Trimmed Paperworld sees numbers fall
A cast of thousands poured into Paperworld in February
The move down to four days and a Saturday start was well received by exhibitors but visitors numbers fell by 25 percent at this year’s Paperworld event.
According to the organisers, a total of 2,054 exhibitors from 60 countries were met by approximately 44,000 visitors from 156 countries. While the majority of visitors once again came from Germany, there were plenty of European visitors from Italy, The Netherlands, France, Great Britain and Greece.
Feedback on the floor was also largely positive with many relieved that their stands were visibly busy. However the visitor figures were dramatically lower than the 60,000-plus that have walked into the show in recent years.
Being held at what looks like the peak of an economic crisis could not have helped and overseas visitor numbers were fell by six percent. Although the organiser was no doubt pleased by a rise in local visitors.
German visitor numbers were up by 9 percent, suggesting the ‘Paperworld Insider’ initiative that saw visitors almost literally shipped in from across the country had been a success.
"Our original misgivings have proved to be groundless. The fair got off to a good start for us, and our expectations were more than fulfilled," said Sven Schneller, Managing Director of Herma in Germany. "We have had very productive discussions with both German and international trade partners."
Horst Brinkmann, Director of International Marketing, Schwan-STABILO was positive about the event but felt that exhibitors and visitors were still getting used to the new format. "Generally speaking, we approve of shortening the fair to only four days, but we expect that, in future, the main focus of trade will therefore be on the Monday."
Messe Frankfurt reports that visitor confidence in the global economy has taken a hit this year but is still reasurringly high. 79 percent of the visitors rated the economic situation as being "good or satisfactory" (it was 87 percent in 2008). Exhibitor confidence was lower at 72 percent (it was 79 percent in 2008).
"Thanks to an improved concept, high-quality visitors and a stable number of visitors from Germany – although the trade fair was one day shorter this year – the mood in the exhibition halls was very bright," said the report.