Düsseldorf, Germany — K 2016 drew about 230,000 visitors from more than 160 countries to the mammoth Messe Düsseldorf for the trade fair Oct. 19-26, show officials said on the final day.
“There were eight days that felt like fireworks,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, who is chairman of the K 2016 advisory board and chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within VDMA.
“The sheer amount of decision-makers was indeed better than the 2013 K show. The quality of visitors has increased time and again and these visitors really, actually presented world-class machinery technology,” he said at an end-of-show press conference held Oct. 26.
The 230,000 attendees are 5.5 percent more than the K 2013 total of 218,000.
K 2016 drew 3,285 exhibitors, up from 3,220 in K 2013. The show, the largest plastics trade show in the world, is held every three years.
The president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, Werner Dornscheidt, said K 2016 was highly international, as well as a commercial success for exhibitors.
“What is so special about K? The share of executives is extremely high across all country borders,” he said at the news conference Oct. 26.
Dornscheidt said those visitors were ready to spend money. Half of the visitors surveyed during the show said they would wait to buy until they came to K, he said.
More than 70 percent of visitors came from outside Germany, a few percentage points higher than the 2013 fair. And more than 40 percent of those foreign attendees came from overseas, even as far away as Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Oman, Madagascar, Mauritius, Suriname and Togo.
India had the largest contingent from any foreign country, at 11,542. There was a dramatic increase of visitors from China — 6,409 at K 2016 up from 3,602 from the K show three years ago.
Italy led European countries — excluding Germany — with more than 10,000 visitors, followed by the Netherlands with about 9,500.
The United States and Canada generated about 6 percent of all foreign visitors.
Reifenhäuser said several countries stood out, as they had either not attended much before, or had experienced declining levels of participation. Those nations included China, Iran, Brazil, Russia and Japan.
Especially noteworthy is Japan, where political leaders have been trying to end the country's long period of economic stagnation, as well as persistent deflation.
“This interest taken in Japan was really astonishing, and my competitors reported the same thing,” said Reifenhäuser, who is managing director of Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik, the maker of blown and cast film lines.
Dornscheidt expressed his personal feelings about the international aspect of a K show, which he said shows eight days of “peaceful co-existence from so many people from all around the world.”