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That’s how a leading trade fair should feel

Post-show report • ORGATEC 2022

Expectations may have been high, but ORGATEC 2022 met them all. Exhibiting companies and the international trade audience were all equally impressed by the restart of the leading international trade fair for the modern working world. A total of 686 companies from 43 countries presented their products and solutions for the current and future requirements of our always-evolving working environments. With exhibitor participation at more than 90 percent of the previous event’s level, and with 78 percent of exhibitors coming from abroad, the ORGATEC 2022 restart after the break imposed upon it by the pandemic was a huge – and very international – success. ORGATEC also made an impression on the 45,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries in terms of the content and themes presented. For Koelnmesse Chief Operating Officer, Oliver Frese, this is the result of the trade fair’s consistent conceptual development: “Even before the pandemic, the trade fair had successfully evolved to become a theme- and solution-oriented industry event. This foresight is now paying off. This year, ORGATEC has given a spectacular demonstration of its relevance for the future development of the industry.”

For the industry, ORGATEC offered the first opportunity in a long time to present ideas for sustainable workplace design in a concentrated form “live”. In addition to the personal exchange, the exhibitors also hoped that the trade fair would provide impulses for the future economic situation in the industry. These expectations have been more than fulfilled in the view of Helmut Link, President of the Interior Business Association (IBA): “This is how a leading trade fair must feel. ORGATEC 2022 has clearly exceeded our expectations, both in terms of visitor interest and the intensity of the discussions. We have had so many high-level discussions in the last few days as rarely before.” He was also impressed by the presentations of the IBA member companies, which had brought along decidedly creative and forward-looking solutions for current requirements. “This year’s ORGATEC has thus made a significant contribution to addressing the challenges of the modern working world,” Link concluded.

To be successful, a conceptual development must also be reflected on the stands of exhibitors. That was clearly the case at ORGATEC 2022. The exhibiting companies fully harnessed their creative potential and showed a particularly high level of innovation this year. That also went down very well with trade visitors. For Dr Eng. Martin Kleibrink, ORGATEC’s relevance and importance comes from its function as an industry meeting place and the surprising inspiration it provides: “I always meet new and old friends at ORGATEC. That relates to the people, but also especially to the products. That’s why I always spend at least two days exploring ORGATEC, because all kinds of things to the right and left of the pathways speak to me and capture my imagination.” Which is why the architect from Winterthur in Switzerland also likes to invite his clients to the trade fair to “share his inspiration with them in person”.

In addition to the latest developments in hybrid and flexible working and smart technologies, this year’s focal points of the trade show also included the topic of sustainability. In addition to the presentations of the exhibiting companies, the trade fair once again featured a variety of conferences, discussion forums and expert talks as part of a high-quality event and conference programme. The focus of this programme was on the socio-political importance of modern working worlds, and on the impact of recent changes and current developments on the behaviour of office users and the corresponding strategies of companies. This year, for the first time, themed guided tours of the trade fair were offered, curated by renowned architecture firms and organised specially by architects for architects. The popularity of these tours – with many filling up very quickly – shows how important specialised, yet still personal, insights into the themes of ORGATEC are for trade visitors.

The industry can be sure of the growing socio-political importance of the topic in the coming years. Because in a recent study carried out by ORGATEC and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) and presented for the first time at the trade fair, around half of respondents said they expected the latest crises to affect the future allocation of their working time across various work locations. This shows that – even if we’re still talking about a time “after the pandemic” within the context of work environments – it’s important to recognise that there will not be a “new normal after the pandemic”. Because trends and preferences regarding where and how people work in future are constantly subject to various influences, and long-term developments are regularly affected by current events.

ORGATEC 2022 hosted 686 exhibiting companies from 43 countries (2018: 749 companies from 39 countries). They included 149 domestic exhibitors (2018: 181 exhibitors) and 533 companies (2018: 568 companies) from outside Germany, with foreign companies accounting for 78 per cent (2018: 76 per cent) of total exhibitors. Including estimates for the last day of the fair, ORGATEC 2022 attracted 45,000 visitors from 130 countries.

The next ORGATEC – leading international trade fair for the modern working world – will take place from 22 to 26 October 2024.

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