Media training

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell travelled to Düsseldorf to report from Glasstec’s first-ever preview event for the media.

In a disused power plant in Düsseldorf, last week, ten exhibitors met 44 journalists from across Europe to discuss their plans for the Glasstec exhibition in October. These included A+W Software, AGC, Vipotron, Bohle, Bovone, Intermac, Swisspacer, Dow and Lisec.

Introducing the event, Glasstec director Birgit Horn said the aim was to present “the best stories, and give the maximum coverage to the magazines covering the event”.

Birgit also said that Glasstec 2018 is expected to be the second largest event since 2016, which was the biggest since the economic crash of 2007/08.

“We want to explain how the event is adapting to the changing nature of the industry so that it remains relevant,” she said.

Some people see Glasstec as a European event, and it is nothing more than a curiosity for UK-based businesses. There are, of course, many people who visit Glasstec because they are in the process of investing in new machinery, and I’ve lost count of the number of times that business owners have told me that the final deal was struck in Düsseldorf, or that introductions were made at the show.

Talking to the exhibitors listed above, all of them had significant interests in the UK market, and they (along with the show’s organisers) definitely see it as the most important international show that they attend, although Glassbuild America comes close.

Unfortunately, the ratio of exhibitors to journalists at this preview was grossly imbalanced, and it didn’t have the sense of urgency that it deserved; especially when you consider the importance attached to it.

That said, a lot was learned, and it was good for journalists to talk to exhibitors without intruding on business deals, as would be the case at the exhibition.

Hopefully, in future years, exhibiting companies will take the opportunity to talk to the media, and this preview event will become an important date in the calendar in its own right. After all, Glasstec is a facilitator between suppliers and the market, and this media day can work well alongside the exhibition.

A preview article based on this event will feature in the August issue of Glass Times.