The organisers of Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, report that on the first Formnext Connect successfully fulfilled its role as an international digital hub for the AM world, highlighting, even in challenging times, the continuing importance of one of the world’s leading exhibitions for the Additive Manufacturing industry.
The digital event, which ran from November 10–12, attracted 203 exhibitors, with about 2,200 representatives, and showcased 1,412 products. Approximately 8,500 active participants from more than a hundred countries used the event’s AI-powered matchmaking function, which generated more than 450,000 product and networking recommendations.
In addition, 23,311 new connections were made between attendees and 4,733 business meetings held in the form of video calls. In a programme of 221 lectures and presentations, a range of global experts discussed current and future trends, developments and applications for AM.
“The newly-developed digital format of Formnext Connect has enabled us to meet the demand from the AM community and target industries for dialogue, business, and innovation,” commented Sascha F Wenzler, vice president Formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “Formnext has thus demonstrated that, even in a purely digital format, it is indispensable as a globally-important catalyst for the technological and economic development of this future-oriented industry.”
Accompanying Formnext Connect was the varied programme from the ‘Additive Manufacturing Capital Studio’, featuring a number of high-profile guests. This was broadcast on the main stage in consideration of different timezones and featured discussion panels among technology experts from the various exhibitors as well as interviews with representatives from various user industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, mechanical engineering, medicine, and tool and mould-making.
Wenzler believes that the success of the digital format will also play a role in future trade fair formats. “Born out of necessity due to the worldwide corona [COVID-19] restrictions, Formnext Connect has proven itself as a digital platform and will continue to form an important part of future exhibitions,” he stated.
Despite this, Wenzler states that he is of the firm belief that the digital format can never make up for the direct contact and personal interaction of a physical event: “That is why we look forward to future editions of Formnext, which we hope will once again be held in person, so that we may bring the vibrant Formnext atmosphere, which we are all familiar from previous years, back to the Frankfurt show floor.”
The next edition of Formnext is scheduled to take place in Frankfurt, Germany, from November 16–19, 2021.