The Hannover Messe was originally planned for April 2022, but was then postponed to the new date of 30 May to 02 June 2022 due to the pandemic and the development of number of infections. At the time of registration, we did not yet know how this year’s fair would proceed, so we took the precaution of choosing a very small stand area, which was supervised by two people – Markus Dax and Martin Hörtnagl. The closer the date came, the more requests we received from our (new) customers to meet us at the fair. Nevertheless, we went to Hanover the day before the fair started without any great expectations.
The fair was much smaller than before Corona. We estimate that about one third of the hall capacity was needed. It was obvious that many exhibitors and visitors from overseas countries would be missing this year. The audience at the fair differs from year to year, and we want to reach out to developers of new products and solutions, so that product designs consider the possibilities of technical ceramics from the very beginning.
Topics that are currently moving the industry
Monday started with a large number of visitors at our stand. It was very clear that there was a huge interest in catching up on the last two years. Some development teams came to us with their ideas, for which we were happy to provide input, but also many existing customers paid us a visit.
The requests for technical ceramics were manifold, mostly concerning new developments in the field of renewable energies and the infrastructure required for them, as well as developments in the field of automotive engineering. Most of the visitors came specifically to see us, but due to the good location of our small Steka stand at the intersection of two important aisles in Hall 4, some came across us purely by chance and informed themselves in general about technical ceramics and application examples.
The number one topic of conversation was, of course, the Ukraine war and its effects. Raw material availability, production capacity, energy prices and the need for labour were among the keywords that were heard the most.
What the future holds
In a way, Hall 4 at the Hannover Messe was divided into two parts: Steka was to be found in the Engineered Parts & Solutions area, while a second large group of exhibitors was dedicated to the topic of Digital Ecosystems. Here, well-known names such as Microsoft or SAP were represented, but also numerous other very interesting companies. The tour of our hall alone was extremely exciting and instructive. Markus Dax learned about topics such as IoT applications in process optimisation or augmented and virtual reality applications in the areas of product and process design. AR as well as VR will occupy us more and more in the industry, the Hanover Messe gave insights into the future, which application possibilities will be state of the art in a few years.
We are still in the middle of processing the numerous visitor reports, but overall we can already say that this Hannover Messe was far more successful for us than expected. In autumn we will decide whether we will be represented again at the next edition of the fair. At the moment, everything speaks in favour of seeing each other again in Hannover from 17 to 21 April 2023!