Berlin right in the first week of September to the INTERBOOT in Friedrichshafen at the end of the month.

Messe Dusseldorf’s President & CEO Wolfram N. Diener, is looking forward to the restart of trade fair operations in Germany: “We want to signalise: Trade fairs can work in corona times, too. In close cooperation with authorities, partners and customers, we have realised the CARAVAN SALON 2020 under high hygiene and safety standards. The result: Around 350 exhibitors in eleven exhibition halls are presenting the entire spectrum of mobile travel.”

Exhibitions are not major events
The trade fair industry is not affected by the extension of the ban on major events in Germany by the Prime Minister’s Conference on 27 August 2020. Trade fairs have already been considered separately since 6 May 2020. Accordingly, a total of 84 exhibitions listed by AUMA, are currently planned for the months of September to December, 47 of them with international or national relevance and 37 with regional relevance. Dates for trade fairs, taking place in the near future are listed by AUMA at www.auma.de/Exhibition-Data.

Comprehensive concepts for health protection, which are approved by the responsible health authorities, are the basis for the industry meetings. “The trade fair organizers are doing everything possible to create safe and promising conditions for exhibitors and visitors. Size and quality of the exhibition grounds offer very good conditions for implementing hygiene and distance regulations”, says AUMA Managing Director Jörn Holtmeier.

AUMA has listed the key points of the protective measures as well as the safety concepts for all exhibition sites in Germany on its website at https://www.auma.de/en/exhibit/legal-matters/hygiene-and-distance-concepts-at-trade-fairs-in-Germany.

AUMA Chairman Philip Harting: "Those who focus on trade fairs can gain market shares”
"The principle is: Whoever dares wins. Anyone who bets on trade fairs in the coming months will have an earlier chance than others to receive a direct, unfiltered response to innovations, because at trade fairs customers can check and test the product. Once the customer is convinced of the quality, he simply decides faster.

Winning new customers in particular is extremely difficult with the help of digital formats. Many companies have experienced this in recent weeks and months. Along the way an exhibitor also gets valuable advice for the enhancement of his products". And, according to Harting, those who exhibit at trade shows find suitable cooperation partners faster, both professionally and personally, to help them weather the crisis better. Last but not least, he says, one can initiate urgently needed business deals, perhaps not as extensive as usual, but small orders often enough turn into large ones in the medium term.

Trade fairs offer just as great a benefit to visitors in the current situation. The AUMA Chairman: "Trade fair visitors can personally negotiate with potential new suppliers at an early stage, experience technology and design innovations earlier than others. And they may find suggestions on how retailer can inspire hesitant consumers".

Protective masks for Augsburg University Hospital (c) Fraunhofer IGCV
14.04.2020

Protective equipment from 3d printers

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

Fast communication in the research network:
Production of 3D-printed parts accelerates in the shortest possible time
Without further ado, an internal university group searched for possibilities of manufacturing via 3D printing. Prof. Dr. Markus Sause and Prof. Dr. Kay Weidenmann of the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg immediately agreed and pulled out all the stops to start production as quickly as possible. In order to provide as many protective masks as possible in the shortest possible time, an appeal was also made to existing cooperation partners. They found what they were looking for in their direct colleague Prof. Dr. Johannes Schilp, Professor of Production Informatics at the University of Augsburg and Head of the Processing Technology Department at the Augsburg Fraunhofer IGCV: Max Horn, research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute, and Paul Dolezal from the FabLab (production laboratory) at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences immediately promised their help. "Thanks to the excellent cooperation of our team, the first parts were produced in our laboratory for additive manufacturing just a few hours after the first telephone call," Max Horn recalls. "With the support of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer IGCV, the production capacity of 50 masks per day could be significantly increased," Markus Sause is pleased to report.
          

Printing masks with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was selected as the manufacturing process for the face protection. This means that the mask is created by forcing fusible plastic through a nozzle and applying it in layers in individual lanes. In addition to an extensive laboratory for metal-based additive manufacturing, the Fraunhofer IGCV operates a new laboratory unit with various FDM printers. Due to the simplicity of the process and its great flexibility, it is particularly suitable for prototypes and sample components. "However, the masks produced are by no means only illustrative objects", adds Georg Schlick, Head of the Components and Processes Department at the Fraunhofer IGCV. The team processed durable polymers for the parts, which have good resistance to the disinfectants used in the hospital. This results in high-quality components that are ideally suited for multiple use.
 
Additive manufacturing for flexible production
In the meantime, some bottlenecks have been overcome: The Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg is switching back to production processes for the manufacture of face masks that are better suited for the production of large quantities. "The great strength of additive manufacturing lies rather in the production of very complex components with smaller quantities," explains Matthias Schmitt, group leader for additive manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IGCV. "But 3D printing also enables us to act at very short notice and to compensate for lack of capacity for almost any component as required," Schmitt continues. Thanks to the flexibility, motivation and expertise of all cooperation partners, a complete production and supply chain for the face masks was implemented within a few days. Georg Schlick therefore emphasizes the need for good networking and rapid exchange between the research institutions. "The close networking within the 3D printing community enables short communication channels and fast action. This can save lives in this case."

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV

Photo: Pixabay
24.03.2020

Coronavirus: Cancellations and Postponements of German Exhibitions May Cost up to 3 Billion Euro

  • Calculation by AUMA - Association of the German Trade Fair Industry concerning the macroeconomic impact for Germany based on ifo-survey

Germany as a trade fair venue has already been hit hard by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. Trade fair organisers and service providers like booth constructors are already suffering from heavy financial losses. Many other branches of business are affected as well, especially the hotel and catering industry, the transport industry and numerous local suppliers and contractors. These industries are suffering considerable losses in sales with a direct impact on employees. Due to sales losses the tax revenue will fail, hence cities or regions are directly affected economically.

  • Calculation by AUMA - Association of the German Trade Fair Industry concerning the macroeconomic impact for Germany based on ifo-survey

Germany as a trade fair venue has already been hit hard by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. Trade fair organisers and service providers like booth constructors are already suffering from heavy financial losses. Many other branches of business are affected as well, especially the hotel and catering industry, the transport industry and numerous local suppliers and contractors. These industries are suffering considerable losses in sales with a direct impact on employees. Due to sales losses the tax revenue will fail, hence cities or regions are directly affected economically.

AUMA’s Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry has forecasted the consequences for Germany for the first time based on the calculation of the ifo Institut in regard to the macroeconomic relevance of German trade fairs in 2018.

Thus a loss of about three billion Euro for the national economy is to be expected – just by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. This affects more than 24,000 jobs and tax authorities will miss over 470 million Euro of tax revenue.

These sums do not include lost sales of companies, which had expected to generate turnover during the trade fair. These figures are many times higher than the above-mentioned sums and can only be substituted to a limited extent through other measures. No other marketing device is able to represent a company and its products as comprehensively as the personal contact.

“Almost all plans for trade fairs during the next months are null and void. Organisers, exhibitors, visitors and contractors are losing any planning reliability. They have high up-front costs without the prospect of any benefit or they suffer from severe and acute loss of sales. The trade fairs’ annual contribution of more than 28 billion Euro to the national economy could decrease by 10%. It has to be made sure that the (German) economy – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises – in future will be able to utilise the highly effective instrument called “Messe” (trade fair) and can continue cooperating with potent contractors. Without governmental support this can hardly be realised, despite great efforts of the exhibition industry itself.”

Germany is number one worldwide in terms of organising international trade fairs. Annually 160 to 180 international trade fairs take place in Germany, with 180.000 exhibitors and ten million visitors. Partners from all over the world meet up on German exhibition sites.

German exhibiting companies are investing almost half of their b2b communication budgets in trade fair participations. The expenses of exhibitors and visitors for trade fairs in Germany result in macroeconomic production effects of more than 28 billion Euro. More than 230,000 jobs are ensured by the organisation of trade fairs. Tax revenues based on trade fairs sum up to approx. 4.5 billion Euro annually.

More information:
trade fairs Coronavirus
Source:

AUMA Ausstellungs- und Messe-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.

Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
25.02.2020

AUTOMATION PROGRESSES ALONG THE LAUNDRY SECTOR

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 
The be-all and end-all for the laundry sector is the ability to monitor the quantity, quality and storage location of the textiles that are circulating on site, at all times. The data collected form the basis for precise price calculations, throw up any weak points in the system and serve to provide documentation for third parties. But it is only when all the machinery and plant involved in a given textile service are interlinked on a single network that the logistics of the laundry service run seamlessly, with minimal down-time of the machinery, reduced quantities in circulation and the resultant increase in productivity that is closely associated with it.

Transparent tracking for each individual laundry item
Automation in the processing of workwear is already well advanced. As the dirty laundry is sorted on arrival, each item is recorded using an identification system such as a barcode or RFID technology. From this moment on, all the stages that the textiles undergo are controlled. ‘Readers’ or ‘gates’ on the premises enable each item to be recorded as it progresses through the system, right up to the point of order picking; and they monitor whether an item is sent to a repair station or directed into storage. In addition, high-frequency transponders (UHF tags) can monitor the movements of laundry items outside of the laundry: in hospitals, for instance, identification systems have been installed, which record the despatch and return of apparel and enable an extensive process of textile management via data transfer procedures.

Robots for the soiled laundry area
This already high degree of automation in a workwear laundry facility is, however, capable of still further refinement. Artificial intelligence can simplify the ‘dirty’ work in the reception area: robots separate and sort the soiled clothing and x-ray machines, cameras and metal detectors are used to identify any foreign bodies. The advantages of such systems are particularly in evidence in hospital laundries: medical instruments, which regularly find their way into the laundry bags, are automatically separated from the clothing, thus minimising damage to the items themselves and to the machinery. The useful life of the textiles is extended and costs are reduced. Moreover, there is no danger of infection for the staff.

Real-time laundry processes
Whilst individual control and traceability are already widespread in the professional treatment of work apparel, when it comes to flat linen, often only generalisations about quantity, quality and storage location for the textiles are possible. “In order to assess a business’s efficiency, calculate prices and efficiently control processes and procedures, laundries need reliable figures […],” observes Martin Rauch, CSO of the Jensen Group, who operate on a worldwide basis.

In the pursuit of automated production, ultra-modern information and communications technologies assume a key role. They synchronise the machines involved in a given production process and facilitate communication and cooperation between plant, product and the human being. This way, you get self-organising, flexible production with unbroken processes and high levels of utilisation of equipment. With the synchronisation of commodity streams and information flow in the laundry, all items arrive at the right processing station at the appropriate time. A central database controls all the processes in the entire laundry, regulates the machinery and the linked sub-systems, chooses the correct processing programmes and optimises machine use.
 
Data accompanies the laundry throughout
“Trolleys of laundry standing around, waiting times at the machines, excessive buffering and time spent searching for items are all lost capital […],” says Matthias Schäfer, who is responsible for product management, laundry logistics / smart laundry at Kannengiesser (Vlotho).

When data and goods flows are successfully synchronised throughout a flat-linen laundry, each washing station contributes its information along with that of other stations, right from the initial sorting of the soiled linen through to the folding machines. The laundry can, therefore, be monitored throughout the entire operation, as the information from each station is sent on with the item, either automatically or – after the drier – in the form of bar-coded labels. (“Stabilisation of production through the synchronisation of material and production flows.”)

RFID identification systems do indeed enable complete transparency to be built into the passage of goods through the various stages, as each chip or tag carries the necessary information for each individual item. In view of the high cost of the transponders, ‘chipping’ of flat linen is, however, currently an option for only very few laundries. So the textile care sector is waiting on more economical, more functionally reliable solutions from the machinery and plant manufacturers.
 
Smart to the very end of the chain
Further potential for automation resides in the picking and packaging. Collecting together items for delivery manually is subject to error and that leads to customer complaints. With intelligent storage facilities and transport solutions, smart stacking management and the networking of equipment with the laundry’s information system, order picking becomes simpler, quicker and more reliable. To ensure that the integration can function, modern machines are equipped with interfaces, so that each new installation can be linked seamlessly into a laundry’s existing system. The same goes for accessory machines, which exchange all the important information relating to preparation and repair online.

User friendly apps
Digital developments are not only large scale: they are to be found on a smaller scale as well. For launderettes, too, apps provide important information on the status of the equipment, enable operators to see what is going on, even at considerable distances, as well as being able to provide digital payment models. Moreover, in heavily used laundry facilities, they can take on the entire job of time management, as Andreas Barduna, Head of Business Management, Miele Professional (Gütersloh) is very aware.

At Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June 2020, machinery and plant manufacturers from all over the world will be presenting their smart solutions for the laundries of tomorrow. The focus will be very much on artificial intelligence and smart information systems, which will help maximize the degree of automation within the sector.

GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG (c) Weitblick, Gottfried Schmidt OHG
18.02.2020

WE HAVE OUR PRINCIPLES ... WEITBLICK | GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

Gottfried Schmidt OHG, a family company that will celebrate its 90th birthday next year, is considered as a professional when it comes to premium workwear. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We are a long-established family company that has reinvented itself again and again over the course of history. In the field of workwear, we stand for the highest quality across a wide range of industry segments and attach great importance to sustainability - this is also shown by our long-standing partners who produce our clothing in Europe. With our state-of-the-art logistics center, we prove that digitization and Industry 4.0 are not just buzzwords for us.   

In which markets and by which partners do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations in the workwear sector do you think you can move the most?
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Markets are changing faster and faster and that is a challenge per se. We want to continue to be reliable today and, in the future, that also means continuity for our partners. But how do we deal with ever new requirements from ever faster moving markets?
Focusing on the customer, we cannot remain in rigid structures. We at WEITBLICK achieve this through our corporate culture and our guidelines: courage, strength and confidence.
This culture holds our team together and this enables us to adapt structures more quickly. Due to our personal contact to our partners and our experience as a fourth-generation family business, we enjoy great trust in all markets and this assists us to make quick adjustments and changes without questioning our DNA.
The basis of our products is the quality of the materials used, the processing by a very well-trained staff in our own European production sites and, first and foremost, a team of experts who controls everything in-house from the fiber and the design idea to production and logistics and bring it all together under one roof. So, if you ask me whether all products will be flashing in the near future, the answer is: no. Our strength is the implementation of our customers' wishes and above all we put the brand, the CI of our customers, in the foreground on the product. Because a satisfied employee in the right workwear is the best business card for a company. So, if it should flash in the clothing in the near future, this is not a problem, but we realize ourselves much more concerned with our customer requirements around the products. Based on quality and sustainability we have been driving very well for a long time.

However, services, speed in logistics, controlling, order configurators and budget management as well as interface management are the actual innovations with which we convince our customers and partners today. For some time now, we have been relying on a team of employees who implements precisely these customer requirements across departments. For example, in addition to our own CI Workwear collection, a customer can also receive a protected customer shop from us, where employees can configure the coordinated collection and order according to a defined budget. The customer's purchasing and controlling departments have live insight into costs and inventories. The dispatch including personalization is RFID-controlled in Germany, picked on the carrier and sent all over the world. Does that sound innovative?

Tailor-made or solution for the major customer? The topic of individualization down to batch size 1 is gaining in importance today. How do you manage the balancing act between major customers and individual production - what does this mean for the processes of Gottfried Schmidt OHG? 
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Why not the tailor-made solution for major and small customers? Until a few years ago, and even today in some cases, a customer’s logo in the colors red, green, blue and white was of course displayed by fabrics of the same color combined in a four-colored scheme. This is more or less a thing of the past. Nowadays, requests for different colors are additionally solved by the possibility of combining many articles. In doing so, we fall back on thousands of active articles of our own developments and a large selection of ingredients, fabrics and finishing options. CI collections can be produced very quickly in small quantities in our state-of-the-art production facilities. In one of our six European production plants, for example, we only manufacture made-to-measure orders from piece 1. This happens within very lean processes and just takes a few weeks.

At the same time, we have large capacities for the storage of our raw materials and a warehouse for prefabricated parts, which enables us to place them into stock for the customer. Companies are aware of the great importance of workwear and the partly missing transparency in processes or costs. Therefore, it is desirable to be able to order small quantities. We have access to dozens of wearer profiles and millions of wearers from almost all sectors and are able to combine this experience with today's requirements. I don't prefer the word "standard", but the fact is that we already offer our customers a wide range of articles and colors to choose from, as we are constantly releasing new collections for various industries. The processes, scrutinized with the possibilities of new tools and systems, are consistently adapted - the other way around. This enables us to work very automatically from small to large orders and thus process orders via our customer online shops or via interfaces with our customers' order portals. Order picking and logistics from piece 1 with the shipping method of your choice are no problem for us, because we have been operating the most modern logistics center in the industry since 2018.

With WEITBLICK you have chosen the look-and-feel of a German-language brand. What prompted you to take this step and what are the consequences for your international sales?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
The decision was made for WEITBLICK (Engl.: vision, foresightedness) because we always possessed it as a company. Not only the founder Gottfried Schmidt himself had shown vision or foresightedness. Each generation that followed also had and still has visions, that developed the company to what it is today. A company with thought leaders, doers, inventors, critics and perfectionists.
Also, in the future, we will meet the challenge of developing our products and our actions with foresightedness - for the continued existence of the company and for the benefit of our customers.

Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
We serve a wide range of customers, from craft businesses to large global corporations. So, we have already been internationally active in previous generations. And the name has never been a limitation. Our employees in sales and customer service are trained accordingly, our documents and systems are multilingually available and maintained.

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director

We see a further growing importance of the topic of “sharing”. With our strong partners in professional service, we have been living this idea for many decades and see increasing importance in society. Clothing remains available in a cycle of the highest quality for many years - for us this is the sustainable counter trend to "fast fashion". In this context we offer digital solutions that satisfy our customers and our wearers and convince them, that WEITBLICK is the right choice.

We will act on these fields and consciously set the right accents – that’s how we understand corporate responsibility towards our employees and our customers.

For decades, the textile and clothing industry has been growing steadily worldwide. In terms of sustainability, to put it mildly, there is a rather mixed feedback for our industry. What is the Gottfried Schmidt OHG focusing on in order to meet its social responsibility?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have long anchored sustainability in our company as one of the most important priorities in our strategy. This becomes apparent e.g. by the use of Fair-Trade cotton, which we bring to the market in large quantities together with other companies and suppliers in the industry. We think sustainability comprehensively. Each area of our company contributes to the fulfillment of corporate responsibility - towards our customers and our own employees.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what seals or certifications do you rely on?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have the highest standards in the entire supply chain, which we implement together with our partners and monitor closely. This includes fair production conditions in Europe with comparatively short distances, which are guaranteed by the internationally recognized SA 8000 seal. The avoidance of unnecessary packaging material, climate-neutral shipping and the reduction of plastic are also a matter of course for us. For example, we are currently working on using recycled polyester in the future. We are looking forward to the Green Button and want to qualify for this state seal of quality.

At WEITBLICK, you have chosen a consciously young form of communication. Whether Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest or relevant business platforms - social media clearly take a central position in your media mix. This is not necessarily standard in the textile rental service. Why did you choose this form of addressing?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
For us, WEITBLICK - far-sightedness - also means “venturing something new”!
From my point of view, in the digital age, the question for companies is no longer whether social networks should be used or not, but only how and to what extent. With more than 3 billion people who are now represented in social media networks worldwide, we no longer speak of zeitgeist, but of a must-have in the marketing mix. Our communication follows the guiding principle: "We do not conduct a monologue, but an open dialogue at eye level." Social media achieve exactly that! 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
The transformation of our company. With courage, strength and confidence, we managed to reposition our company almost completely within a very short period of time. This includes the modern umbrella brand WEITBLICK, which for us is also an obligation to our actions. But also, the growth that we have achieved in the past four years with around 40 new employees. We have built a new logistics center - with highly modern processes that are largely automated, e.g. with intelligent RFID technology. In doing so, we are trying to take all employees with us on this journey, which is not always easy but the right track. The positive thing about it is that our long-standing as well as our new employees work for us on their own responsibility and with enthusiasm.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

TV TecSTyle Visions proved its status as a leading trade fair of the European textile decoration industry in an impressive way. (c) Messe Stuttgart
11.02.2020

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: IMPRESSIVE CONFIRMATION OF STATUS AS LEADING TRADE FAIR

  • High internationality and excellent visitor quality ensure top ra-tings

The trade fair combination for visual communication and haptic adver-tising, EXPO 4.0, was an impressive event with 421 exhibitors and 12,518 visitors held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 in Stuttgart:

  • High internationality and excellent visitor quality ensure top ra-tings

The trade fair combination for visual communication and haptic adver-tising, EXPO 4.0, was an impressive event with 421 exhibitors and 12,518 visitors held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 in Stuttgart:
TV TecStyle Visions, trade fair for textile decoration and promotion, enriched the trade fair combination with a top-class exhibitor offering, high internationality and an accompanying programme characterised by innovations and know-how transfer. It proved its status as a leading trade fair for the European textile decoration industry in an impressive way: 262 exhibitors, including all relevant companies from the exhibition segments textiles and technology, mark the importance as a European industry get-together every two years in Stuttgart. The leading trade fair confronts the uncertain European market situation and uncertainties in trade, the number of exhibitors remained almost constant compared to the previous event (2018: 270). The 126 international exhibitors came from 21 countries to Stuttgart. The top 5 countries of origin are Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Poland and Italy.
 
Many decision-makers from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region
Within the framework of TV TecStyle Visions the visitors were particularly interested in the different printing processes, embroidery and textiles. The EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination attracted 17 per cent international visitors from 50 countries to Stuttgart. The appeal of the leading European trade fair is manifested with the top visitor countries Switzerland and Austria. 35 percent of all visitors to TV TecStyle Visions travelled more than 300 kilometres to Stuttgart.

The quality of the visitors has been a reliable constant for years: four out of five visitors are actively involved in purchasing and procurement decisions, 87 percent have concrete intentions to invest and 84 percent of the visitors want to invest in the next 12 months. An overall rating of the trade fair combination of 2.0 ("good") and a return visit rate for 4 out of 5 visitors highlight the positive synergy effects created by the parallel timing of the three trade fairs in the trade fair combination EXPO 4.0. This is also reflected in the amount of time visitors spend at the event - on average 4.8 hours at the three trade fairs.
 
Comprehensive accompanying programme
Apart from the exhibition offering, TV TecStyle Visions has been convincing for years with a comprehensive accompanying programme. Not only real innovations and trends that move the industry are showcased at the stands. At this year's trade fair the TecCheck Area acts as a look into the near future. In the digital microfactory nine companies demonstrated the possibilities of digitalisation in production under the coordination of DITF (German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research, Denkendorf). A polo-shirt was made in one hour, from the 3D design and conception, through to the printing, thermosetting, cutting and making-up of the garment. The trend topics of the industry and the degree of innovation were also shown in the forum, such as the option of personalisation and automation in textile finishing/textile decoration/garment decoration. The TecStyle Fashion Show, the forum and also Charlie's Corner gave visitors a platform to exchange information and ideas and for know-how transfer, as well as another presentation possibility for the exhibitors.
 
The next TV TecStyle Visions takes place in the EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination with WETEC and GiveADays in two years. The dates 10 to 12 February 2022 are currently reserved.

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED (c) Messe Stuttgart
17.12.2019

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

Knowledge transfer for doers
The special technical show TecCheck Area is a new addition to TV TecStyle Visions: Visitors will be able to follow the complete production process for a polo shirt during this special show. A shirt - from its 3-D design through to the finished product - will be produced live within one hour on stand 1B80 in a digital textile micro factory, i.e. a digitally networked production line. The German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF) is responsible for the technical management of this special show with the support of Albstadt-Sigmaringen University and Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Renowned manufacturers and retailers such as Assyst, Caddon, HP, Multi-Plot Europe, Schöller Textil, Rebstock Consulting and Zünd Systemtechnik will present the latest products on the market for the live production demonstration. The production line will bridge the gap between virtual and real products, virtual reality and networked production, based on specific requirements.

In Charlie’s Corner Charlie Taublieb alias Dr. Print will shed light on the technical aspects of textile finishing by means of screen printing. On Stand 1C11 visitors will be able to print a T-shirt themselves under the supervision of this expert and profit from his know-how through its design. Together with his expert network, Dr. Print will be pleased to answer all unresolved questions.

Fair trade, sustainable products and ecological production methods are in demand. At the fair•eco•bio Infopoint (Stand 1G22) experts such as Mantis, Neutral and HRM will explain in more detail to visitors how the production, sale and finishing of advertising textiles are organised sustainably. Interested trade visitors will have an opportunity themselves to print a sustainably produced item of clothing using water-based inks.The programme of the Technical Forum (Stand 1D22) will include talks and best practice examples relating to the topics of smart textiles, finishing techniques and sustainability. Panel discussions in which experts from the industry talk about the latest developments in the industry will also be held every day. These discussions will be followed by a get-together which will enable visitors and participants to carry out networking.

Experience inspiration live 
During the TecStyle Fashion Show on Stand 1H70, models and dancers will present the latest fashion trends and outfits in a show accompanied by music. The show will feature the latest collections from    
renowned national and international textile labels such as HAKRO, JHK, Adler Czech, Result Clothing, Falk&Ross, Master Italia, Premier and Promodoro.

Talent promotion: Young Professionals Day
The Young Professionals Day will be held for the first time and is aimed at industry newcomers. Schoolchildren, students and young professionals are invited to attend the Action Day (30 January 2020) in order to become acquainted with the occupational fields of EXPO 4.0, i.e. textile finishing, advertising technology and visual communication. Students from the Stuttgart Media University and Messe
Stuttgart are jointly developing a programme by young professionals for young professionals. The Young Professionals Day will feature special talks, hands-on activities and tours of the trade fair tailored directly to the target group.

Information for visitors
TV TecStyle Visions will be held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 concurrently with the trade fairs WETEC and GiveADays in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1) at Messe Stuttgart. Europe's leading trade fair for textile finishing and promotion will be open from 09.30 to 18.00 on Thursday and Friday, 30 and 31 January 2020, and from 09.30 to 17.00 on Saturday, 1 February 2020. Visitors attending TV TecStyle Visions can access the event via the Entrance East which directly adjoins the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1). A total of 7,000 parking spaces are available in the area around the trade fair grounds while the S-Bahn (suburban train) at Stuttgart Airport is just a few minutes walk away.
Tickets for TV TecStyle Visions can be purchased online at: www.tecstyle-visions.com/ticket. A free day ticket is available with the promotion code "TV20IhrTicket" and entitles the holder to visit all events in the EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination.
 
About EXPO 4.0 – Print.Produce.Promote.
EXPO 4.0 is the leading platform for visual communication and haptic advertising. The three trade fairs TV TecStyle Visions, WETEC and GiveADays showcase new products and innovations in the areas of textile finishing, advertising technology and promotion. In spring 2018, the trade fair combination recorded a total of 566 exhibitors from 28 countries and 13,700 trade visitors from 41 countries.

More information:
TV TECSTYLE VISIONs
Source:

Messe Stuttgart

MARINE INTERIORS: TRADE FAIR DEBUT WHETS APPETITE FOR MORE (c) Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH / Nico
10.12.2019

MARINE INTERIORS: TRADE FAIR DEBUT WHETS APPETITE FOR MORE

Innovative design trends and top-flight expert panels: MARINE INTERIORS sets new standards for ship interior design. The inaugural trade fair is exclusively dedicated to this topic – marked by excellent exhibitor and visitor attendance

Innovative design trends and top-flight expert panels: MARINE INTERIORS sets new standards for ship interior design. The inaugural trade fair is exclusively dedicated to this topic – marked by excellent exhibitor and visitor attendance

From furnishings to lighting systems, and from fine materials to kitchen equipment, the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, which premiered in September 2019, provided a showcase to a wide variety of suppliers of cruise ship interiors. More than 100 exhibitors met up with architects and designers as well as decision-makers from shipyards and shipping companies. "These three days have shown that this new trade fair is received very well by the market. The successful debut of MARINE INTERIORS underlines our leading role as organisers of SMM within the maritime segment," said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
 
The exhibition instantly proved itself as a platform for this highly specialised segment, impressing participants with its quality and broad coverage: "Finding so much expertise in the field of cruise ship interiors at a single trade fair is unique in Europe. Compared with other trade fairs, MARINE INTERIORS excels in providing a high density of relevant contacts,” said Arjan Koole, Regional Sales Director Germany & Nordics at the kitchen equipment specialist Middleby Marine. The inaugural event attracted 2800 industry visitors to Hamburg's exhibition complex.

Hamburg – an ideal location  
The location of MARINE INTERIORS clearly was an advantage, as well: "Hamburg is an attractive city, and as a cruise hub it is an ideal place for such an event. I believe MARINE INTERIORS will rapidly establish itself in the market," said David Le Viol, Tender Manager at the Finnish turnkey solutions provider Almaco.

The professionalism of the trade fair preparations received praise, as well. An example is the response from Georgi Karhu, Chief Commercial Officer at Gettone Group: "Since the list of participating companies was available ahead of time, I was able to plan my exhibition participation perfectly and carefully prepare my conversations with existing and potential customers. This made this trade fair experience especially efficient and successful." Well attended social formats such as ‘Wine o’clock’ proved to be great opportunities for networking.

Compelling high-profile conference programme  
The exhibition was accompanied by panel discussions of international experts who shared views about brand identity and the establishment of new brands. They also talked about the safety regulation challenges faced by designers. Kai Bunge and Stefan Seidenfaden from Partner Ship Design Hamburg gave some fascinating insights into their work on board "Costa Smeralda". "Costa established the Motto 'Italy’s Finest'. This prompted us to explore how we could find a contemporary interpretation for traditional Italian elements such as art, fashion and Dolce Vita," said Seidenfaden.

The experts then discussed the meaning of brand identity for the cruise segment, and how designers can express it. The expert panel was moderated by Tal Danai, CEO of Artlink: "The inaugural MARINE INTERIORS event in Hamburg was a hive of energy. It encouraged and embraced socializing alongside good business encounters in an enriching atmosphere with a taste for more.”

In the second panel, titled "How to design to comply", David McCarthy, Director of Marine Projects & Communications at AD Associates, examined together with his guests how safety requirements can be integrated into an aesthetic room design concept. His impression: “The MARINE INTERIORS Forum with all its sessions was fantastic, and I was very pleased to have so many competent people to talk to."

Asia was the focal topic at today's Chinese Dialogue Sessions. Representatives of Chinese cruise associations spoke about the potential of the Chinese cruise market and unique design requirements for the Chinese audience.

New trade fair closes gap for the industry
The highly positive response the new trade fair received from visitors and exhibitors was aptly summarised by Päivi Mäkinen, Director Sales & After Sales Services at Marahrens Group: "Our expectations have been exceeded by far. The quality of visitors and contacts has been extremely good. Visitor attendance at our stand was excellent. The time was right for the launch of a trade fair like MARINE INTERIORS."
With this new format, Hamburg Messe und Congress caters to the needs of the booming cruise industry and complements its exhibition portfolio: While in even years SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair offers the industry an expansive platform through its Interiors area and the Cruise & Ferry Route, MARINE INTERIORS now shines the spotlight on interior design in odd years. The next event will be from 8 until 10 September 2021.
 
About the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM
The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM takes place every odd year and is held in parallel with the Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention. More than 100 exhibitors from all areas of ship interior design took place in the inaugural event in Hamburg from 11 until 13 September 2019. They were joined by numerous top-ranking visitors, including decision-makers from shipping companies, shipyards and design firms. The new trade fair was accompanied by a conference programme featuring high-profile experts.

(c) Koelnmesse GmbH
19.11.2019

IMM COLOGNE 2020: STILL INDOORS OR ALREADY OUTSIDE?

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living.

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living. In a wide-ranging variety of styles – from minimalist to extravagant, from matter-of-fact to sensuous – the installation blends current trends and products into a finely tuned interior design. Koelnmesse has nominated the young Spanish design team MUT to be its guest of honour for the ninth edition of “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2020 (13.-19.1.).

“A project like ‘Das Haus’ gives a designer a unique opportunity to create something that’s totally independent of production and market conditions while simultaneously understanding and rediscovering their designs in terms of how they impact the space,” says MUT, describing the challenge of designing a fully furnished house for the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne.

“In our design, we want to go one step further and explore the potential architecture and interior design have for opening the space up to the outdoors.” As a result, the architectural dimension of “Das Haus” is particularly significant this time round. “Mediterranean life is synonymous with outdoor living,” says MUT of the inspiration the team draws from its traditional lifestyle culture. “Our houses have always integrated a little bit of nature into their interiors.”

Founded in 2010 by Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón, the design studio is one of the most successful teams of the “new wave” in Spanish design. In their native Valencia, a hotspot of Spanish design that’s bolstered by the traditional furnituremaking and ceramics industries round about, the team creates furniture, carpets, tiles and lamps for the interiors sector, as well as designing hotels and exhibitions. All their work is characterised by a tendency towards simple, soft, circular shapes. Their creations – which have won major accolades such as the Red Dot award – exhibit forms with a vaguely unfamiliar quality or translate a familiar shape into a modern design. Their international clientele includes firms such as Expormim, GAN, Ex.t, Sancal, Preciosa Lighting, Bolia, E interiors, Harmony Inspire, Missana and LZF.

The name MUT comes from Valencian (a variant of Catalan) and translates roughly as “Quiet!” – a request for silence when you want to make yourself heard. But the designers can also identify with the German meaning of “Mut”, i.e. courage: “It rounds off the way we see ourselves perfectly, because nowadays it takes a lot of courage to stand up for your own principles instead of going with the flow dictated by trends,” says the Spanish team. And it’s definitely true to say that emotionality and an expressive design language are the most outstanding characteristics of their work.

With MUT, “Das Haus” is deliberately remaining within the sphere of European design this time round, while simultaneously selecting a decidedly progressive team with a contemporary profile. “MUT isn’t so much a classic design team as the kind of multidisciplinary community of like-minded people that exists in all sorts of constellations nowadays: modern, flexible and creative. They work in a surprisingly diverse range of fields: they’re product designers, creative directors, graphic designers, interior designers and curators, all rolled into one,” says Dick Spierenburg, creative director of the imm cologne, on the decision to nominate MUT. “As a result, they stand for a new generation of design studios that’s responding to a changed market landscape in which huge demands are made of designers’ adaptability and inventiveness.”
 
“Das Haus” – half portrait of the designer, half model home
The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation simulates a residential house at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne. The fair constructs an approximately 180-square-metre house in the middle of the Pure Editions area, Hall 3.1, designed according to the plans of a designer who is newly nominated every year. The furniture, colours, materials, lighting and accessories are also selected by the designer, rendering the finished house an individual, integrated configuration of interior design. The project thereby deals not just with contemporary furnishing trends but also with people’s aspirations as well as social change.
          
“Das Haus” from 2012 to 2019 – eight ideas of home
“Das Haus” was staged for the first time in 2012 and the Indian-British design team of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien was nominated to introduce the new format. They installed a seemingly organically grown space that allowed inhabitants and cultures to interact in a spirit of communication. In 2013, the Italian product designer Luca Nichetto introduced the next installation of the design event with an elegant ensemble, the construction open on all sides. In 2014, the Danish designer Louise Campbell turned “Das Haus” into a low-tech place of calm within the bustle of the fair, representing the reconciliation of the most diverse human characters and preferences in style. In 2015, the Chinese architect couple Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri challenged traditional home life rituals by taking “cages for living” packed full with classic and modern furniture and setting them in a spatial construction that recalled the narrow alleyways of Shanghai, turning visitor into voyeur and calling for reflection. German designer Sebastian Herkner was on home turf in 2016. With his circular “Haus”, he created a house that was airy and fully accessible – with no barriers to people or cultures – and limited only by adjustable curtains in order to permit changing perspectives. The transatlantic “Haus” by Todd Bracher that trade fair visitors could experience in Cologne in 2017 drew its inspiration from paring down to the essentials. While the Czech designer Lucie Koldova transformed “Das Haus 2018” into an experiment about the emotional dimension of various lighting compositions, Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly turned its idea of mood-driven, “fluid” living into reality with a design consisting of organically interlinked zones.

Source:

Koelnmesse GmbH
Design Press Talk imm cologne 2020 in Valencia on 18 September 2019/ Studio

 

22.10.2019

Germany’s Trade Fair Market

Number one worldwide  
Germany is the world's number one location for international trade fairs. Some 160 to 180 international and national trade fairs are held in the country every year, with around 180,000 exhibitors and ten million visitors. Trade fairs in Germany bring partners together from around the world. They are forums for communication and innovation that reflect the world's markets. Around two-thirds of all global trade fairs are held in Germany
 
Important for the overall economy
Exhibitors and visitors spend a total of around €14,5 billion a year for their activities at trade fairs in Germany. The overall effect on economic production amounts to €28 billion German exhibition organisers post sales of around €4 billion a year. Of the ten highest-grossing trade fair companies in the world, five are headquartered in Germany.   

Number one worldwide  
Germany is the world's number one location for international trade fairs. Some 160 to 180 international and national trade fairs are held in the country every year, with around 180,000 exhibitors and ten million visitors. Trade fairs in Germany bring partners together from around the world. They are forums for communication and innovation that reflect the world's markets. Around two-thirds of all global trade fairs are held in Germany
 
Important for the overall economy
Exhibitors and visitors spend a total of around €14,5 billion a year for their activities at trade fairs in Germany. The overall effect on economic production amounts to €28 billion German exhibition organisers post sales of around €4 billion a year. Of the ten highest-grossing trade fair companies in the world, five are headquartered in Germany.   
Trade fair organisation secures a total of about 231,000 jobs. An average of two employees at exhibiting companies work on trade fairs. With around 58,000 companies currently active in the B2B segment at trade fairs, that means more than 100,000 full-time jobs.

Advantages for Germany as a trade fair location

State-of-the-art event facilities

Germany has 25 exhibition venues of international or national significance, with a combined hall space of 2.8 million square metres. The country’s exhibition facilities set international standards in architecture, logistics and technology. German exhibition centers invest around 300 million euros a year in optimising their facilities.
   
Four of the world’s eight largest exhibition venues are located in Germany, and ten venues in the country each have hall capacities of more than 100,000 square metres. Regional exhibition centers offer an additional combined hall space of around 380,000 square metres.

High international presence
A special competitive advantage of German trade fairs is their international appeal – the fairs draw the world’s markets into the country. Almost 60% of the approximately 180,000 exhibitors a year come from abroad, and one-third of these from countries outside Europe. Of the 10 million visitors each year, nearly 30% come from abroad.

Leading service standards
German organisers offer exhibiting companies a wide range of services. They support exhibitors by booking travel and accommodations and by doing press, publicity and marketing work. They also continuously expand their spheres of activity. In addition, many trade fair organisers have installed permanent online marketplaces, making them expert marketing partners for exhibiting companies throughout the year.

Excellent cost-benefit ratio
Trade fairs in Germany have moderate stand fees compared to other international sites. At the same time, they attract a high quantity and quality of visitors, which means that exhibitors in the country come into contact with many potential customers. Costs per visitor contact are favourable compared to trade fairs in other countries and to other marketing media.

Attractive regional trade fairs
The international and national trade fairs are supplemented by a dense network of well-organised regional trade fairs for distinct target groups. They include both specialist and consumer fairs. These events draw a total of around 50,000 exhibitors and 6 million visitors a year.
 
The exhibition business structure in Germany

Organisers

Approximately 100 exhibition organisers are active in Germany, around 40 of which handle international fairs. The largest of them are amongst the highest-grossing trade fair companies in the world. This makes the exhibition business one of the leading service sectors in Germany, also in comparison to other countries.
The German organisers in AUMA put on around 300 trade fairs in other countries – primarily in major growth regions such as Asia, North America, South America and Eastern Europe. That too benefits the German economy, because it needs expert partners for its trade fair activities – particularly in highly competitive foreign markets.

Exhibiting companies
Around 58,000 German companies are active exhibitors in the B2B segment. The majority of them are in the manufacturing sector (55 %), followed by the service sector (23 %), and trade (20 %). Medium-sized companies dominate in terms of both number of employees and sales: 51 % of exhibitors have fewer than 50 employees, and 39 % have 50 to 499. Some 47 % of exhibiting companies post sales of up to 2.5 million euros, and 35 % of 2.5 to 50 million euros.

Visitors
The percentage of decision-makers among all trade fair visitors is exceptionally high at 63 %. Managing directors, board members and self-employed people from Germany make up 35 % of trade visitors, and 73 % of those from abroad. The latter group commands above-average decisional powers, with 91 % having determining or co-determining influence on business decisions. Thirteen per cent of trade fair visitors come from companies with more than 1,000 employees, including top decision-makers from global corporations. Some 54 % of trade visitors come from companies with fewer than 60 employees.

More information:
trade fairs Trade Fair Market
Source:

AUMA Association of the German Trade Fair Industry

PromoTex Expo (c) PromoTex Expo
08.10.2019

Make your brand wearable - PromoTex Expo to enter second round in 2020

  • Sustainability at the Textile Campus
  • Make your shirt: Digital textile finishing process

It’s colourful, it’s loud and it shouts: “Make your brand wearable!” With its new claim PromoTex Expo brings together textile finishers and experts, signmakers, designers, promotional product distributors, agencies and marketeers to present their highlights in promotion, sports and workwear. The event will once again be held concurrently with PSI and viscom from 7 – 9 January 2020. Together these three trade shows – boasting optimised hall occupancy – form the World of Advertising and Selling.

  • Sustainability at the Textile Campus
  • Make your shirt: Digital textile finishing process

It’s colourful, it’s loud and it shouts: “Make your brand wearable!” With its new claim PromoTex Expo brings together textile finishers and experts, signmakers, designers, promotional product distributors, agencies and marketeers to present their highlights in promotion, sports and workwear. The event will once again be held concurrently with PSI and viscom from 7 – 9 January 2020. Together these three trade shows – boasting optimised hall occupancy – form the World of Advertising and Selling.

A total of 14.9 billion euros in sales are generated annually in Europe by the business with promotional items: This is shown by the "Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19", the first empirical study on the European promotional products industry. The structural data collected on markets, suppliers and retailers systematically and representatively covers the entire value chain.

The study shows: More than one third of the total European turnover is generated by micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. Together with large companies with more than 250 employees, they form the main source of sales in our industry. Together they account for more than half of the turnover. Germany generated with total 3,5 billion Euro about 23 of the European annual business and is thus one of the top 10 nations in the European promotional products industry.
 
PromoTex Expo to move closer to PSI again
Exhibitors’ wishes and needs were centre stage when allocating hall space for this trio of trade shows. This is also why PromoTex Expo will move closer to PSI again occupying parts of Hall 12 in future. In exchange for this, floor space so far unexploited in the other halls will be used for selling. “On the one hand, this move allows us to preserve the independence of PromoTex Expo within this alliance and, on the other, to ensure the proximity with PSI called for by the market,” says Director Petra Lassahn accounting for this move and adding: “Upon the request of both exhibitors and visitors we will already be implementing this adjustment in 2020 and, hence, one year earlier than planned.”

viscom will find its new home in Hall 13. Two walkways create a direct connection between the two trade shows thereby ensuring optimum visitor flows. The trade show for visual communication will also be directly accessible via the entrances Ost and Nord-Ost. As a result, the tactile, textile and visual forms of communication will again be presented under the same roof and within even easier reach at the beginning of the year. As before, admission to all three trade shows will be exclusively restricted to qualified trade visitors and PSI members.
 
Sustainability a trend at the Textile Campus
In Hall 12 visitors to PromoTex Expo will find such familiar faces in this industry as TeeJays, Lynka, Vossen, Matterhorn, Regatta and MASCOT International A/S. However, new faces like stilfaser and the IGUANA GROUP will also feature, introducing their product highlights as part of the international trade show.

Alongside the exhibitors’ ranges an extensive line-up of side events will also convince visitors. Serving as a centre piece here will be the Textile Campus. In cooperation with sustainable companies, it will be shown how new workwear is created from plastic fished from the sea or how old clothes are turned into new promotional textiles. The focus is on ideas from innovative companies that use them to make production and trade fairer and ecological. On the catwalk adjacent to the campus, the participating exhibitors will present their latest collections to a wide audience.
 
Strolling along the fashion Boulevard
Visitors looking for innovations and directions in the fields of sports, career, promotion and leisure will find these at a glance at the new Boulevard. The corridor leads completely through the exhibition hall and shows the trends in a theme-oriented and staged way.

The production chain from design to finished product will be featured on the special area “Mach Dein Shirt/Make your Shirt” in Hall 13. Under the heading “Textil 4.0” this area will focus on Mass Customisation. IT experts and solutions providers will guide visitors through tomorrow’s buying process using a QR code. Once these have generated a print motif, they issue a print job and then follow their individual QR code on its way through the finishing process up to shipping. In an illustrative way, the linking of digital IT solutions with analogue finishing techniques will be demonstrated here, with the IT solution care of our curated partner Smake playing a key role. In the process, the synergies between tactile, textile and visual communications become apparent and with it the concept underlying this trade show triad.
          
About PromoTex Expo
All facets of Mass Customisation, smart clothes, sustainability in the textile chain as well as textile finishing as a service: these are the trend themes of PromoTex Expo. As a new information and knowledge platform for this industry the trade show for Promotion, Sports and Workwear in Düsseldorf is the central point of contact for international textile finishers, promotional product distributors, signmakers, designers, textile experts, retail and agencies. After its successful debut in January 2019 attended by 13,217 trade visitors from 39 nations, the forthcoming event will be held in Düsseldorf from 7 to 9 January 2020 – concurrently with the trade shows PSI – Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry and viscom – European Trade Show for Visual Communication. Taken together they form Europe’s biggest trade show alliance for Advertising and Selling.

China Gerd Altmann, Pixabay
17.09.2019

FAIR MARKET CHINA

The People's Republic of China has experienced unprecedented economic growth since the late 1970s, with average double-digit growth rates. Over the past 10 years, the country has become the export world champion and holds the position as the second largest economy after the USA for almost as long. Along with the economic boom, modern China faces major challenges, including high wage increases, massive environmental problems and overcapacity in many industrial sectors.
 

The People's Republic of China has experienced unprecedented economic growth since the late 1970s, with average double-digit growth rates. Over the past 10 years, the country has become the export world champion and holds the position as the second largest economy after the USA for almost as long. Along with the economic boom, modern China faces major challenges, including high wage increases, massive environmental problems and overcapacity in many industrial sectors.
 
Unlike at the beginning of the opening policy more than 40 years ago, when foreign investors with the appropriate technology and know-how were targeted, China is now pursuing a strategy to strengthen the domestic market. With the support of the "Made in China 2025" decree adopted in 2015, the Middle Kingdom is to become one of the leading industrial nations in three ten-year programs by 2045. In doing so, the government is focusing on promoting innovation, increasing production efficiency, optimizing the industrial structure and "green" production. Key sectors such as robotics, medical technology, electromobility and modern agricultural technology are defined as particularly eligible. The development of Industry 4.0 is also of great importance.

Economic data 2018/2019* (estimates and forecasts)
GDP      USD 14,217 billion*
Population    1,395.4 billion
Exports    USD 2,487.4 billion
Exports to Germany EUR 106.3 billion
Imports USA 2,135.6 Mrd. billion
Imports from Germany EUR 93.1 billion 

    Source: GTAI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs    

China's regions have developed at different rates. Although the economically strong regions at the east and southeast coast of the country generate about half of the annual GDP, the areas in central and western China are recovering dynamically. With the "go-west" policy, since the turn of the millennium, the Chinese government has been increasingly working to promote and develop the western regions, increasing the attractiveness of the affected regions to foreign investment and business settlements. 

Another ambitious project is designed for decades: The “One Belt and One Road” initiative, i.e. the revival of the "Silk Road", which connects more than 60 states in Asia and Europe via land and water. Planned and already implemented billion investment in the construction of ports, railways and telecommunications equipment. Opportunities for German companies exist above all for providers of special equipment in rail, shipping, port and aviation technology. 
 
German-Chinese economic relations have developed very well in recent decades. At the beginning of 2014, the first Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CHKD) in Europe was founded in Berlin to promote the intensification of trade relations. Since 2011, Germany and China have been conducting regular government consultations that include comprehensive strategic partnerships.  

In 2018, German exports to China amounted to EUR 93 billion. Imports from China today amount to more than EUR 100 billion. With a trade volume of about EUR 200 billion in 2018, Germany is by far China's most important European trading partner. For Germany, the People's Republic of China is again the most important trading partner in Asia and the third most important worldwide. The main products supplied to China are machinery, motor vehicles and automotive parts, electrical engineering and chemical products. Around 5,200 German companies are based in China; around 900 Chinese companies have settled in Germany. 
          
Trade Fair Industry
Although China's economy is slowing, the world's second-largest economy continues to grow. Investments worth billions in infrastructure, housing, climate and environmental protection, combined with the construction and expansion of trade fair venues, have made China the most important trade fair venue in Asia, and this position is undisputed. Especially in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the professionalism of the trade fair organizers is high, above all because of the numerous international cooperation. 
 
The fairs in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou continue to characterize the Chinese fair landscape. Beijing as an important trade fair location is characterized by its proximity to political decision-makers and the extensive expansion of infrastructure. The majority of the major trade fairs take place in Shanghai and the concentration of international organizers is high.  

The increased reorientation of the Chinese economy on the domestic market also influences the further development of the Chinese trade fair landscape, as the exhibition industry is increasingly turning to the service sector, digitization, automation, health, education and high-quality consumption.  

The "New Silk Road" project also has a major influence on the Chinese trade fair industry: Chinese organizers are increasingly conducting trade fairs and trade fair participations in countries that are to be linked via the Silk Road. In 2018, 76 trade fair organizers were involved in 718 trade fairs in 33 countries, an increase of around 14% compared to the previous year. Most of the fairs were classified as multi-sector and machine-building exhibitions. With an increase of 19% compared to the previous year, the majority of the exhibition-related projects were realized in Russia.

Country Number of Fairs Exhibitors from China
Russia 132 3,870
India 89 3,129
United Arab Emirates 82 3,906
Turkey 30 1,728
Thailand 47 1,641

Since 2015, the Chinese State Council has been pursuing the strategy of making the domestic trade fair industry more international and transparent by 2020. For example, the approval of new trade fairs is to be gradually decentralized and responsibility transferred to the provinces. There is a noticeable professionalization of trade fairs outside the traditional trade fair locations of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In addition, China has developed into the world's largest e-commerce market, i.e. online platforms are used as distribution channels for products. This development is also increasingly affecting trade fairs as a marketing instrument, as traditional aspects of trade fairs are virtualized.   
 
The main problem for the Chinese trade fair industry remains the great complexity of the Chinese trade fair market with its many trade fair offerings, which vary greatly in terms of quality. In addition, the "Go West" strategy of the Chinese government to promote and develop the western regions has resulted in a large number of trade fair centers that are often not profitable due to their low capacity utilization. In 2018, for example, around 9.83 million m2 of exhibition space is said to have been available in 164 exhibition centers in China. More than half of the exhibition grounds had a utilization rate of less than 10%. The competition between trade fair locations for trade show themes and thus exhibitors and visitors lead to overlapping themes and schedules. Sufficient information or independently collected data on space utilization, exhibitor and visitor numbers are scarce and make it difficult for everyone involved to make the right trade fair selection.

Trade fair cities and exhibition venues
In China, many large exhibition centers have been built during the last 10 years. In 2018, 164 exhibition centers with a hall area capacity of 9.83 million m² were counted. That were 11 exhibition centers or 480,000 m² more than in 2017. Shanghai is the most important exhibition hub in the country - two of the largest exhibition centers are located here.

The 10 largest fairgrounds in China (more than 100,000 m²)
Venue     Gross hall size in m²
National Exh. & Conv. Ctr (NECC), Shanghai 400,000
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou 338,000
Kunming Dianchi Intern. Conv. & Exh. Centre 300,000
Western China International Expo City, Chengdu 205,000
Chongqing International Expo Centre 200,000
Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) 200,000
Wuhan International Expo Centre 150,000
Nanchang Greenland International Expo Center 140,000
Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center 140,000
GD Modern International Exhibition Center, Houjie 130,000

Additional fairgrounds were built over the last years e.g.in the provinces Shandong and Guangdong. With a covered exhibition area of 1.54 million m2 spread over 21 fair grounds the southern province Guangdong takes the top position in China.

German Engagement
In a comparison of countries, the People's Republic of China takes first place concerning German trade fair organizers’ self-organized events abroad. The concepts of these events are based on the standards of leading international trade fairs in Germany. Almost all major German trade fair organizers are active in China. By far the most attractive market is the economic metropolis of Shanghai.

Outside the leading trade fair cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, German organizers are active in Chengdu, Changsha, Foshan, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Qingdao and Xian. 

Year Number GTQ** China (without Hongkong) Shanghai
2019* 324 86 51
2018 321 88 51
2017 300 83 50
2016 296 84 49
2015 295 84 49

* preliminary
**Self-organized events by German trade fair organizers are advertised by AUMA with the label "German Trade Fair Quality Abroad" (GTQ). 
Source: AUMA database
 
Foeign Trade Fair Program 
In the PRC, German companies can present themselves at numerous well-established trade fairs under the umbrella brand "made in Germany" within the Foreign Trade Fair Program. The trade fair participations in the form of German Pavilions cover a large part of the capital goods sector, such as mechanical engineering, food and packaging machinery, automotive supply industry, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, agricultural technology, health care to chemical and environmental engineering. But also, furniture, fashion and consumer goods fairs have been an important part of the program for many years. China is the most important trade fair venue for German companies within the Foreign Trade Fair Program, with Shanghai remaining by far the most important trade fair location.

Contacts
Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Beijing
E-Mail: info@bj.china.ahk.de 
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Shanghai
E-Mail: office@sh.china.ahk.de  
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Guangzhou
E-Mail: info@gz.china.ahk.de  
Homepage: http://www.china.ahk.de

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
E-Mail: embassy@peki.diplo.de  
Homepage: http://www.peking.diplo.de

AUMA e.V.
Natalja Winges
Manager
Regions: Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia
Tel.: +49 30 24 000 124 Fax: +49 30 24 000 320
E-Mail: n.winges@auma.de

More information:
China trade fairs
Source:

AUMA Association of the German Trade Fair Industry

Wireless Power Transmission for Technical Textiles Bild von Gerd Altmann auf Pixabay
27.08.2019

WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION FOR TECHNICAL TEXTILES

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

Electrical energy is required for such applications and functions. Despite the efforts to further minimize the energy demand of electronic circuits, it is not always possible to operate these systems completely energy autonomously. Therefore, energy storage devices such as batteries or rechargeable accumulators are necessary for operation. The big advantage of recharging is that smaller, more compact energy storage devices can be used to achieve the same or an increased service life running time. There are two basic concepts for recharging a battery with electrical energy. On the one hand wired and with connections like a micro-USB cable. On the other hand wireless via wireless power transmission. With wired solutions, contacts can wear out or be added by fuzz, especially in the textile sector. In addition, the connecting process is less flexible and uncomfortable.

Wireless concepts offer several advantages and are therefore better suited. For example, the electronics including energy storage can be completely encapsulated, since no galvanic contacts are required. Among other things, this makes the textile directly machine-washable, because the electronics are protected from water, detergents and sweat. This means that no components need to be removed from the textile when washing. A further purely practical advantage is the simplicity of charging. With the suitable concept, the textile can be hung on hangers, placed in laundry baskets or, ideally, simply placed in the washing machine and charged without any further action of the user. The result is an uncomplicated, charming way of operating smart textiles.

There are several concepts and possibilities for wirelessly supplying a textile with energy. The most popular and at the same time most efficient method is the inductive power transmission [1]. Two coils are inductively coupled to each other and thus transmit energy wirelessly (Figure 2). Air, wood, plastic, but also liquids such as water or human tissue can be penetrated a few centimeters almost loss-free.  There are also various concepts for integrating electronics into textiles. From the production of the entire circuit on thin printed circuit boards to complete textile integration, a wide variety of mixtures are possible. The easiest concepts to develop are those in which all circuit parts are manufactured on printed circuit boards. Thin printed circuit boards can have substrate thicknesses of a few tenths of a millimeter (Figure 1). But flexible possibilities such as manufacturing on silicones are also conceivable. Among other things, the sensors and microcontrollers as well as the coil for inductive energy transfer to the substrate are manufactured. This complete printed circuit board then only has to be connected to the textile, whether by gluing, sewing or insertion.

Concepts in which the receiver coil is integrated into the textile go one step further. For example, ultra-fine wires or strands are woven or embroidered and the textile material thus becomes the substrate itself as a functionalized textile. The rest of the circuit, which is still integrated on a conventional substrate, is then connected to the coil and the textile. Since some of the spools can have diameters of a few centimeters, one can gain in flexibility because the textile spool can move almost freely. With a complete textile integration, the components are finally attached to the textile and the conductor paths are embroidered or woven in.

Consistently implemented and used, wireless power transmission as a simple and convenient charging method of textiles can thus contribute to sustainably strengthen the market for smart textiles improving handling and user experience.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS
Authors: Dominik Schröder, Dr. Christian Hedayat

Bild von Michael de Groot auf Pixabay
13.08.2019

TRADE FAIR MARKET NETHERLANDS

  • EXPORT NATION WITH LARGE TRADE FAIR PORTFOLIO

The economy is flourishing and economic forecasts are rising: The Netherlands is one of the five largest export nations in the world.  Motor of the Dutch economy and at the same time the cultural center is the Randstad region, which comprises the major cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The most important trade fair venues in the country are also located here, off from the seat of the government in The Hague.

  • EXPORT NATION WITH LARGE TRADE FAIR PORTFOLIO

The economy is flourishing and economic forecasts are rising: The Netherlands is one of the five largest export nations in the world.  Motor of the Dutch economy and at the same time the cultural center is the Randstad region, which comprises the major cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The most important trade fair venues in the country are also located here, off from the seat of the government in The Hague.
The trade fair venue of Amsterdam, which is operated by RAI Amsterdam, the Dutch trade fair company with the highest turnover, is of primary importance here. The ISE Integrated Systems Europe, IBC - International Broadcasting Convention and the Modefabriek are among the trade fairs with the largest number of visitors and an international focus. Due to the proximity of the market, however, national and regional trade fairs can also be of interest to German companies.
 
Economy
The Dutch economy is flourishing, above all due to private consumption and investment activity of companies. The Dutch economy is expected to grow by 3% in 2018 and 2.6% in 2019, according to Germany Trade & Invest. To the Dutch gross domestic product (GDP) 55% services, 12% industrial production and 4% by the construction industry contribute.

The Netherlands is one of the five largest export nations in the world. They are particularly dependent on the world trade, as around 45% of exports are re-exports. 75% of the Netherlands' exports go to the EU, 25% thereof to Germany. This makes Germany the Netherlands' most important foreign trade partner. In terms of imports, China has meanwhile taken the first place, followed by Germany, Belgium, the USA and Great Britain. From a German perspective, the Netherlands, with a trade volume of EUR 167.3 billion in 2017, was Germany's second most important trading partner (after China).
 
German exports of pharmaceuticals, food, machinery and motor vehicles play a particularly important role in the German-Dutch trade. Imports to Germany include food, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, gas and electronics.

The four large cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, located in the west of the country, are grouped together under the name Randstad. This region is the engine of the Dutch economy and the cultural center of the country. The Randstad is home to 42% of the total population. Half of all jobs are located there. Consequently, half of the GDP is generated in the Randstad.

Economic data 2017/2018 (estimates/forecasts)
GDP 733.1 bn. EUR
Residents  17.1 bn. EUR
Exports to Germany 91.3 bn. EUR
Imports from Germany 85.8 bn. EUR

  Source: AHK, Ministry of Foreign Affair, GTAI
   
Exhibition industry
180 trade fairs were organized in the Netherlands in 2017. As in the previous year, 68% of these trade fairs were nationally oriented, while 21 trade fairs had an international reach (12%). This means that fewer international trade fairs took place than in the previous year (26), but four more than 2015 (19), which is the more meaningful year of comparison due to many trade fairs with a two-year cycle. 45,144 exhibitors and 1.7 million trade visitors took part in the 180 trade fairs in 2017. The 21 international trade fairs, which had 9,527 exhibitors and 310,065 visitors, were also very successful.

Between 2010 and 2014, there were significantly more trade fairs than in 2017, around 230 trade fairs per year. The decline primarily affects national trade fairs and is attributable to cooperation between organizers and the consolidation of trade fairs. The average number of exhibitors and visitors in 2017 was significantly higher than in 2014, while the number of trade fairs with an international orientation changed only slightly.

In 2017 a total of 539 professional trade fairs and public exhibitions took place in the Netherlands. 6.3 million visitors came to see the products and services on offer from 101,780 exhibitors. These figures were announced by the Dutch industry association Centrum Voor Live Communication (CLC-VECTA).

  2017 2016 2015 2014
Industry and consumer fairs 539 608  562 579
Thereof industry fairs 180 214 207 231
- thereof international 21 26 19 28
Consumer fairs 359 394 355 348

Source: Jaarcijfers Beurzen 2017, CLC-VECTA

Trade fair organizations
The trade fair industry in the Netherlands is represented by the association CLC-VECTA. This is the industry association for companies and professionals who organize, host and provide trade shows, conventions and events. The network has around 200 members. CLC-VECTA publishes annual figures on the Dutch trade fair market and provides information about events in the industry.

In the smaller NVBO (Nederlandse Veriniging van Beursorganisatoren) with 18 members, mostly smaller Dutch trade fair organizers are organized usually without an exhibition venue of their own.
For their foreign trade activities, Dutch companies are looking for international platforms abroad, especially in Germany. In 2017, 5,576 companies from the Netherlands exhibited at 148 trade fairs in Germany. This corresponds to 59% of companies represented at international trade fairs in the Netherlands.
 
The AUMA trade fair database lists between 85 and 90 trade fairs in the Netherlands every year. Only individual trade fairs have tested figures. Due to the proximity of the market, national and regional trade fairs may be of interest to German companies.

The Dutch industry association CLC-VECTA announces the number of exhibition organizers at 270 in 2017. Of these, 95 organizers organized 180 trade fairs. Most fairs are organized by Easyfairs, Jaarbeurs Utrecht and RAI Amsterdam.

Trade fairs and organizers
Of the 25 most visited trade fairs in 2017, six are internationally oriented:

Exhibition City Organizer Number of visitors Number of
exhibitors
ISE - Integrated Systems Europe Amsterdam Integrated Systems Europe 73,413 1,192
IBC - International Broadcasting Convention Amsterdam International Broadcast Convention 57,669 1,076
Modefabriek Amsterdam Modefabriek BV 38,000 600
Europort Rotterdam Rotterdam Ahoy 26,733 1,100
METSTRADE - Marine Equipment Trade Show Amsterdam RAI Amsterdam 24,865 1,552
Aquatech Amsterdam Amsterdam RAI Amsterdam 20,490 909

Contact

German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Website: https://www.dnhk.org/

German Embassy Den Haag
Website: https://niederlande.diplo.de/nl-de/vertretungen/botschaft

German Consulate General Amsterdam
Website: https://niederlande.diplo.de/nl-de/service/generalkonsulat1

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI)
E-Mail: info@gtai.de
Website: http://www.gtai.de

AUMA
Heike Schöttle
Specialist global markets
Regions: Western Europe, Middle East / North Africa, South Asia
Tel.: +49 30 24000-126
Fax: +49 30 24000-320
E-Mail: h.schoettle@auma.de

Source:

AUMA Ausstellungs- und Messe-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.