Having had a glance back at Airport Show 2015 in Dubai earlier this year, we now turn our eyes to another big event – inter airport 2015 in Munich in October. Nicola Hamann, Managing Director Mack Brooks Exhibitions, tells Airside readers what we can look forward to at this year’s show
Q. INTER AIRPORT EUROPE 2013 WAS AS BUSY AS EVER. HOW DOES INTER AIRPORT COMPARE WITH OTHER BIG AVIATION EXHIBITIONS?
A. The previous show featured a total of 11,900 trade visitors and 640 exhibitors from all over the world. The busy atmosphere and positive feedback on this highly successful event proved, once again, that the show is regarded as the most successful marketplace within the airport industry.
As the world’s largest one-stop-shop for airport operators, inter airport Europe is a unique event attracting experts from all sectors of the industry, ranging from those involved in ground handling, terminal operations and airport IT to architectural components and airport design. With a net floor space of some 28,000 square metres, in 2013 the show was bigger than ever before. For the upcoming event, exhibiting companies have booked even more floor space and we have, therefore, for the first time added a third exhibition hall.
Q. OF COURSE, THERE’S MUCH MORE TO A SUCCESSFUL SHOW THAN JUST NUMBERS; WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WERE THE BIG PLUSSES OF THE 2013 EVENT?
A. It is of course true that more important than the figures alone is the fact that the event brings together the right people. The visitors at inter airport Europe are industry professionals from airports, airlines, ground handlers, air cargo carriers and aviation support services, and a large majority are directly involved in purchasing decisions. Every third visitor at the previous event came to the show with a specific plan to invest, and it is the high quality of the trade visitors that exhibiting companies point to as a characteristic of the show.
In the exhibition survey, exhibitors told us about the large number of new contacts made and positive business undertaken at their stands. Exhibitors also praise the international atmosphere of inter airport Europe, with visitors coming from 110 countries across the globe.
Q. HOW WILL YOU BUILD ON THE SUCCESS OF TWO YEARS AGO AND WHAT NEW FEATURES WILL FORM PART OF THIS YEAR’S INTER AIRPORT?
A. Our strategy is to build on the clear focus of the show as a highly dedicated event for the airport industry. On the visitor side, we have further invested in our comprehensive international marketing campaign directed towards a defined target group. On the exhibitor side, we make sure that we offer best quality and service as regards the support by our show team and the venue facilities we offer.
The exhibition centre in Munich offers a first-class infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, modern exhibition halls as well as an excellent outside area. At the previous shows we could no longer accommodate all exhibitors in the two exhibition halls, and so this year we have added a third exhibition hall to meet demand.
Q. HOW MANY VISITORS AND EXHIBITORS ARE YOU EXPECTING TO ATTEND THIS YEAR’S SHOW AND WILL AIRSIDE OPERATIONS BE A BIG FOCUS OF THE EVENT?
A. Some 650 exhibitors from 42 countries have booked their stands (as of mid-August) and, with 29,000 square metres of net floor space, this year’s show is again going to be bigger than before; it offers even more to discover for visitors and this throughout all the key sectors of the show: Ramp, Terminal, Data and Design.
Several hundreds of these exhibitors are showcasing equipment in our exhibition category interRAMP, ranging from GSE, airside technical services such as aircraft maintenance, airfield lighting, fleet management, navigation aids, bird control and airfield construction. Airside/ramp operations have always been a major focus of inter airport Europe and the coming exhibition will be no exception to the show’s longstanding track record of offering the biggest choice of products in this field. We have available our comprehensive Show Preview giving visitors an overview of the great variety of equipment and services in all the different categories of the show.
Q. WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK THE SHOW WILL OFFER VISITORS THIS YEAR THAT THEY CAN LOOK FORWARD TO?
A. We will, once again, present the inter airport Europe Innovation Awards. The competition is open to all main exhibitors and, as in previous years, many companies have put forward their exciting product innovations. The products and services that have been shortlisted in the four exhibition categories were published on our website for online voting by the entire airport industry. The awards will be presented to the winners at the Opening and Awards Ceremony on the first exhibition day.
In addition to the exhibition, visitors will be able to attend the Smart Airports Conference. This will cover a range of subjects that are currently high on the agenda of every airport professional. This conference is organised by our conference partner Aviation Media.
Q. WILL WE SEE THE INFLUENCE OF NEW AIRPORT TECHNOLOGIES ON DISPLAY AT THIS YEAR’S EVENT?
A. Many of the innovations on display at this year’s show focus on improving passenger and baggage flow, as well as timely aircraft and freight handling. Automation and data exchange also play an important role. In the current market, airports – particular ones in Europe – face the challenge of handling a growing number of passengers and aircraft. In a climate of fierce competition, airport operators have to upgrade or build new terminals, hangars and runways. At inter airport Europe they can get a strategic overview and source the latest equipment and services to ready their airports for the future.
Q. HOW YOU WILL MAINTAIN THE PRIMACY OF INTER AIRPORT GOING FORWARD?
A. The value of an exhibition comes from bringing together the right kind of people – exhibitors and visitors with an interest in meeting new contacts, exchanging expertise and doing business. A focused exhibition profile and a high quality audience are, therefore, key factors for a successful event. A centrally located, easy to reach and modern venue is of course important too.
inter airport Europe offers exactly what airport professionals are looking for – a targeted exhibition which covers the whole range of airport related areas but which is not diluted by a large number of additional events being held alongside and by topics that are only of marginal interest to the industry. In a world where choice becomes ever more confusing and time is precious, customers value quality and transparency.
Q. AND YOU ARE CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR?
A. inter airport Europe celebrates its 20th anniversary edition this year; this means the event can look back on a long and impressive history of 40 years. Designed to give airport equipment providers a specialised platform unlike the general aircraft exhibitions, the event started off as a small get-together for GSE providers and buyers in 1977 at the US Air Force Base in Frankfurt. In the late eighties, when air travel experienced enormous growth rates and new airports were built across the globe, airport planning and furnishing gained a new dimension. Investing in state-of-the-art technology became crucial for airport operators, as their business environment had suddenly become highly competitive.
inter airport Europe reflected this development, with above average growth rates in both participants and floor space. The show profile was rounded off to include the comprehensive portfolio of a one-stop-shop for the entire airport industry, ranging from ground handling, terminal operations, security systems and architectural components to airport IT.
The show had by then evolved into the world’s leading ‘International Exhibition for Airport Equipment, Technology, Design and Services’. In the late nineties inter airport Europe moved from Frankfurt to Munich where it was held in and around a hangar at Munich Airport, until – in 2009 – the show found its home at the Munich Trade Fair Centre.
I look forward to welcoming the airport industry at this year’s event, from 6th – 9th October, in Munich.