Volume 39, Issue 9, September  2004

Top Draw
The Biggest Industry Trade Show Returns to Dusseldorf
by David Jenkins

Düsseldorf, Germany will be the center of the glass industry this November when glasstec 2004 hits town. With exhibitors numbering in the hundreds and visitors in the tens of thousands, the biannual glasstec is the premiere place for industry professionals to mingle and seal deals.

Organized by Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, glasstec 2004, the 18th International Trade Fair for Machinery, Equipment, Applications and Products, will take place at the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Center November 9-13. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

According to organizers, exhibiting at glasstec is a proven way for small-to-medium sized companies to break into the overseas market and increase sales. Exhibitors at glasstec 2004 will reach more than 200 million consumers living within a 1½-hour flight to Düsseldorf.

A Full House
In 2002, glasstec hosted a record 1,100 exhibitors from 42 countries—an 11-percent increase compared to glasstec 2000. This year’s show looks to surpass those numbers; at press time, more than 1,000 companies were already scheduled to exhibit. 

The attendance figures for glasstec are also on the rise. In 2002, the show attracted 54,000 visitors from 76 countries. According to organizers, 56 percent of those attendees were from outside Germany, 70 percent were top-echelon executives with decision-making powers and 97 percent were satisfied with the show.

glasstec 2004 is poised to become even more international. Sixty-one percent of the exhibitors will be non-German, with the largest foreign exhibitor contingents being Italian (192 companies), American (57 companies), Belgian (42 companies) and French (40 companies).

Lasers in the Limelight
For the first time in glasstec history, companies from the laser technology and thin, special glass sectors will take part in the show. Accordingly, organizers have planned a special symposium on laser technologies for glass working to demonstrate how lasers can increase efficiency by cutting down processing stages, reducing rejects and improving quality. Representatives from the industry, science and research communities will report on developments, experiences, trends and potential applications in the glass industry. In particular, four topics will be explored—cutting, marking, engraving/etching and melting. Additionally, a technology exhibition titled “Laser: New Applications for the Glass Industry” will present products, machinery and equipment.

Glass Technology Live
Perhaps the highlight of glasstec 2004 is “Glass Technology Live,” a special show dedicated to the applications of glass in architecture, with a focus on interior finishes. The seminar, hosted by professor Stefan Behling, director of the Building Technology Construction Institute of Stuttgart University, will cover a variety of topics, such as the latest solar and PV technologies in structural glass designs, building fronts and roofing applications. For example, Germany-based Josef Gartner GmbH will make a presentation on the planning, building and installation of the façade for the world’s highest skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan. 

“glasstec has developed into an international trade fair attended by many high-calibre decision-makers,” said Andreas Fauland, general manager of Josef Gartner. “This is where we can meet not just architects but also investors and developers from around the globe.”

An accompanying symposium on the increasing importance of multi-disciplinary dialogue between industry, architecture and art will gather experts from research, technology, architecture and skilled trades to field audience questions.

Sightseeing in Düsseldorf
In addition to the sights and sounds inside the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Center, glasstec 2004’s host city offers several tourist attractions.

Known as the “longest bar in the world,” the Alstadt (Old Town) is home to more than 200 bars, cafes and restaurants. Jammed with Düsseldorfers both day and night (most drinking Altbier, or “old beer”), the area also contains numerous shops, boutiques and museums.

Speaking of museums, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is one of Germany’s finest. Featuring a comprehensive collection of modern art, including works by Picasso and Matisse, the Kunstsammlung is sure to delight art aficionados.

Fans of unique architecture should check out the crooked spire of St. Lambertus Church. Built in the 14th century and known locally as “de grote Kerk” (the big church), St. Lambertus is one of city’s most popular attractions.

If St. Lambertus is a memento of Düsseldorf’s colorful past, then the Rheinturum is a glimpse into the city’s cutting-edge future. Standing 234 meters high, the Rheinturum is the city’s highest building, and its glass-fronted revolving restaurant provides views of the Düsseldorf cityscape. Furthermore, the building itself is the world’s largest digital clock, ensuring that sightseers will not miss a second of the glasstec show.

For more information about glasstec 2004, visit www.glasstec-online.com. This website features facts and figures on the event, a complete list of exhibitors and detailed information on travel and hotel accommodation. 


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