May 16, 2008

More Than 120,000 Visitors, 2,560 Exhibitors Make IFAT 2008 a Success

More than 40,000 visitors came from outside of Germany, an increase of almost 18%

IFAT 2008, held May 5 to 9 in Munich, Germany, posted record attendance—2,560 exhibitors were at the show, and increase of 15%, and more than 120,000 visitors attended, a 10% increase.

“These results mean that IFAT is the world’s biggest and most important trade fair for environmental technology and services,” said Eugen Egetenmeir, deputy managing director of Messe München GmbH. “Its international reputation is also impressively underlined by the presence of many high-ranking government delegations from all over the world.”

More than 40,000 of the 120,000-plus trade visitors came to IFAT from outside of Germany, representing 163 countries. Considering that there was an overall rise of 10% in visitors, this means the increase in visitors from abroad was almost 18%. Foreign visitors made up over one-third of the total number of visitors.

“IFAT has once again done justice to its role as the world’s leading trade fair for the sector,” Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff, chairman of the advisory board of IFAT and managing director of Faun Umwelttechnik, said. “Many trade professionals, above all from international markets, made use of this fair to find out about new innovations. The wonderful setting for this trade fair, and the hospitality afforded to us in this city have contributed to the good mood. For my team and I, IFAT was very successful and it can be described as one of the best trade fairs of all time.”

More than 90% of the exhibitors rated the international scope among the visitors as ‘good’ to ‘excellent,’ according to a survey of exhibitors conducted by tns infratest. The same percentage—more than 90%—gave this rating also to the quality of trade visitors. In total, 87% of the exhibitors stated they will be taking part in the next IFAT.

“For Veolia, as the world’s leading environmental service-provider, taking part in IFAT is a must,” said Christophe Hug, management chairman of Veolia Wasser GmbH. “We are very happy with the discussions we had with our business partners and with the international audience. For Veolia the effort was very worthwhile. We will be using IFAT again next time as an international sector meeting place for the water, sewage and waste disposal industry.”

In addition, 92% of exhibitors rated the leading trade-fair status of IFAT as “good” to “excellent.”

“IFAT is the ideal platform for presenting the entire spectrum of the private water and life-cycle management economy to a broad international trade audience,” said Egbert Tölle, chairman of Remondis AG Co. KG. “Nowhere else in the world is there a comparable forum.”

And Joachim Foerderer, managing director of Bilfinger Berger Umwelttechnik GmbH and chairman of the German Water Partnership, confirmed: “IFAT is without doubt the leading trade fair for our sector. For Bilfinger Berger Umwelttechnik it is the most important trade fair of all—taking part here is a must. The density of decision-makers and companies from our sector is fantastic.”

One of the highlights at IFAT was also the Accompanying Programme, which featured the forums on “Water and Sewage” and “Waste Treatment,” and the 14th European Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Symposium. More than 11,700 trade visitors came to the forums, including to the Country Specials and the Environmental Cluster Bavaria – an increase of more than 70% in comparison to the previous event. The 14th European Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Symposium, which attracted 1,500 participants, was also successful.

Between May 5 and 9, a total of 2,560 exhibitors from 44 countries presented innovative products and services in the fields of water, sewage, waste and recycling. That is a rise of 15% compared to the previous event. Among the exhibitors, too, there was a high level of international participation, at just over one-third. This breadth was rated highly by the trade visitors—97% of the visitors gave a rating of “good” to “excellent” to the breadth and depth of the range on show at IFAT, and 81% of visitors said they would “probably” or “certainly” recommend IFAT to their business partners and associates.

“IFAT is most certainly the reference fair in the field of the environment,” said Victor Garnreiter, management chairman, Eurawasser Aufbereitungs und Entsorgungs GmbH, in the division Suez Environnement. “It offers a shop window for state-of-the-art technology.”