Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH still expects Formnext 2020 to go ahead in Frankfurt as scheduled from the 10th through the 13th of November 2020. The exhibition organizer is working with all possible urgency on a concept for safeguarding the health of attendees and a supplementary digital program for the world’s leading trade show for additive manufacturing and modern industrial production.
“We remain convinced of the unique value and advantages of a physical exhibition,” explained Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President of Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “And although digital interaction will never be able to replace face-to-face contact, it does offer more scope than previously thought possible only a few weeks ago.”
For this reason, Formnext intends to take a closer look at digital options: for instance, exhibitors will also be given the opportunity to present products and solutions digitally to the international trade audience. Concepts and platforms are currently being developed for this purpose with further details from Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH to follow in the coming weeks.
The underlying rationale is that if we still won’t be able to move across borders by next November we’ll have much bigger problems to deal with than canceling a Formnext trip. The rulings of the Federal Government and the Federal States of Germany, dated 6 May 2020, stating that trade shows are no longer considered to fall under the category of major events that pose a particular health risk, also give cause for optimism for November.
“This is great news not only for the trade show industry but for the entire economy,” Wenzler added. “Trade shows are an important driver of innovation and value creation in industry, especially after months of economic standstill in many industries and sectors.”
The health of exhibitors, visitors and employees will remain a top priority for the show organizers. Together with Messe Frankfurt, concepts are currently being developed to ensure the highest standards of health protection. These include reducing visitor density, guaranteeing high hygiene standards and introducing contact tracing. These concepts are currently being coordinated with the responsible authorities and will be duly implemented in due course.
Fomrnext 2020 will undeniably be a very different show from the ones we’ve attended until today. Perhaps more than many other conferences, the powerful effect of seeing both industrial 3D printers and industrial 3D printing applications in person is impossible to replace by virtual means. Transforming digital into physical is the inherent primary feature of 3D printing and seeing this in person is the only way to fully comprehend the power of this transformation. This year physical attendance will inevitably be lower than in previous years. In fact, attending this edition in person may be considered a privilege (and – to a certain extent – also a risk), with mass attendance taking place digitally and virtually. Finding the perfect combination, in light of the current situation, is key.
In addition to health protection, Formnext 2020 is being designed in consideration of a number of other important factors, such as the wider economic environment, the economic situation in the AM sector, and developments in the European and global travel industry. “Ultimately, even in these challenging times, we want to organize a trade show that is as responsive as possible to the current situation and the needs of participants and the market,” Wenzler concluded.