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Wolfgang Marzin, CEO, Messe Frankfurt, tells CW India what trade fairs means to him globally and locally too.

So what does IEE Expo hold for exhibitors here?
It is the largest show that has been developed well last 14 years by the firm’s owners. I spoke to many exhibitors and they seem happy. India is the one of the largest exhibitors market in the world and I have been associated with it last 30 years. Considering India’s population, there is a huge demand for elevators and escalators; most of them are for high rises. Most of the OEMs are present here and so are a large number of suppliers.

Do you think that exhibitions hold a fancy for exhibitors?
We have been organising shows last 800 years. In India, we have been present for the 19 years. For a long time, the industry has products that needs to be explained and it is most fruitful to expose them at exhibitions that OEMs see as neutral territory. It helps them see the response from the market for their products, watch the competition, share innovations, find solutions for partners and new distributors, etc.

As a businessman and CEO of Messe Frankfurt, how do you decide what trade fairs work for you and what does not?
We have sectors that we cover. We do best when it comes to technical shows and building related shows, sanitary, air-conditioning, and lighting. Elevators is a good idea. India is one of the markets we hold in high regard. Our market research told us that this would be a good bet and then we met the owners of IEE Expo.

Could you give us a glimpse into your expertise in exhibitions?
We started with textile, garments, leather trading and have large shows in Frankfurt where we see participation from about 500 Indian companies. As the world gets more sophisticated, the trade shows start to replicate. We are the market leaders for a textile show in Delhi and Mumbai and have about 25 shows in our portfolio. We then moved on to consumer goods, cars, after sales, which are technically growing markets. We then advanced to construction, energy efficiency, pollution reduction, safety & security. Now we are mulling 3D printing that was absent a decade ago. It’s a race between traditional to machine manufacturing and would like to move into more niche markets.

How different is this particular edition compared with the last one?
The exhibitors would be the best people to tell you that. But considering the number of OEMS we have here, we think it is a success. On our part, we have helped them improve visitor footfalls, brought the show closer to the gate and have worked out various methods to ensure that everything moves smoothly and goes well. We have also spoken to the various exhibitors and now knowwhat needs to be improved.

Post acquisitions of two leading trade fair brands, what are some of the benefits that it has brought you?
I believe the brand IEE Expo is well known already so we don’t have to change it. Moreover, we have supported it with the entire team of Messe Frankfurt India. We have worked hard to ensure that this works well. We gathered as much industry data as we could in terms of the size of the industry, the patrons, the companies and supporting vendors, its speciality, etc. In terms of elevators and escalators, we spoke to several industry associations and also gathered a huge database because we didn’t want to surprise anyone. The entire transition has been smooth and worked well for everyone.

What is the role that Credai and MCHI have played in this exhibition?
The Indian and the local government have been extremely helpful in terms of supporting this exhibition. We often invite them to the opening of the trade fair and they have obliged. The government here has been proactively supporting the safety and security and ensuring that the real estate industry follows this. This is good news for us considering that we have exhibitors who display products in these segments. On our part, we are looking at more cities besides Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. All the locations where we can add value.

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June 2020
10 Jun 2020