CastForge is very impressive thanks to its unique focus on castings and forgings with processing. Over 200 exhibitors have already registered for the second edition of CastForge from 8 to 10 June 2021 and are looking forward to a safe and successful event. In spite of the various digital discussion and presentation platforms which have been created during the corona crisis, there is still demand for a trade fair and a restart is more important than ever for everyone involved. This is also indicated by the high international proportion of registrations, i.e. 60 per cent, which come predominantly from Italy, France, Spain and the Czech Republic. Gunnar Mey, Department Director Industry at Messe Stuttgart, explains why trade fairs are also important during the corona pandemic and how they can be staged.
Why is a real trade fair important for the casting and forging industry (especially during the corona pandemic)?
From the initial contact through to the finished casting and forging, the business relationship between a customer and a supplier is largely based on mutual trust, which is primarily established through direct personal contact. Trade fairs therefore provide an ideal platform to initiate or strengthen long-term business relationships and organise the search for competent partners for both sides as efficiently as possible.
How did customers react when the trade fair was postponed in 2020? Did you receive any related feedback?
During the numerous discussions that we held in the last few months, it was clearly shown that we all very much regret the cancellation of CastForge 2020. However, it was the only right decision. The companies greatly appreciate the fact that we gave them planning security and organised the reimbursement of already paid stand hire charges as easy as possible. We were very touched by a message which we received from Italy. A foundry in the Bergamo region, which was greatly affected by the coronavirus in spring 2020, wrote to us saying that it is still confident that we will get through this difficult time together despite the calamities.
Why should someone now book an exhibition stand even though we are still in the middle of the corona pandemic?
Allocation of floor space started in November after taking account of all important conditions such as extra-wide aisles for more social distancing and large reserved spaces in front of the bistros, but also by considering the regulations relating to the flow of visitors at the entrances and exits. The earlier we are aware of our exhibitors' requirements, the better we can implement them. Examples of these requirements include a request to be near to a certain company or the special position of an exhibition stand in the hall. Anyone now registering will help to actively shape CastForge 2021.
What form does the hygiene concept take?
The "Safe Expo" hygiene concept for the trade fair comprises six pillars and has already proved its worth during the first events such as the AMB Technology Forum. It is based on people's own corona-compliant behaviour on the trade fair grounds, the systematic provision of information to exhibitors and visitors and their control, the corresponding regulations for restaurants and catering, the correct ventilation in the exhibition halls and the necessary conditions for registration, admission and contactless payment. Every event at Messe Stuttgart will therefore become a "Safe Expo".
Are there new formats? Will CastForge go digital?
The results of a survey among our exhibitors convinced us to stage CastForge 2021 as a trade fair with the physical presence of exhibitors and visitors. Around three quarters of the companies are counting on personal contacts instead of a purely digital event. However, the last few months have shown that there are practical digital complements. We are currently discussing them, for example during talks with industrial associations and scientific institutes which are helping us to organise the accompanying programme. These digital complements include (live) streams of technical talks, but also a digital matchmaking platform for exhibitors, visitors and journalists at CastForge 2021.
Companies wanting to present their portfolio at CastForge can find all the information relating to stand registration and the "Safe Expo" hygiene concept together with much more information at a glance under: www.castforge.de/2021.