The 7th Intl. Converting Exhibition (aka ICE Europe 2011) has come and gone, and I think it’s left a strong, positive mark on the regional industry for the future. With nearly 400 exhibitors from two dozen countries, and 5,700 visitors from more than five dozen nations, the event is now firmly established and was well received at its new venue. Converting Quarterly had a very successful show, introducing AIMCAL‘s official technical journal directly to a European audience after a year of attending just about every related event possible in the US. We sold international subscriptions and gave away almost every copy of the magazine we shipped over. I know the CQ staff and I are already looking forward to returning to the New Munich Trade Fair Centre in about 16 months for the show’s next edition—March 19-21, 2013.
So, what might those 16 months hold for the converting, web-processing and finishing industries? A survey of 1,000 converters (conducted by C2 Coating & Converting) gives some predictions.
- 47% foresee strong growth for the paper, film and foil markets in 2011-12, while another 36% predict some level of lower growth.
- 62% say South America will see strong growth with similar positive forecasts for other regions: Germany (51%), Middle East (50%), US (48%) and Asia (41%).
- Only 12% predict strong growth in 2011-12 for Europe (likely the fault of the continuing Greek debt crisis and concerns for the future of the Euro).
- 80% of respondents see growth for their own companies now vs. 2010.
ICE Europe was a lot like a miniature version of the PACK EXPO / CPP EXPO shows held earlier this fall. Lots of running machinery (okay, slitter/rewinders mostly) and demonstrations of components and inspection systems. While traffic was a little anemic on opening day (in Hall B5 at least), the aisles and booths all around were busy on Day 2 and even on the morning of Day 3. Additionally, AIMCAL had a respectable presence with a Hall B6 pavilion featuring 10 member companies in a turnkey setup reminiscent of its popular pavilion at last spring’s ICE USA in Orlando, FL.
On that note, I close out coverage of our Bavarian adventure. Bis später (Until next time).