There are countless industrial tradeshows each year, but one show dwarfs all others in size, scope and importance: Germany’s Hanover Fair (or “Hannover Messe”). Hailed as the world’s leading showcase for industrial technology, Hanover Fair is comprised of eight individual fairs – including MobiliTec, CoilTechnica and IndustrialGreenTec – at a single location.
Each fair is impressive in its own right but collectively, they’re massive. Over 5,000 exhibits fill 27 separate exhibit halls, competing for the attention of 190,000 international visitors.
Among the exhibitors at Hanover Fair 2012, held April 23 – 27, was Airfloat, LLC. The Illinois-based material-handling manufacturer set up shop in Hall 17, part of the sprawling Industrial Automation fair. Throughout the five-day event, Airfloat staff demoed their innovative air-bearing technology for scores of impressed onlookers, while application videos of recent Airfloat projects played on a pair of flat-screen TVs.
Hopefully, Hanover Fair will become an annual tradition for [our company]. – Airfloat Marketing Manager Gary Mollohan
“As a mid-size manufacturer, we initially were a bit apprehensive to exhibit at Hanover Fair beside the million-dollar displays of Siemens, Volkswagen and others,” said Gary Mollohan, Airfloat marketing manager. “However, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of foot traffic and high-quality sales leads we received.” Mollohan added that they handed out literally every brochure, press release and data sheet they brought. “We know to bring more next time,” he joked.
Advanced Manufacturing in North America Forum
Airfloat CEO Jason Stoecker had the added honor of speaking at the fair’s Advanced Manufacturing in North America Forum, joining such notables as Philip Murphy, U.S. ambassador to Germany, and Daisy Red, advanced controls manager for Italian multinational company Comau.
Jason spoke about the challenges and opportunities facing small to mid-size U.S. manufacturers like Airfloat. He stated that, although painful, the recent recession provided a valuable “cooling off phase” for manufacturers, allowing them to streamline operations and implement long-discussed but never-enacted lean manufacturing programs.
“All in all, it was a great show and a tremendous success for Airfloat,” reflected Gary Mollohan. “Hopefully, Hanover Fair will become an annual tradition for us.”
[Editor’s note: Special thanks go to Sharon, Iwona and Siobhan with the state of Illinois and Aryan with Hannover Messe U.S.A for all their assistance and encouragement. Thanks, guys!]