• More than 6,500 trade visitors attend O&S 2016
  • Hannover, Germany. Spirits were buoyant from day one among the approximately 300 exhibitors who appeared at O&S 2016 at the Stuttgart exhibition center, in halls 7 and 9. Visitors came in droves on opening day, bringing queries about specific applications as well as concrete investment plans. A large percentage of attendees came from outside Germany. And the second and third day of the show were equally impressive, resulting in an overwhelmingly upbeat mood among exhibitors at the closing bell. On Thursday, another successful edition of O&S came to a close, tallying more than 6,500 visitors overall.

    "For a lot of people, O&S 2016 exceeded their expectations," commented Olaf Daebler, Director of O&S at Deutsche Messe. "We are delighted that our efforts to promote attendance from abroad bore fruit. O&S has become a recognized networking hub for the international surface technology community - one which attracts users from around the globe." A little more than 50% of international O&S visitors came from an EU country. Roughly a third of all international visitors came from European countries outside the EU. And Asian visitors weighed in with a share of seven percent.

    But O&S scored on more than just the quantity and international character of its visitors - the quality of visitors was also high: "O&S went very well for us and was definitely worth our while," reported Jörn Selent, Head of Global Sales Industry at Dörken MKS. "We met with a 100% specialist audience at the event, with many of them coming from top echelons - exactly what our company requires. We had guests from across Europe at our stand, but also from countries we weren't necessarily expecting, such as Israel, Egypt or Bulgaria. The bottom line was that we were successful in reaching both existing and new customers at this compact trade fair," he concluded. Numerous exhibitors had a similarly positive take on the quality of the tradeshow audience. And the findings of the visitor survey backed up this perception, as the ratio of trade visitors - at 99% - was just short of a perfect score. Of these, the majority were even decision-makers, with 83% reporting playing either a consultative or authoritative role in their companies' decision-making processes. The percentage from top management was 28%. A further positive aspect for O&S exhibitors consisted of visitors' purchasing mindset, as 30% traveled to the event with firm purchasing intent, while a further 50% attended to finalize their investment plans at the show.

    O&S covers all areas of surface technology, with electroplating representing a key local industry. Even before O&S opened its gates, all signs were positive for the electroplating part of the show. Featuring 77 participating firms, the "World of Surface Treatment" staged by the Central Association of Surface Technology (ZVO) experienced strong growth compared with the previous edition in 2014. Strong visitor demand ensured a correspondingly positive mood at the exhibitors' stands. "We were extremely satisfied," reported Christoph Matheis, President of ZVO. "The quality and quantity of visitors was superb - in the ‘World of Surface Treatment' things were really abuzz and we were able to gage the high level of exhibitor satisfaction in the feedback from our co-exhibitors. We were moreover delighted by the much stronger international visitor component. The original designation of O&S as a ‘domestic fair' is no longer valid. Also from the association's point of view, O&S was a solid success. We signed up corporations as new members here in Stuttgart, and other firms will soon follow suit. In sum, this year's O&S was one of the best ever."

    Successful debut of Guided Tours

    For the first time O&S also offered its visitors Guided Tours. "We were highly pleased with the response to our Guided Tours," said Daebler. "We received positive feedback from exhibitors as well as participating visitors," he added. The tour on "Surfaces fit for the future - multifunctional, REACH-compliant coatings" drew a range of spontaneous participants, along with visitors who had already signed up in advance. The second tour was dedicated to the topic of "Plant and equipment for maximizing process reliability and quality." Both tours were presented twice a day, taking visitors to eight exhibiting enterprises, each of whom offered a 10-minute presentation, followed by a five-minute Q&A session. Featuring a high percentage of decision-makers and a foreign component of roughly 50 percent, visitors took full advantage of this opportunity.

    Offering 31 presentations, the O&S Specialist Forum provided a broad window onto the activities taking place in the various surface technology segments - from the development of new coatings to plant equipment and measuring techniques, right on up to efficiency and energy conservation. The forum organizers at WOTech declared their complete satisfaction with the Surface Treatment 2016 Forum, where speakers were able to pass on their practical expertise in a series of lively, content-packed presentations.

    The close of O&S 2016 simultaneously kicked off preparations for the coming event. The visitor survey findings indicate that a large number of trade visitors will again be in attendance at the next edition of O&S. Fifty percent of visitors believe that O&S will retain its significance, while another 45% anticipate the trade fair will become even more important. The next O&S will take place from 5 to 7 June 2017, again in Stuttgart.

    More exhibitor remarks on O&S 2016:

    Thomas Haberfellner, Director of Domestic Sales and Service, Schlötter Galvanotechnik:
    "It was a very good trade fair for us and we are completely satisfied. We had many interesting talks and the quality of our visitors was very high. We had visitors from abroad - for instance from Slovenia and Romania and even Asia. Topics like chrome VI and REACH as well as further developments in the direction of environment-friendly processes met with great interest during the event."

    Ludger Fuchs, Sales Director Germany, NOF Metal Coatings Europe:
    "O&S is a must - like a giant family reunion. The visitors are exclusively industry professionals, each of whom knows exactly why he is here. In general we can state that the trend is less toward technological innovations and more toward cost-driven changes - something we consider a mega-trend."

    Marco Poretti, Managing Director of LA FONTE.EU:
    "We are absolutely satisfied with this trade fair. We conducted many good talks. An especially positive aspect is that more companies from abroad are represented here. And we also note there are numerous visitors from other countries, particularly from overseas."

    Frank Pfeuffer, Managing Director of Mazurczak GmbH:
    "This was a great trade fair for us, probably one of the most dynamic and successful trade fairs we ever experienced here in Stuttgart. The high rate of international participation was particularly welcome. We had visitors from Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Italy, Greece and Turkey. And the quality of our visitors was also ideal. Nobody comes here just to look. Lots of plant managers and top executives were in attendance - in other words, trade visitors and decision-makers."

    Roland Gehring, Managing Director of Benseler Oberflächentechnik GmbH & Co. KG:
    "The trade fair went well for us, and our stand was very well-received. We presented our organic and inorganic coatings and talked to a great many customers. Our impression was that there was more visitor traffic this time, with the talks held being even more professional in nature."

    Axel Hoffmann, Division Manager SBU Watertreatment Electronics der C.H. Erbslöh GmbH & Co. KG:
    "The fair got off to a great start right from day one. We met a lot of decision-makers with concrete questions who were in the market for information and advice. For us, O&S is a major trade fair and we will be back again next time."

    Reinhold Specht, Managing Partner at Harter Oberflächen- und Umwelttechnik GmbH:
    "O&S is our ‘home' trade fair and thus has a great significance for us. This time we were more successful than ever. We had a good mix of trade visitors in terms of old and new customers. We are definitely highly satisfied as we leave the event and can look forward to lots of follow-up business."

    Georg Fink, Marketing Manager at Special Coatings GmbH & Co. KG:
    "At this year's O&S we were able to generate many interesting leads with our painted plastic compound parts in metallic or matte electroplated look. Many visitors were not yet familiar with our processes and were highly enthusiastic about them. We hope O&S continues to grow in the coming years and expands to fill several halls."

    Dr. Martin Renner, Managing Director of Renner GmbH:
    "We found O&S to be a very dynamic tradeshow where we generated a high number of substantial leads and which greatly exceeded our expectations. The problem definitions trade visitors brought with them were very concrete. Often visitors were simultaneously users and decision-makers. And the international character of the event was also right on the mark. We now have new international contacts not only in Finland, Poland and France, but also in Asia - for example, Korea."

    Ralf Humpert, Managing Partner at Wilhelm Humpert GmbH & Co. KG:
    "This was the first time for us exhibiting at O&S, and we had numerous good talks which could lead to new business after the event. The good thing about this show is that it draws an exclusive audience of trade visitors. We met many visitors and exhibitors from our schooldays, adding up to a nice, familiar atmosphere. We'll be back again for O&S 2018."

    Concurrent events generate added value

    A number of other trade fairs ran concurrently with O&S from 31 May to 2 June. One of them was parts2clean, the International Trade Fair for Industrial Parts and Surface Cleaning, representing the advance stage of surface treatment. LASYS, the International Trade Fair for Laser Material Processing, featured the gamut of laser technology, irrespective of the industrial sector or type of material. Numerous surface treatment customers also attended the AUTOMOTIVE Expo in Stuttgart - an event which combines five exhibitions from the automotive sector.