interpack 2011 closes as one of the most successful events in the 53-year history of the world’s most important trade fair for the packaging sector and related processing industries. This was the unanimous sentiment among the 2,700 exhibitors from 60 nations in all of the 19 fully booked halls of the Düsseldorf trade fair centre from 12 to 18 May 2011.
Exhibitors at interpack 2011 were in excellent spirits and reported having a host of excellent meetings with high-calibre visitors. Many had approached companies with specific orders, they said, and extremely lucrative post-fair business was expected. Among them were a particularly large number of decision-makers from top management. “At our stand, there was huge interest in our products. We generated 30 per cent more contacts than in 2008, including members of top management, brand manufacturers and many potential new customers. The message from numerous other exhibitors has been much the same. interpack has confirmed the stability of the positive economic trends,” says Christian Traumann, President of interpack 2011 and Managing Director of exhibitor Multivac Sepp Haggenmüller.
The results of the visitor survey confirm the impressions of exhibitors. Particularly striking is the further significant increase in the proportion of decision-makers over the previous fair. Almost three quarters of trade visitors come from management – an absolutely exceptional figure. An especially large proportion of trade visitors came from top management, who turned out at interpack in even greater force. interpack’s internationality again underlines its standing as the world’s most important trade fair in its sector. Over 100,000 of the total of 166,000 trade visitors travelled to the fair from abroad, which is a share of over 60 per cent. The visitor verdict on the scope of the trade fair couldn’t have been better. Sustainability, safety and convenience were the overriding themes in the exhibition halls.
Because of the Eurovision Song Contest, there was a shift in the pattern of visits. Many experts only arrived after the song contest final on 14th May, which took place in the arena in the immediate vicinity of the exhibition grounds.
interpack 2011 also gained a special appeal due to the choice of the special themes and the way they were presented. Unparalleled in quality worldwide, these themes made interpack all the more into a unique communication platform – this was the feedback from the participating companies and visitors alike.
The premiere of the SAVE FOOD campaign, which aims to fight international food loss and was organised by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, attracted over 300 congress participants from all over the world on 16 and 17 May. The representatives of the food value chain, ranging from producers and the packaging industry through to retailers and representatives of politics, society and non-government organisations, were very taken with this opportunity for critical dialogue.
Top-notch speakers, such as Ilse Aigner, Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection; Prof. Klaus Töpfer, former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme and Chairman of the Ethics Committee for Atomic Energy recently convened by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Shraddha Shridhar Jadhav, Mayor of the Indian city of Mumbai, highlighted the problem of global food loss from various points of view.
“The success of the SAVE FOOD initiative shows that we at Messe Düsseldorf have placed our international packaging expertise in a context enabling areas outside the packaging industry to benefit. We have sparked off a highly promising dialogue on one of the most important issues of our time. We shall therefore continue to pursue the topic in cooperation with the FAO. I’ve agreed this with Mr Traoré, Assistant Director General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the FAO,” says Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, summing up. In October of this year, the SAVE FOOD exhibition on show at interpack will be on view at the FAO headquarters in Rome in the week of World Food Day.
However, the SAVE FOOD campaign was not alone in meeting with lively visitor interest. The special themes INNOVATIONPARC PACKAGING and METAL PACKAGING PLAZA proved to be extremely popular.
In its five different shops on the themes of Health, Meaning, Aesthetics, Simplicity and Identity, INNOVATIONPARC PACKAGING under the motto of “Quality of Life” brought together companies from across the value chain. Developed specifically for the special show, best practices and visions for the future that had been devised beforehand in a concerted team effort were presented by these shops. This concept not only went down well with visitors, but was also highly commended by the participating companies. It created a unique forum, they claimed, that offered space for constructive talks and creative ideas. Many visitors had also been well prepared and approached individual companies with specific requests.
The special theme METAL PACKAGING PLAZA, newly introduced at interpack 2011, was also devoted to dialogue and information. Numerous presentations were held in the central lecture forum, while suppliers and potential customers met in the lounge to discuss metal packaging. The METAL PACKAGING PLAZA thus became a central meeting place for anything to do with metal packages at interpack, much to the satisfaction of the participating associations for metal packages, VMV and Empac.