Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the organiser of Formnext, reports that it still expects the event scheduled to take place in Frankfurt, Germany, from November 10–13, 2020, to go ahead. The organiser also states that it is working on a concept for safeguarding the health of attendees and a supplementary digital programme.
“Additive Manufacturing has made a significant contribution to the fight against the corona pandemic in recent months and is still a driving factor for innovation, resource-efficient production, and the technological management of future challenges,” stated Sascha F Wenzler, Vice President Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “It is all the more important that with Formnext 2020, we continue to support and advance this trend even in these economically challenging times.”
According to the organiser, the rulings of the Federal Government and the Federal States of Germany, dated May 6, 2020, stating that trade shows no longer fall under the category of major events that pose a particular health risk, give cause for optimism that the event can run as planned in November.
Wenzler added, “This is great news not only for the trade show industry, but for the entire economy. 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 organiser explained that the health of exhibitors, visitors and employees remains a top priority, therefore, concepts are currently being developed to ensure the highest standards of health protection. These concepts centre around a range of measures focused on hygiene (for example, higher cleaning frequency), social distancing (including professional crowd management), and a generous supply of fresh air (including a regular exchange of the hall air every hour).
A thorough registration process for visitors is also planned, as well as tickets that are only valid on specific days. A fully electronic registration and payment system are expected to allow unnecessary contact to be avoided. A self-declaration concerning attendees’ current state of health will also be mandatory.
Formnext’s organisers are also taking new approaches in the design of the exhibition space and booths. The aisles between the booths will be significantly wider (increasing from 3 to 6 m) and will be flanked by a 1 m-wide communication strip on each side.
There will also be CCTV and trained personnel in the hall to monitor whether the coronavirus and social distancing requirements are being observed. The general distance concept is said to be based on a calculation designed to ensure a sufficiently large exhibition space per visitor. The booth construction guidelines are also being adapted accordingly, and recommendations regarding catering, for instance, will also be provided.
These concepts are currently being coordinated with the responsible authorities and will be implemented in due course. In addition to health protection, Formnext 2020 is reportedly 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 organise a trade show that is as responsive as possible to the current situation and the needs of participants and the market,” concluded Wenzler.
Digital options for Formnext
“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.”
It is for this reason that the organiser intends to consider digital options for Formnext. For example, 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 to be released in the coming weeks.