The plans for Formnext as a hybrid trade fair concept, which include an in-person event from the 16th to the 19th of November 2021 in Frankfurt, have met with an incredibly positive response from exhibitors: as of the end of April, 351 companies from around the world already confirmed their attendance at Formnext 2021. The world’s leading exhibition for additive manufacturing (AM) and the next generation of industrial production has thus made significant headway in continuing the successful trend of the previous years.
“After more than twelve very challenging months for the entire exhibition industry, the current development of Formnext is an extremely positive sign,” commented Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “Although we do not yet expect an exhibition of the magnitude of 2019, we’er looking forward to a successful Formnext in which real-life personal encounters and face-to-face interaction are once again at the forefront.”
The current trend is also being driven by the increasing pace of vaccination campaigns in many countries, including the United States, Great Britain, and Israel in particular. It is also likely that Central Europe will have vaccinated a large proportion of the population by the end of summer at the latest. At the same time, the highly innovative AM industry in particular is very keen for its annual Formnext industry meeting to go ahead in Frankfurt. “We are seeing a great many new developments along the entire process chain with young and established companies alike looking for partners, customers, and, in some cases, investors. This is an area in which Formnext is extremely important,” explains Rainer Lotz, President EMEA, Renishaw and chairman of the Formnext exhibitor advisory board. “At the same time, the pandemic has prompted a rethinking of existing supply chains in some cases. Businesses preparing for a restructuring can find suitable partners at Formnext and meet them here in person.”
Business and innovations
Formnext is extremely important for individual industries such as mechanical engineering. “The AM system manufacturers do important business here,” says Dr. Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Working Group Additive Manufacturing of the VDMA. “However, a great many traditional mechanical engineering companies also find useful solutions for the efficient development of their existing products, giving them an advantage in international competition.”
Exhibitors already registered include almost all major players in the industry as well as a wide range of innovative SMEs – including many new exhibitors from different countries. The provisional list of exhibitors can be found on the event website.
Drawing 56 percent of its attendees from outside of Germany, Formnext is building on the extremely high international presence of exhibitors from previous years. The international exhibition has also developed into an indispensable platform for the United States, one of the leading countries in the field of additive manufacturing, as confirmed by John Fay, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Berlin: “The United States has a healthy, growing and globally active additive manufacturing industry with a good mix of start-ups, highly active SMEs and larger players. The U.S. Commercial Service appreciates the great relationship we have with Mesago show management and Formnext has proven to be an ideal venue for expanding transatlantic and international AM business relationships for U.S. firms. We look forward to an in-person Formnext this year and it is heartening to see many U.S. AM companies have already signed up as exhibitors. We hope to see more join them!”
Flexibility, health, and safety
The health and safety of all participants is another important focus of the Formnext team. In order to organize a safe and successful Formnext, the pandemic situation is being monitored closely to allow for the concept to be modified if necessary. After all, “personal encounters are a central part of our core business, and trade fairs are an indispensable driving force for the international economy, especially after times of crisis,” says Uwe Behm, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt. “As the host of the Formnext exhibition in Frankfurt, we are implementing a thorough hygiene and protection concept to provide a safe setting for face-to-face meetings between you and your partners.”
Formnext’s revised concept also includes greater flexibility in respect of the cancellation conditions, customized terms and conditions, and the hybrid dimension that draws on experience from Formnext Connect 2020. Formnext 2021 will be complemented by the Digital Days at the end of November.