Eminent visitors and a lot of attention at this year's W3 FAIR + CONVENTION. (Image: Thomas X. Stoll)
Eminent visitors and a lot of attention at this year's W3 FAIR + CONVENTION. (Image: Thomas X. Stoll)


High Five

The fifth W3 FAIR + CONVENTION recorded more than 3,000 visitors, many of them from abroad. The date for next year has already been fixed and numerous industry representatives have marked it down in their calenders right away.

The fifth repetition of the network fair for optics, electronics, and mechanics went just as excellent as in the years before. This year with a new name: W3 FAIR + CONVENTION. “We started out as W3+ FAIR but from the beginning we thought that we were staging more than just a fair,” Brück explains, “the new name does more justice to the profile of our two-day event.”

The quality of exhibitors and partners, of participants and visitors reached the high standards one is used to. “At the W3 FAIR + CONVENTION, exhibitors can look forward to expert visitors from the industry who value quality, first-class workmanship, and innovation,” Dr. Helmut Kessler of Manx Precision Optics from the Isle of Man confirms. The big enterprises from the region, like Leica Microsystems, Carl Zeiss, OptoTech, Schneider, and Pfeiffer Vacuum, were present. There were the hidden champions, which are well known in the industry worldwide, but also international key players like Universal Photonics and Meopta.

The signs are still pointing to internationalization. And the figures of this year’s W3 FAIR + CONVENTION confirm the trend: 21 percent of the more than 3,000 visitors came from abroad. All in all, companies, organizations and visitors from more than 20 countries were represented at the fair. Apart from Wetzlar Network, founding partner of the event since 2014, EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, could be won as the new golden partner of the W3 FAIR + CONVENTION. The laser project ELI-Beamlines from Prague drew a lot of attention again. International delegations from India, China, and the United States had been invited by the Regional Management of Central Hessen for business matching. Hessen Trade & Invest (HTAI) supported companies in establishing contacts with Hessian enterprises.

While local companies presented their products and services to national and international visitors, other companies hoped to gain access to the high-tech region Central Hessen. That such achievements can be made on a very high and interdisciplinary level was proven once again at the W3 FAIR + CONVENTION. “Our region is extremely strong and innovative in the key technologies which are significant for optics, electronics, and mechanics,” Ralf Niggemann, manager of Wetzlar Network points out. “And for many of our enterprises, nationwide or international development partnerships could be the key to success. The W3 FAIR + CONVENTION offers absolutely ideal conditions for such purposes.”

What is more, the two-day event was underlined by a top-notch program consisting of presentations and seminars. More than 50 specialist speakers were talking about the latest topics in the field of photonics, automotive, laser technology, design and product development, Industry 4.0 as well as innovation management and international business. A great deal of attention was attracted by the top-class presentatioEs of EPIC TechWatch as well as by the Spectaris Panel in which experts illustrated the great relevance of photonics for the automotive industry. In their keynotes, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Leica Camera), Scott Stegert (Continental), Michael Schulz (Class 5 Photonics), Fabian Etzold (Dioptic), and Dr. Georg Korn (ELI Beamlines) explained which technologies will be required in future and how to create the culture of innovation necessary to obtain them.

In line with this, Christoph Rénevier, managing director of organizer FLLET Events, draws a positive conclusion: “Thanks to the format of our event, we have created a forum for new innovations and a platform for international partnerships from which all parties involved gain a profit. And it turns out that this is exactly what our exhibitors, partners and visitors appreciate.” As a consequence, many of them announced their visit to next year’s W3 FAIR + CONVENTION straight away. The date has already been fixed: February 25th and 26th, 2019. At Rittal Arena Wetzlar.




25. + 26.02.2019
Rittal Arena Wetzlar


Additional Information:




Jörg Brück
Project Director
Phone +49 151 40747979

Ralf Niggemann
Manager Wetzlar Network
Phone + 49 6441 992051