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HANNOVER MESSE 2008, 21 to 25 April

Significantly higher turnout and fascinating technology displays at this year's HANNOVER MESSE

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  • 200,000 visitors - a significant increase of around 30 percent
  • Core themes of energy, industrial automation, robotics, R&D and the recruitment of next-generation engineers all hit the mark
  • Impressive cutting-edge technologies from this year's Partner Country Japan
  • Successful launch of new flagship fair: 'Power Plant Technology'

Hannover. The clearest symbol of this year's HANNOVER MESSE was the four-meter-tall EnBW EnergyTower in Hall 27. The tower's daily discharge of several million volts mirrored the energy and excitement characterizing the entire event. The upbeat mood among exhibitors and visitors consolidated HANNOVER MESSE's status as the world's leading industrial trade fair. Participating exhibitors reported order books full to bursting, and the industrial associations all forecasted a favorable economic climate. The key themes of energy, automation, future technology and young engineering talent were all right on target. Visitor numbers surged to around 200,000 - an increase of approximately 30 percent over HANNOVER MESSE 2006 as the most recent edition of the fair of similar scope.

'HANNOVER MESSE is once again captivating the crowds,' reported Deutsche Messe Managing Board Chairman Sepp D. Heckmann at the end-of-show press conference. Referring to the uniqueness of the event, Heckmann underscored its many different roles, for example as a barometer for the economy as a whole, a herald of future trends, a technology transfer platform, a forum for inventions and innovation, a knowledge hub and a driver of new cooperative ventures. Although the German Federal Ministry of Economics had recently trimmed its growth forecast for 2009 back to 1.2 percent, expectations among exhibitors at this year's HANNOVER MESSE told a very different story, he asserted. 'Across the board, industrial enterprises are reporting full order books for 2008 and good prospects for 2009,' Heckmann commented, adding that 'expectations for a favorable business cycle remain high.' He noted that the findings from the exhibitor survey showed German companies, in particular, were still decidedly upbeat about the economic situation in their respective industries.

Commenting on the evolutionary process that HANNOVER MESSE has undergone over the past few years, Heckmann remarked: We have learned a great deal, in close consultation with our exhibitors and visitors. Over the past several days we have witnessed a HANNOVER MESSE which we can honestly claim to be a total success.' An analysis of the fair's attendees revealed that all primary targets had been met: Trade visitor numbers climbed by about 25 percent to just under 180,000, with a total of approximately 127,000 decision-makers in attendance - an increase of around 20 percent. Attendance was up from southern Germany and the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as from other EU countries. The Top 10 nations in terms of visitor attendance included China, India and Japan. There was a stronger presence from such core industrial sectors as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electronics, and much higher attendance from the energy and automotive sectors. This underpinned HANNOVER MESSE's achievements as a flagship fair for automotive component suppliers, Heckmann stated. He also noted a marked increase in the number of visitors from the chemical industry.

According to Dietmar Harting, Managing Partner of HARTING KGaA and Chairman of the HANNOVER MESSE Exhibitor Advisory Committee: 'HANNOVER MESSE has once again proved to be the highlight of the year. The event's focus on energy efficiency has provided practical answers to the burning issues of our times. And this subject was ideally complemented by the presence of the full range of industrial automation technology, because this is where the viable industrial solutions for the future are being developed. We exhibitors and industrial associations have worked together closely with the makers of HANNOVER MESSE to pick up on the latest emerging trends among all the enterprises and concentrate the focus of the world's biggest industrial tradeshow on tomorrow's key high-growth sectors,' he concluded.

HANNOVER MESSE 2008 consisted of 10 international flagship trade fairs. The 5,100 participating exhibitors from over 60 different nations offered an impressive demonstration of the industrial state of the art. Almost all companies represented at the show reported generating many more new leads - on average around 15 to 20 percent more than at the previous event. Overall, visitor survey findings revealed that a total of some 3.2 million business leads had been generated during the event.

With its carefully chosen core themes, HANNOVER MESSE 2008 was right on the mark in reflecting the primary interests of this year's trade visitors, who showed a great deal of interest in energy technology and efficiency, industrial automation and research - both from a business and a social perspective. The Energy tradeshow once again confirmed its importance as an international energy technology hub, and the new Power Plant Technology show experienced a successful launch. The 'World Energy Dialogue' summit, with its focus on the power stations and networks of the future, conveyed some strong messages. And the Energy Efficiency Tunnel staged jointly with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) proved highly effective in showcasing energy efficiency in industrial processes.

The introduction of a 'Mobile Robots and Autonomous Systems' display sector proved an excellent choice. There, this year's Partner Country, Japan, was able to underscore its reputation as a high-tech nation. Robots were a constant presence at HANNOVER MESSE 2008. Robots not only became a popular motif for photo coverage of the event, but the industrial robots in the Applications Park as well as the soccer-playing humanoids 'competing' in the RoboCup German Open delighted seasoned trade visitors and young attendees alike.

A shortage of skilled technicians and engineers is looming as a major issue in all industrial sectors in Germany. To address this challenge, the TectoYou program was created as a joint initiative between industry, policymakers and the makers of HANNOVER MESSE. Well over 20,000 young people took up the invitation to attend this year's fair. The TectoYou scheme, targeted at young students with an interest in technical subjects, comprised a series of guided tours, with plenty of hands-on opportunities highlighting the wealth of opportunities an engineering career in industry has to offer. 'TectoYou helps us get young people excited about a career in engineering,' remarked Heckmann. 'The potential is there - our task is to nurture and develop it.'

HANNOVER MESSE 2009 will take place from 20 to 24 April. The event is scheduled to include 14 international flagship tradeshows - this year's 10 shows, plus the cyclical reappearance of Motion, Drive & Automation, Surface Technology and ComVac. The Wind trade fair will also premiere in 2009 as part of the Energy event. Next year's Partner Country will be the Republic of Korea.

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