The fair organizers Christoph Rénevier (right) and Jörg Brück. (Image: Christian Plaum)
The fair organizers Christoph Rénevier (right) and Jörg Brück. (Image: Christian Plaum)

W3+ FAIR

High Anticipation Before the Premiere

The W3+ FAIR will be premiering in the Rittal Arena Wetzlar on February 19th and 20th, 2014. Christoph Rénevier and Jörg Brück explain why the W3+ FAIR is exactly the right fair in the right place.

W3+: Mr Rénevier, tell us how you are feeling so shortly before the premiere of the W3+ FAIR: What’s greater – the tension or the anticipation?

Christoph Rénevier: I am certainly experiencing some tension, but the sense of anticipation is greater, because the W3+ FAIR will be the first fair of its kind in Germany. No other event networks the three sectors of optics, mechanics and electronics to create a forum for knowledge transfer and new solutions. We are expecting it to boost innovation in these sectors – not least because the fair was brought into being on the industry’s initiative.


W3+: Around 60 participating companies, associations, universities and institutions will be attending the premiere of the W3+ FAIR – did you expect such a response?

CR: Meanwhile the number of participants has reached the 100 mark, meaning that the central exhibition space is almost fully booked. We’d planned for this number of companies, but it’s the quality of exhibitors and sponsors we’re particularly pleased about considering it’s the first event of this kind. Here we have global market leaders and SMEs under one roof and everyone is anticipating a unique information transfer and a lot of interdisciplinary contacts.


W3+: Has the concept of the fair developed into a sure-fire success or did you have to do a lot of convincing in the early stages?

Jörg Brück: What we tried to do was to join all the threads that industry proposed to us. The result is this new network fair that is designed to share the communication within the sectors here in Wetzlar with Germany and Europe. There was a bit of skepticism at the beginning, partly because of the big established fairs – that’s the way people are here in Central Hessen. However, we’re not competing with these fairs, on the contrary, we see ourselves as a highly interesting niche for cross-sector exchange.


W3+: Some fairs could be held anywhere. As a fair for optics, electronics and mechanics, the W3+ FAIR is especially geared to the industry profile of the region of Wetzlar and Central Hessen. So is it a case of bringing together what belongs together?

CR: The Wetzlar and Central Hessen region is a powerhouse of industrial innovation, both nationally and internationally. Now, experts from all over the world have the opportunity to talk to the companies here and create new business. They can even arrange to visit a company while they are here. That’s a huge advantage. At the same time, the region benefits from the marketing of the local industry cluster.
There are obvious benefits for the exhibiting companies, too: the cost of taking part in one of the usual leading trade fairs is tremendous. Most of the exhibitors could achieve an unprecedented level of efficiency at the W3+ fair. Paths are shorter, the outlay for booth construction, personnel and travel, etc. is limited. Looking at all these aspects, we are convinced that the W3+ fair will be an exceptional and sustainable event.


W3+: The Wetzlar region is home to international industry giants and small but smart businesses. Does the exhibition of the W3+FAIR reflect this unique spectrum?

JB: The W3+ FAIR is an extremely interesting mix of global players and hidden champions. Together they can seize future-oriented business opportunities. There are plenty of examples of this, and it’s what our exhibitors are expecting to happen. It’s also an incentive for trade visitors: due to the cross-sector theme, subjects will be discussed and developed here that they might normally not hear about.


W3+: The W3+ FAIR is far more than a tradeshow – it sees itself as an industrial forum. One of the key aspects is the exchange between companies and the transfer of knowledge between industry and academia. What exactly does this entail?

CR: The event is complex – and therefore highly interesting. Apart from a comprehensive program of lectures and information, concrete best-practice examples and solution proposals, visitors can expect an extremely heterogeneous mix of exhibitors and several lounges for networking. We are also organizing a high-caliber evening event for executives of the companies and institutes as well as a designated area for recruiting experts and young professionals.
So visitors can find out about trends and future perspectives, inquire about existing solutions, meet potential partners for the (further) development of their products and ask about funding and promotion alternatives. For more intensive talks they can withdraw to the lounges or even visit the company if the potential partner is located in the region. All this is the basic recipe for a unique event.


W3+: The exclusive “W3+ and Friends” event will be held in the evening of the first day of the fair. How important are informal conversations beside the official part?

JB: Many new ideas and business deals are not born at the desktop but in an informal environment. “W3+ and Friends” is just for exhibitors, partners and sponsors. This is how we intend to maintain the exclusive ambience – all those present have a keen interest in the subject matter. So there should be no problem in starting up a conversation.


W3+: There’s no doubt about the great attraction of the fair for exhibitors and visitors from the region. Are you hoping it will reach people beyond the region, too?

JB: Our hopes have already been over-fulfilled in this respect: as well as regional exhibitors we’ve had applications from the Jena region and the rest of Germany as well as from Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This acceptance is confirmation of our fair concept.


W3+: As a fair organizer, you’re naturally always ahead of your time – according to the motto: “Before the fair is after the fair and vice versa.” How do you rate the potential of the W3+ FAIR, putting it into perspective?

CR: We are convinced that the W3+ FAIR has the potential to play a leading role in bringing the three sectors of optics, electronics and precision mechanics together. I’m not talking about booked floorspace or the number of exhibitors, but in terms of opinion leadership, trendsetting, preparing business deals and networking. To sum up: the W3+ FAIR will be a highly efficient event for exhibitors and visitors – and as such, has great future potential.

 

 

Christoph Rénevier

Managing Director
FLEET Events GmbH

Jörg Brück

Managing Director Backstage Consulting GmbH
Project Director W3+ FAIR

 

 

Information on the fair, the exhibitors and the program:

www.w3-messe.de