Nicola Hamann, managing director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions, which organises inter airport Europe, spoke to Airside International about the forthcoming event to be held in Munich this October
It is still some time before inter airport Europe, but can you make any predictions at this point as to how many stands and visitors we can expect at this year’s event?
As early as it is to say now, we can already announce at this stage that the airport industry can look forward to another exciting event for its industry sector. Some three months ahead of the show, a total of 32,000 net square metres had already been booked.
In the outdoor area of the show, we can announce an increase of 4% in floor space compared to the previous event. Indoors, we have also increased available floor space as requests by exhibitors for stand space is high. As early as the beginning of July, some 90% of the total available stand space had already been booked by some 600 exhibiting companies.
Six countries will have national pavilions at this year’s exhibition, dedicated to Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA/Canada.
Do you expect to build on the success of previous shows?
As the leading trade exhibition for the industry sector – covering all aspects of the airport environment, including terminal equipment, airport architecture and infrastructure, GSE as well as data solutions – inter airport Europe reflects the economic situation of the airport industry, but is also a showcase for prevailing technological trends.
While we can of course build on our excellent track record of this unique event for the airport industry over all these years, we need to make sure that we always fulfil the expectations of our audience. In an environment of volatility and change, it is vital to provide stability with regards to the high quality of customer service we deliver. We are committed to offering the airport industry an event that showcases the most comprehensive range of solutions for upcoming challenges and provides inspiration and ideas of how the future airport will look like.
What will be the focus of this year’s show?
A central theme of this year’s inter airport will be the interconnected airport. A great majority of innovations that will be presented across all major categories of the show profile will relate to digitalisation. One of the key challenges of the industry will be to interconnect the individual systems and processes at different points across the airport in order to deliver a smoother passenger journey, highest possible security standards and improve the issue with downtimes caused by disruption in passenger flow and aircraft servicing.
What will be different about this year’s event in terms of what will be on offer?
In addition to inter airport’s renowned function as a one-stop shop for industry experts from airports, airlines, air cargo carriers and aviation support, we will present a conference on the exhibition floor this year. The drop-in sessions are free of charge for all attendees and will focus on trends such as digitalisation and future technologies.
With this new feature we meet the demand for knowledge transfer and exchange of expertise in times of digital transformation; but our sessions also target young professionals who are new to the industry and who also expect an educational aspect at a trade show.
How would you say the airport industry has changed over the last two years and will change in the industry feed into inter airport 2019?
While digitalisation has been the buzzword for several years, we can now see that the airport industry is applying digitalised systems in more and more areas of airport equipment and operations.
With digitalisation come new products and systems, and as the industry’s leading event, inter airport Europe reflects this shift in its show profile. We have extended the exhibition profile to cover a variety of new categories in the area of airport IT: for example, cyber security, cloud services, electronic ticketing, seamless travel apps and much more. Thus, visitors to the show can specifically cover their requirements for the latest airport IT solutions at this year’s inter airport Europe.
Overall, we notice a greater openness towards new trends, such as environmentally friendly systems, e-mobility, and green solutions. There is increased pressure on the airport sector to do its share in fighting climate change, and this is leading to innovation and a greater variety of cutting-edge technology.
Will the fact that Mack Brooks is now part of Reed Exhibitions have any impact on this event?
Mack Brooks Exhibitions as a new business unit within the Reed family will benefit from a greater network of colleagues, creating synergies by sharing knowledge and seeing the wider picture of different industry sectors, such as the airport and aviation industry.
With the profound changes brought along by the fourth industrial revolution, being part of a bigger global organisation is a step in the right direction. Industry sectors such as the aviation industry rely heavily on interconnectedness of their business activities. With our increased portfolio of specialised events in the wider sector of aviation and airport technology in different regions of the world, we can offer our customers at inter airport Europe intelligent tools and services to connect with new business partners and explore new markets.
In this way, we will be able to strengthen inter airport Europe’s position as the leading exhibition for the global airport industry.