The Trade Fair For Transport Technology is Booming

For the last twelve years InnoTrans, the International Trade for Transport Technology, has continued to grow. Ever since the fair first opened its doors in 1996 exhibitor and visitor attendance has risen continuously, with hall and outdoor display sites expanding too, in many cases bucking industry trends. This growth has now attained a new level. The available space in the halls regularly used on the southern section of the Messe Berlin grounds is no longer sufficient. Thus in 2008 the world's trade fair for rail transport technology will be occupying the entire Berlin Exhibition Grounds for the first time. The new concept for the grounds also targets a clearer organisation of the individual trade fair sections.

Demand for the Messe-owned rail track areas for displaying rolling stock has also outstripped supply. However, there is good news for exhibitors from Germany and abroad. By the date the fair opens on 23 September an additional 1,500 metres of track will have been added to the existing modern rail track area directly next to the display halls.

"This is a decisive turning point in the twelve-year history of InnoTrans", said the trade fair's director Matthias Steckmann. "Never before have there been such sustained levels of high demand at the beginning of the year when the trade fair takes place. This is why we have developed a new trade fair concept that will satisfy the exceptionally high demand by customers from around the world and will provide numerous advantages for exhibitors and trade visitors alike. The advantages of the new concept will now include a hall route encircling the Summer Garden and a second entrance at the northern end of the grounds with good transport links."

Applications for hall space, outdoor display areas and rail tracks have meanwhile exceeded the total area occupied at InnoTrans 2006. Already more than 1,100 companies – in particular from abroad – have announced their firm intention to take part in the September event, an increase of around 200 compared with the same period two years ago. Companies from countries such as Brazil and Serbia will be represented at the InnoTrans for the first time, and demand from the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the USA has risen significantly.

Currently fifteen national industry federations will be attending InnoTrans 2008, where they will be representing the industries of their respective countries. Transport companies including Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB (Austria), SBB (Switzerland), SNCF (France) are increasingly making use of InnoTrans as a platform for marketing and communication.

The new concept for the exhibition grounds will offer numerous advantages to exhibitors and trade visitors alike. On the one hand occupying additional halls will make it possible to adequately satisfy the consistently high level of demand for display space, and on the other hand use of the entire exhibition grounds also provides an opportunity to reorganise individual trade fair sections. For example, in the halls occupied by Railway Technology it will now be possible to group companies exhibiting drives, vehicle components, power systems, electronic systems and vehicle services by individual category, and situate them in neighbouring display areas.

As a result of this hall reorganisation visitors will now be able to follow a route all the way around and through the halls encircling the area on the grounds known as the Summer Garden. Use of the northern section of the exhibition grounds also provides an opportunity to add a further large entrance, thus making it possible for two main entrances to cope with the high trade visitor numbers at InnoTrans. Both northern and southern entrances have an excellent infrastructure and first-class public transport links.

All the trade fair sections at InnoTrans are expanding. With Railway Technology spreading into the halls around the Summer Garden, at InnoTrans 2008 the similarly expanding Public Transport and Interiors sections will be represented in Halls 1.1 to 4.1 on the southern section of the grounds. This is the first year that the Public Transport section will be rounded off with a display of buses for regional and public transport.

The new hall concept will also benefit the Tunnel Construction section, which is currently located in Hall 5.2 and in the direct path of the trade visitor route. This decision was in response to customer demand for displays adjacent to the Railway Technology und Railway Infrastructure sections.

Use of the northern section of the exhibition grounds also brings about altogether new possibilities for the opening event of this international meeting place of the industry. For the first time this highlight of the trade fair will now be able to take place in the prestigious surroundings of the rooms in the Palais am Funkturm.

The unique rail track areas at InnoTrans with direct links to the trade fair halls are admired all over the world as a feature singling it out from other events. The infrastructure of the site is user-friendly, and provides electrical connections for railway vehicles, water supply connections, illumination of the outdoor areas, and direct links to the public railway network. Already in 2004 and 2006 the demand for rail track for displaying rolling stock and systems, including all types of passenger trains, locomotives, goods wagons and other exhibits, had become almost impossible to satisfy. In order to meet this ever-increasing demand a further 1, 500 metres of track will be added to the existing InnoTrans track site before the fair begins.

As in previous years the InnoTrans specialist supporting programme – the InnoTrans Convention – will be taking place in the conference rooms in Hall 7. This year improvements are to be made to the areas linking the trade fair halls and the convention facilities. Permanent passageways are to be built linking Halls 2.2, 4.2 and 6.2 with Hall 7. The most important events at the InnoTrans Convention 2008 will be the Dialogue Forum, the European and Asian Rail Summit (EARS) and the International Tunnel Forum.

The deadline for applications for InnoTrans 2008 is rapidly approaching. Companies interested in taking part are advised to apply by 15 February, after which planning of the hall layout will begin. Trade visitors should already book their trip to InnoTrans. The InnoTrans website offers attractive packages comprising travel arrangements, hotel bookings and other services. Booking early is worth your while. In previous years not only have trade visitor numbers risen, but the time spent at InnoTrans has increased too. According to visitor surveys, many trade visitors now consider two days insufficient to handle all of their InnoTrans business appointments and to obtain a satisfactory overview of the latest innovations the industry has to offer.

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