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Exclusive Conversation with Olaf Schmidt, V.P Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt has come up with a big announcement of conducting two major textile related international trade fairs at the same timing.

International suppliers of technical textiles and nonwovens, as well as machines for processing textile and flexible materials, will once get together in Frankfurt am Main for Techtextil and Texprocess from 4 to 7 May 2021.

Heimtextil 2021 is also being moved from January to 4–7 May 2021, alongside Techtextil and Texprocess 2021 in Frankfurt.

To understand the strategy and key decisions regarding organizing exhibition in these challenging times, Team PERFECT SOURCING caught up with Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt to get insights on all aspects. 

"In line with current requirements, the stands have a minimum 
size in order to maintain 1.5 metre distances between exhibitors
and visitors. 
Some aisles between the stands will also be widened considerably.

The ventilation in the halls will also be optimised to the best 
possible level; the high-performance ventilation technology that 
uses up to 100 per cent outside air above the exhibition areas 
and the corridors of the halls guarantees high levels of fresh 
air supply."

Excerpts of the interview….

PS: How does Messe Frankfurt plan a successful edition of Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil in such a challenging environment? Is there any particular strategy for the same?

Olaf: To enable the safe resumption of trade fair operations, Messe Frankfurt has drawn up a concept that incorporates hygiene, medical and organisational measures and had it approved by the authorities.

The top priority is the health and safety of all exhibitors, visitors, partners and employees. We have issued all exhibitors with instructions and recommendations for their trade fair appearance that are in line with current regulations.

To ensure that the trade fair is safe and successful for everyone, it is necessary to rethink the stand concepts.

The protection and hygiene regulations in place at the time of the event will also need to be adhered to.

For all its measures aimed at improving hygiene on its grounds, Messe Frankfurt follows the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute.

PS: How will exhibitors and visitors feel safe during the exhibition in presence of this pandemic?

Olaf: We are working on a completely new hall plan which allows to keep more distance between all trade fair participants, as distancing is the most important aspect of the protection and hygiene concept.

In line with current requirements, the stands have a minimum size in order to maintain 1.5 metre distances between exhibitors and visitors.

Some aisles between the stands will also be widened considerably.

The ventilation in the halls will also be optimised to the best possible level; the high-performance ventilation technology that uses up to 100 per cent outside air above the exhibition areas and the corridors of the halls guarantees high levels of fresh air supply.

All exhibitors and visitors at the trade fair will have to complete a full registration including a self-declaration on their current state of health.

To guarantee traceability of all participants, tickets will only be valid on specific days. Online tickets allow for fully electronic registration and contactless payment.

So we are confident that the situation with respect to the Corona pandemic will have eased significantly by May, next year, and are looking forward to holding a successful and safe event together with our partners from the sector.

PS: How much visitors can be expected in the exhibition in wake of covid scare and what will be the strategy of Messe Frankfurt to draw maximum visitation and exhibitors at the next edition?

Olaf: We have postponed Heimtextil to May because we assume that the situation will relax by mid-2021 and that people will be able to travel more to get in touch with their business partners.

But of course we cannot foresee what the travel restrictions will actually be in six or seven months. What we can say without a doubt:

The bulk of the international home and contract textiles sector want us to hold Heimtextil 2021 and lots of them have already applied for a booth in May.

For many companies Heimtextil is essential and they are hoping to give their businesses a boost by taking part in the fair. 

PS: Do you plan to introduce some new pavilions or attractions also for the next edition?

Heimtextil 2021 will be different – more concentrated and focused on actual business.

The co-location with Techtextil and Texprocess will result in valuable synergies from which exhibitors and visitors at all three trade fairs will benefit.

Especially the close proximity to suppliers and buyers of technical textiles and nonwovens with innovative functionalities, as well as machines and the latest technologies for processing textile and flexible materials, is certain to generate interesting new perspectives for visitors and exhibitors of Heimtextil. 

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PS: Any further highlights/details about the exhibitions.

Shortly we will start to share a new digital platform with our community: www.nextrade.market, an order and data-management portal offers new opportunities through digital 24/7 business relationships between trade-fair participants, especially against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There, dealers can place their orders with suppliers around the clock and, therefore, do so independently of any official pandemic regulations applying at the time.

Nextrade also offers suppliers completely new sales and distribution channels, especially internationally.

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