More than 2,300 exhibitors from 51 countries presented their innovations at ISH 2003, the International Trade Fair for Building and Energy Technology and The Bathroom Experience held March 25-29.
The proportion of foreign trade visitors rose from 20 percent to almost 25 percent. The number of German visitors, however, fell, ISH reported. Although all decision makers attended ISH, there were fewer employees per company than in the past. Altogether, just less than 180,000 trade visitors from 93 nations made their way to Frankfurt, Germany. This, the result of the difficult economic climate, is almost 8 percent less than at the last event.
Nevertheless, around 78 percent of exhibitors and 95 percent of visitors said they had achieved their goals for the fair and are satisfied with ISH 2003.
According to Dr. Michael Peters, member of the Board of Management of show organizer Messe Frankfurt: "The power of a genuine leading trade fair becomes apparent when the economic climate is stormy. ISH 2003 was as solid as a rock for the sector. Particularly encouraging for us is the significance of the fair for the worldwide sector. The high degree of internationality on both the exhibitor and visitor sides is our strength in Frankfurt. The ISH has the right concept."
The return of air-conditioning to ISH was reportedly a success, and the level of exhibitor satisfaction in this segment was said to be above average. More renowned companies have already said they will be taking part in ISH 2005, the show organizers reported.
The representatives of the associations supporting the ISH took a similar view of the results of the fair. Michael von Bock und Polach, general manager of the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association (Zentralverband Sanitär, Heizung, Klima - ZVSHK), said: "The mood on the exhibition stands was extremely positive. Everybody wants to be ready for when the upturn comes. The high level of visitor expertise compensated for the decline in the number of visitors. All trade visitors were very well prepared and up-to-the-minute in terms of technical innovations. This shows that the vast majority of fitters have developed into building and energy technicians. In the future, the subject of cooling for buildings will have a major role to play."
Horst Eisenbeis, general manager of the Association of the German Central Heating Association (Vereinigung der deutschen Zentralheizungswirtschaft): "ISH 2003 has given an impressive demonstration of its position as the leading international trade fair for house and building technology. The dominant trend in our segment is system technology with variable and modular components."
Jens Wischmann, general manager of the Association of the German Sanitation Industry (Vereinigung der Deutschen Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. – VDS): "The mood was good despite the situation in the sector. Many exhibitors were able to conclude transactions at the fair and are expecting some good post-fair business. The visitors were well qualified and interested in high-grade products. The export-oriented companies of the sanitation industry were extremely pleased with the large number of foreign visitors."
According to Dr. Peters, ISH 2003 shows clearly where the growth markets of the future are. There was, for example, a considerable increase in the number of visitors from East European countries such as Russia, Slovakia, Latvia, Serbia / Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Turkey. However, significant increases were also registered in the number of visitors from West European countries such as Spain, Great Britain, Austria, and Scandinavia. Overseas regions, such as Southeast Asia and South America, were also better represented than 2 years ago. Contrary to the trend on the first 2 days, the total number of U.S. visitors declined slightly. After Germany, the ten biggest visiting nations were Italy, The Netherlands, France, Belgium with Luxembourg, Great Britain, Switzerland with Liechtenstein, Austria, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Poland.
The next ISH will be held in Frankfurt, Germany on March 15-19, 2005.
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