The organizers of Formnext – the largest trade fair dedicated to additive manufacturing technologies in the world, announced the date of this year’s event. The fair will traditionally begin on Tuesday, November 16, and will last until Friday, November 19, 2021. Although the specter of further lockdowns caused by the so-called In the “fourth wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers are optimistic about the future, announcing that the fair will be open to visitors “as in the good old days”.
Last year’s edition of Formnext was fully digital and quite disappointing for many people … The event was divided into two areas – a kind of Internet TV fair, where lectures and debates of invited guests were broadcast, and a platform for exchanging contacts and on-line conversations, resembling LinkedIn functionalities or related business social media platforms. And although the organizers boasted about the excellent results of the fair visits, in private conversations with representatives of companies that participated in the fair as exhibitors, there was a feeling of disappointment and reluctance to this form of event.
It seems that the organizers are also aware of the failure of the digital fair and have decided to try their resurrection in its traditional form. The Formnext team announces that this year’s event will be truly spectacular. About 450 exhibitors have announced their participation, including 55% from outside Germany, where the fair is held. The presence was confirmed, among others, by: 3D Systems, Additive Industries, Addup, Arburg, Autodesk, BigRep, DMG Mori, Dyndrite, EOS, ExOne (recently owned by Desktop Metal), Farsoon, Formlabs, GE, Hexagon, HP, Keyence, Markforged, Materialize, Meltio, Nexa 3D, Prima Industrie, Renishaw, Sandvik, Siemens, Stratasys, Trumpf, Voxeljet and XJet.
Despite all these announcements, it is still unknown whether the fair will take place due to the more or less rational approach of countries to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the organizers of Formnext assured almost until the last that the fair would be held in physical form, but unfortunately in the end they had to capitulate and reformat it to a digital version. Now he constantly emphasizes that the concept of protection and hygiene, which was developed last year to meet legal requirements, is constantly being adapted to the current pandemic situation. At the fair, wider passages between the stands in the halls are to be provided as well as numerous amenities for people who want to keep a social distance. The 3G concept (vaccinated, healed, tested) will also be introduced.
Will it help? Last year was not enough … It is also worth adding that despite the wide range of exhibitors, not everyone is equally enthusiastic about exhibiting at this type of fair. Recently, leading manufacturer of metal 3D printers, SLM Solutions, announced that it would not be exhibiting at Formnext, focusing on its own digital marketing and sales efforts.