Over 7,500 industry experts from around 90 countries visited this year’s exhibition at Messe Freiburg, where approx. 200 exhibitors proved that this was the place to be for discovering the latest developments in this highly international industry. Across around 21,500 m2 of exhibition area, exhibitors showcased products, raw materials, semi-finished products, machines and much more from the broom, brush and mop industries. Exhibitors all spoke of an extremely knowledgeable audience as well as of excellent deals, with conversations held at the event expected to lead to follow-up business that is even more noteworthy.
Rainer Langelüddecke from the German Brush Manufacturers’ Association gets to the heart of Interbrush as the industry’s leading exhibition: “Interbrush is the mecca of the brush and broom industry. Taking place every four years, it is the global industry’s most important meeting point. Freiburg has once again proved itself as a host city.” The associations promoting Interbrush consider their industry’s 12th exhibition in Freiburg a complete success. Fons J.M. Caelaert from the FEIBP European Brushware Federation says: “We are delighted. We enjoyed excellent cooperation with the two other associations that took part in the event. Not only did we have many promising talks, but we also managed to recruit new members. Many thanks to Freiburg for hosting the exhibition!” David Parr from the American Brush Manufacturers Association (ABMA) also praises the exhibition as well as its location and organisation: “This year saw another noticeable increase in the quality of the exhibition stands. Exhibitors had only positive things to say about Interbrush. Our compliments go to Freiburg for its excellent organisation of our industry’s most important international exhibition.”
The event’s outstanding atmosphere provided a platform for exhibitors to present themselves and for visitors to increase their knowledge. Henk Beuselinck and Paolo Riversi from the Belgian-Italian Borghi/Boucherie Group describe how their companies, which only merged recently, got off to an ideal and promising start at Interbrush 2016: “For us, exhibiting together as one company for the first time was a big challenge. However, the success we enjoyed at Interbrush 2016 proved that we had made the right decision. Together, we were very successful. We’ll definitely be back! For us, Interbrush is our industry’s most important meeting point.”
Germany’s number one in broom and brush manufacturing, Zahoransky AG, was also more than satisfied with the exhibition. Responsible for sales, marketing, service and product management, management member Robert Dous says: “Interbrush 2016 was a very successful exhibition for us. It allowed us to present our new machine developments to an international audience. We are also delighted with our commercial success after securing numerous business deals directly at the exhibition. This year once again, the international “family” of the broom and brush industry came together in Freiburg.”
Referring to the outstanding responses from exhibitors and visitors alike, Daniel Strowitzki, CEO of Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe, says: “Interbrush’s successful, international exhibition model proves that Freiburg, an “off-the-beaten-track” yet ambitious exhibition location, is more than capable of holding a professional, leading global event. In four years’ time, 2020 will mark the 13th Interbrush, when the overwhelming majority of this year’s exhibitors and visitors will travel back to Freiburg from all over the world.”
After all, Interbrush is the meeting point for the entire “broom world” and the place to be for making contacts and forging business relationships, explains Reinhold Hörz from Swiss company DKSH Brush and Apparel AG: “For us, it was important to network with international visitors – America in particular is an extremely interesting market for us, and we were lucky to hold many successful talks with important industry representatives from this market. We’ll of course be back in 2020.” The same can likely be said of the German Hahl Group, whose CEO Florian Kisling was very impressed by the 12th Interbrush: “Like every year, Interbrush was very popular among visitors. All important customers were there and we also made lots of new important contacts from around the world. We are really happy with how it went.”
Associations and manufacturers have observed that companies in the brush and broom industry like to postpone (replacement) investments until the next Interbrush, where they can find out about state-of-the-art technologies and predict which types of machines the industry (and thus their competition) are likely to produce in the years to come. Prototypes presented at the exhibition stands afford manufacturers a glimpse into the future, helping them to make decisions based on the technological direction the industry is moving in. It therefore comes as no surprise that foreign companies, too, used the exhibition to gather information for their home markets. Mohamed Elmeky of Golden Horse for Industries, Egypt, probably speaks for many when he says: “This year, we attended the event as an exhibitor for the first time, and were positively surprised about the very high calibre of visitors and high level of internationality. We will certainly be back in 2020.” On the same note, Zoe Lee of KR Plastic, Taiwan, adds: “Interbrush 2012 was a successful event for us. But Interbrush 2016 topped it. We enjoyed excellent talks with customers and interested parties from all over the world.”
It was not only visitors and exhibitors who were satisfied – local hotels, cafés and restaurants also benefited from the exhibition, recording a sharp increase in business during the Interbrush exhibition. Freiburg’s pleasant atmosphere and short distances from one place to another make the city the ideal place for holding talks and subsequent negotiations. Furthermore, after three packed exhibition days, the region is the perfect place in which to take a few days off to relax from the stress of the event. The figures confirm that the mixture of work and relaxation is attractive. The industry platform has steadily developed and grown over the years. “It would be downright irresponsible to miss the event in Freiburg,” explains Hans Zahn of the Head Office of the German Brush Manufacturers’ Association, underlining the importance of the Interbrush trade fair.
In 2016, the Interbrush programme was supplemented for the first time by the exhibition “From Broom to Art – Brushes Reveal Their Hidden Talents”, a joint initiative of the French and German broom industry associations. The exhibition, which opened on the eve of the event together with Interbrush, can still be visited free of charge in the Meckelhalle of the Sparkassen-Finanzzentrum on the Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse until Wednesday 25th May (opening hours: Mondays and Thursdays 9:00am–6:00pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00am–4:00pm). The exhibition offers insights into the history of the industry, the immense variety of products on offer as well as the areas of application in which end products are ultimately used. Some exhibition visitors will no doubt be surprised to learn, for example, that highly sensitive stainless steel plates are finished using brushes specially produced for this purpose.
It is therefore safe to say that Interbrush 2016 was a “must”. It unites “the representatives of a small yet highly developed industry that breathes high-tech products and constant innovation,” says Pierre Simler, president of the FEIBP European Brushware Federation, on the importance of this event. It also provides a platform for getting to know and conquer new markets – as Ed van Gulik of Dupont, the Netherlands, describes: “We forged very interesting contacts with visitors from the Pacific region as well as from India. This was very important for us, as we have no company representatives in these areas. Interbrush 2016 was a very successful event for us.”
Visitors and exhibitors flocked to the exhibition from all over the world, hailing from countries such as Algeria, Belgium, China, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that Freiburg played host to an entire industry in 2016 – an industry that has already pencilled Interbrush 2020 into its diary.
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