Record number of exhibitors topped by record attendance


Rapid.Tech strengthens its reputation as Europe’s top event

This year, Germany’s unique trade fair duo of Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D was more international and successful than ever before. Around 4,500 (+13%) (2015: 3,971) trade visitors and conference delegates from 19 different countries, as well as 176 exhibitors from 17 countries and 88 speakers from nine countries, attended over the three days of the events.“The 21 per cent rise in exhibitor numbers, the 24 per cent increase in exhibition space and now the record number of attendees demonstrate both the increasing importance of Rapid.Tech and the growing relevance of additive technologies in a constantly expanding range of sectors,” said Michael Eichmann (Stratasys GmbH), chairman of the fair’s advisory board. “Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D have strengthened their reputation as Europe’s top event in the field of Additive Manufacturing technologies.” This view is shared by many of the exhibitors. One of them, Antonius Köster, CEO of Antonius Köster GmbH & Co. KG, commented: “The decision to extend the Rapid.Tech Specialist Conference and trade fair to three days has definitely paid off. The trade visitors had more time to explore the fair and could move much more easily between the individual sections of the conference. We were also impressed by the large numbers and the diversity of exhibitors in attendance this year. 3D Printing is being taken more seriously by industry than ever before.”The conference programme had a more international flavour this year: 88 speakers from nine countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel) presented the latest trends, visions and applications in the trade forums. Four new forums were added to the programme this year: “Additive Contract Manufacturing”, “3D Metal Printing”, “Automotive Industry” and “Electronic Engineering”. And as in previous years, the “Science”, “Tools”, “Design”, “Aviation”, “Medical Technology” and “Dental Technology” trade forums and the User’s Conference provided excellent platforms for sector experts to exchange information and present new applications and products. This year’s keynote addresses by Stratasys, Siemens and Volkswagen focused on series production, while other key topics across the events included education and food printing.The trade fair also saw the announcement of the winners of the national “Teach the Fabby” competition for school pupils and the presentation of the “Start-up Award” for creative entrepreneurs.The winner of the inaugural “3D Pioneers Challenge” was Ilmenau-based TETRA GmbH. The design competition for Additive Manufacturing processes, organised by Messe Erfurt and the design and consultancy firm d.sign21, is aimed at international participants from the worlds of design, architecture, automotive, fashion and medicine who are breaking new ground with 3D Printing and picking up on the latest key trends and ideas.Decision-makers from across Germany headed to ErfurtAround 45 per cent of the trade visitors travelled more than 300 kilometres to attend the fair, while a further 34 per cent came from between 100 and 300 kilometres away. Almost 12 per cent came from abroad. After Germany, the most represented countries were Switzerland and Austria.The largest numbers of German visitors came from the states of Thuringia (21 per cent), Bavaria (18 per cent) and North-Rhine Westphalia (14 per cent), followed by Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Saxony (10 per cent each). Trade visitors from 17 different industries were in attendance, around 75 per cent of whom were decision-makers in their companies. The high scientific quality of the conference programme was demonstrated by the fact that 48 per cent of the trade visitors worked in research and development.The next Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D will take place from 20 to 22 June 2017.Thoughts on Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.DAxel Grönwoldt, Sales Director, Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printers, alphacam:“All of the most important exhibitors from the fields of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing have come together at Rapid.Tech over the last three days, and we were proud to be a part of it. Focusing on a single hall meant we could go into detail in our conversations with interested trade visitors.”Jennifer Wolfert, Marketing, Keyence Deutschland GmbH:“We found our target audience at Rapid.Tech and had high-quality conversations with the trade visitors. One particular highlight for us was the Exhibitor Evening, which was great for networking.”Lisa Widmann, Marketing Manager GSC, Stratasys GmbH:“We are very happy with how competently the trade fair was organised and how smoothly it ran. We felt well supported at every stage. Some of the best parts of the Rapid.Tech conference were the press tour and guided tours. We’ll definitely be back next year.”Tobias Stengel, Sales Executive and Coordinator, MBFZ toolcraft:“We really liked the concept of a combined specialist conference and trade fair. People who came to our stand were very well versed in the technology, so we were able to have in-depth technical discussions. The organisers did a great job, and the events offered us some excellent networking opportunities.”Alexander Mühlens, Product Manager, drylin Drive Technology, igus GmbH:“In comparison to last year’s event, we noticed that both the exhibitors and the attendees were on more of a professional level. This year, the Rapid.Tech attendees were more heavily industrially oriented. And that shows in our visitor numbers: we generated 20% more contacts than last year.”?Jason Mosbrucker, 3DIGITALCOOKS, 3D food printing studio:“During the three days we had wide interactions with visitors from various industries and all over the world in our workshop. FabCon 3.D’s focus on food printing reflects the current trend in 3D Printing, and we were happy to be part of it.”Eva Marlena Schlosser, Print2Taste GmbH:“We have only attended food trade fairs in the past, so it was great fun for us to meet the FabCon 3.D attendees. We made new contacts in a wide variety of sectors covering the fields of production, sales and purchasing.” Alexander Dillinger, Application Specialist Metal, EOS GmbH, Electro Optical Systems:“We particularly enjoyed yesterday’s Exhibitor Evening as we were able to make new contacts in a more relaxed atmosphere. Our stand itself also proved to be a great success. We had lots of in-depth, focused conversations with an audience that was very keen to talk to us.”