DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 2, 5 p.m. EDT) — K 2007 drew about 242,000 visitors to Messe Dusseldorf Oct. 24-31, 4.8 percent more than the 231,000 who came to previous event in 2004. The K show continues to become more international, as show organizers reported a 19 percent increase in visitors from outside of Germany.
Messe Dusseldorf officials released preliminary figures at a news conference the final day of the show. Ulrich Reifenhauser, chairman of the K 2007 exhibitor council, said a “remarkable number of deals were closed — some in the millions” during the eight-day show, the world's largest plastics trade fair. He attributed the show's buoyant atmosphere to a strong European economy, and visitors from outside of Europe who came ready to buy new technology.
Visitors came from more than 100 countries. The by-country breakdown showed that 43 percent came from Germany, 31 percent from the rest of Europe and 26 percent from outside of Europe.
The number of visitors from the United States and Canada weighed in strongly with 8,300, up from 6,900 at K 2004. But Latin America provided even more, at 11,000, up from 8,000 in 2004.
On the other hand, there were as many as 10,000 visitors from India, the largest participation of all among the 30,000 visitors from Asia, outstripping the 1,000 visitors from China.
At the 2004 K show, there were 23,000 visitors from India.
The immediately neighboring countries of the Netherlands (10,000) and Belgium (8,500) accounted for the largest numbers of European visitors from outside of Germany, illustrating once again that even an international event such as K still attracts many of its visitors relatively locally.
After the news conference, Messe Dusseldorf spokeswoman Eva Rugenstein said there were fewer visitors from the neighboring country of France (provisionally estimated as 6,483) a much larger industrial country than Belgium, but farther away from Dusseldorf.
The number of attendees from the United Kingdom grew from around 3,800 to more than 4,500. There also were substantial increases in visitors from Central and Eastern Europe. Here, Poland is of course also one of Germany's neighboring countries and provided 2,600, up from 1,500 at K 2004.
The number of exhibitors participating in the event grew from 2,904 to 3,130, representing an increase of 7.8 percent.
The next K show will be Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, 2010.
At K 2004, exhibitors worried openly about increasing oil prices, and their impact on the cost of plastic resins. But at K 2007 few executives even mentioned oil — which hit a record $95 a barrel toward the end of the show. ReifenhÃ¤user said high oil and resin prices remain a concern, but are no longer big news.
“The high price is the status quo,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the VDMA association of German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, ReifenhÃ¤user said that the German machinery producers are very satisfied with K 2007 — “their expectations have been exceeded.”
David Vink, a staff reporter for sister publication Plastics & Rubber Weekly, contributed to this report.