Bye-bye, glasstec 2022! It was a very special glasstec – not only for us. We were looking forward to it so much. After four years of forced abstinence, we finally had time for shop talk and casual conversations again – for a rendezvous with old acquaintances and new contacts. Those expectations were definitely fulfilled. Having said that, several differences were striking.
glasstec as a primarily European event
Around 30,000 visitors made the trip to Dusseldorf and according to the organisers, there were nearly 940 exhibitors. “It felt a lot smaller than in previous years, but that was only to be expected”, reports Stephan Pies, futronic’s Director Sales. The Chinese, in particular, were missing: “All the Asians, in fact. It was very noticeable.” The reasons are only too obvious: the Covid-19 pandemic – especially the hard lockdown in China and the continuing subdued travel demand in general – coupled with the terrible war in Ukraine inevitably had an impact on attendance at the Dusseldorf exhibition centre. This year’s glasstec, it seems, was a primarily European event.
Sorely missed experiences
“Covid has changed the world permanently”, says Marc Meersschaut, futronic’s well-travelled sales engineer. That’s why this glasstec was perhaps the most important one of all. “It was a great exhibition, with a lot of intense chats and face-to-face encounters again at long last – all those sorely missed experiences”, he adds. It was an event that helped people regain their hope. You could sense it everywhere – whether in the aisles or around a table at the booths. “Everyone I talked to was really positive. They’d been longing to go to a trade fair after all that time and get together with like-minded people to exchange ideas and experiences”, Meersschaut continues.
Manufacturers are investing despite the crises
There were no easy answers to the most pressing issues, of course – the high costs of energy, the bottlenecks in supply chains, the skills shortages or the challenges currently confronting the industry – but there were a few encouraging signs all the same. For example, many of the discussions futronic engaged in confirmed the impression that glass manufacturers are sticking to their long-awaited investment projects despite all the present crises. Pies admits that the big engineering firms especially are delighted with their full order books and do not anticipate having to defer refurbishment projects or indeed cancel them altogether (at least not as things stand today). “And that’s also good news for futronic as a supplier.”
50 years of futronic
There was optimism in the air at the futronic booth too. The congenial atmosphere, the stimulating talks and the interest in the new VPC Vacuum Process Control system, for instance, which futronic had on show to the public for the first time, “exceeded our expectations”, Meersschaut comments proudly. And on the Wednesday there was even a small celebration – after all, 50 years of futronic is an excellent reason to raise glasses.
Thanks for a great glasstec
In the end, it was probably just like it always is. Four days of glasstec now lie behind us – four days of fascinating encounters and interesting conversations. With valued customers and partners, with potential new leads and long-time companions. Four days packed with curiosity and innovations, inspiration and ideas.
Thank you once again! For a great exhibition. To our friends and colleagues from Neutra and Forma Glas at the joint stand as well as to our booth team. And of course to everyone who visited us there over the last few days!
On that note: the next glasstec is already in the pipeline. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another four years. See you there!