24th Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing was held from 13 to 17 October 2015 at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre on Lake Constance. Once again the fair lived up to its reputation as a pulsating global centre for plastics processing. With exactly 1780 exhibitors from 38 countries and overall exhibition floor space amounting to 915,000 square feet, this year's Fakuma was the global industry event in the non-K years – as has also been the case in the past – and attracted an impressive total of 45,721 expert visitors from 120 countries.
Where exhibitors as well as expert visitors were concerned, Fakuma was more international than ever and is generating hope within the industry sector that the good business conditions experienced in 2014 and 2015 (4% sale growth for German manufacturers in 2015) will persist in 2016 a well (growth forecast: 2%). Decisive in this respect is fact that the Western European markets are demonstrating stronger than expected development, in particular in Spain, Portugal and Italy, as is also the case in the USA, whereas in South America and Eastern Europe (especially Russia) crucial declines are being registered and the booming growth rates in Southeast Asia are now a thing of the past.
Not least of all, this leads to a situations in which Asian manufacturers and distributors are venturing out into world markets to an ever greater extent, which explains the increased percentage of Asian exhibitors at this year's Fakuma. The established exhibitors – manufacturers and distributors – view the increasing number of competitors unperturbedly in keeping with the maxim: "competition stimulates business". Fakuma is evolving more and more into a globally esteemed business platform at which many exhibitors report having conducted concrete business transactions. On the one hand, this is no longer normal in contrast to the past, and on the other hand it can be seen as an indication of the internationally highly-regarded quality (i.e. propensity to invest) of the expert visitors.
And thus the exhibitors are very satisfied with the visitor numbers, praise the quantity and above all the quality of the meetings and RFQs, and indicate that to a given degree the high expectations have even been exceeded. The same applies to the active participants and speakers at the Fakuma exhibitor forum, which was able to book record-breaking participation in 2015 with 37 presentations. Right from the very beginning on Tuesday the 13th, all the way up to the end on Friday the 16th of October, the forum in the east foyer was very well frequented and in the end, the forum organisation reported an impressive 920 expert visitors. With its inspiring (record-breaking) figures where exhibitor numbers, exhibition floor space, expert visitor numbers and forum participants are concerned, the Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing will now take a timeout and clear the path for the 2016 edition of K in Düsseldorf – on exceptionally good terms by the way. The next Fakuma will take place once again at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre where Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein meet from the 17th through the 21st of October, 2017.