Tuesday, September 25, 2012

InnoTrans 2012 achieves record results

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
InnoTrans 2012 achieves record results William C. Vantuono

An increase in exhibitors and trade visitors, business deals worth billions of dollars, and—perhaps most significant—growth in international participation characterized InnoTrans 2012, the ninth edition of the global railway industry trade exhibition held in Berlin every two years.

No fewer than 126,110 industry professionals from 140 countries came to Berlin to see the latest products and services, exhibited by 2,515 companies from 49 countries. InnoTrans 2012 set a new record, exceeding the previous event’s figures.

Compared with 2010, when 2,243 companies from 45 countries displayed their products and services at InnoTrans, this year there was a 19% increase in trade visitors, and from 30 more countries than at the 2010 event. Of note was the number of North American companies that participated. “The number of exhibitors that came from abroad was around 57%,” noteds InnoTrans Director Matthias Steckmann. “Though most of them were exhibitors from European countries, the proportion of non-European exhibitors is steadily increasing. It is now around 10%. Fifty-one companies from the U.S. and Canada participated. We are very pleased that with REMSA, an American trade association participated for the first time, and organized the first USA Pavilion at InnoTrans. We are confident that this positive development will continue in the future.”

“Overall, compared with 2010, InnoTrans reported growth in every important area—in exhibitors, trade visitors, international participation, and rented floor space,” the events’s organizers said. “InnoTrans 2012 presented cutting edge technology, underlined by the 104 world premieres displayed by exhibitors. As a business venue, InnoTrans achieved a new dimension, with deals of more than E$1.8 billion concluded at the fair. The framework agreement signed between Deutsche Bahn and PESA in Poland for up to 470 diesel trainsets and worth a total of E$1.2 billion is a perfect example.”

InnoTrans 2012 featured several high-level discussion panels. “This year’s Dialogue Forum and Rail Leaders‘ Summit, two panel discussions that have become firmly established events, again met with keen trade visitor interest, as did the Public Transport Forum and the International Tunnel Forum,” the organizers noted. “It should also be noted how well the new formats were received. For example, the Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) Suppliers’ Forum and International Design Forum met with great interest and were well-attended by trade visitors.”

InnoTrans is also an opportunity for the general public to learn about the rail industry. “The Sept. 22-23 Open Weekend was a major success,” organizers noted. “Next to the Berlin Radio Tower and in beautiful autumn weather, a total of 19,081 children, young people, and adult train enthusiasts visited the public days to take a look at the trainsets, cars, and locomotives on the outdoor display area. Their numbers marked a 6,000 rise in attendance on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds compared with 2010.”

The next InnoTrans will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from Sept. 23 to 26, 2014.

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