Show organizers expect a record-breaking turnout for INTERMAT 2000, the International Exhibition of Equipment & Techniques for the Civil Engineering and Construction Industries, to be held May 16-21 at the newly expanded Paris-Nord Exhibition Centre in Paris.
Expecting a total of 1,300 exhibitors on 3 million sq ft of indoor and outdoor exhibit space, the show organizer Exposium claims that space bookings are in excess of the 1997 edition. Some 190,000 trade visitors from 113 countries are anticipated to attend the event, which is held every three years, alternating with ConExpo in Las Vegas and Bauma in Germany.
In 1997, the show drew 1,200 exhibitors from throughout the world. With 171,500 visitors attending, the 97 show registered 39% foreigners, a 41% increase of foreign entries from 1994.
The overall look of INTERMAT 2000 will be more international than ever before, with 60% of total exhibitors coming from 27 countries outside of France.
The international dimension of INTERMAT is very important for industry professionals in Europe. "Our association members represent over 50% of the French market and export 70% of their production," said Pierre Saubot, president of the trade association MTPS and representative of CECE (European Committee of Equipment for Civil Engineering). "Even if the French market remains crucial, the international element of INTERMAT is very important in maintaining the global image of our manufacturers."
Strong international presence
In addition, certain countries will have a markedly stronger presence than in previous years, namely Germany, Korea, Italy and the U.S.
Small- and medium-sized companies also will participate in the show through national pavilions grouping companies and industry representatives of the country. In 1997, eight countries held national pavilions: the U.S., Germany, Korea, Spain, Finland, Italy, Japan and Great Britain.
The U.S. industry representative, the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA), organized U.S. pavilions at INTERMAT in 1994 and 97 and will again feature a U.S. pavilion in 2000. "Our participants have been very pleased with their experiences at INTERMAT and view it as a key way to explore expansion into global markets in Europe and beyond," said Dennis Slater, CIMA president. "INTERMAT offers excellent opportunities for both established exporters as well as companies new to international business, to gain exposure in new markets, obtain direct sales and locate dealers and joint venture partners."
One key factor is the decision of several multinational groups to amplify their presence through direct participation from their parent companies.
Major groups involved include Case, Caterpillar, Fiat, JCB, Komatsu, Liebherr and Volvo for the earthmoving sector and Manesmann, PPM, Tadano, Manitou, Merlo, Genie JLG, Pinguely Haulotte and Upright for the lifting and handling sector.
Oriented traditionally toward visitors from the civil engineering arena, INTERMAT attracts more and more visitors from the building industry (25% of visitors in 1997), a trend expected to accelerate with the dynamic upswing of the market.
The CIMA pavilion will occupy 636 sq meters of net exhibit space. Sixteen additional North American exhibitors have registered directly from their headquarters in the U.S. to hold independent stands for a grand total of 3,997 sq meters, representing an increase for the U.S. and Canada of 50% from 1997.
Show organizers are working on a host of special operations to enhance the INTERMAT 2000 experience. INTERMAT is the only major international trade show to offer exhibitors the option of demonstrating their products in an area specifically designed for that purpose; demo space will be increased to 275,000 sq ft and feature two sections for earthmoving/handling/lifting as well as sorting/recycling. The demonstration zone also will be increased to 25,000 sq meters. The zone has been especially successful for INTERMAT, attracting 90% of show visitors present in 1997. It will take central position in the outdoor exhibit area of the upcoming edition.
This years show will be a reflection of the market in perpetual evolution. A worldwide showcase of innovation, the exhibition provides a platform for launching new products. During the 97 edition, 700 new products and 22 world premiers were unveiled.
For the first time, in 2000, exhibitors will be given Innovation Awards for their most distinctive innovations; a jury of recognized experts and professionals from all trades represented at the show will select the winners. An awards ceremony will be held on opening day May 16 before all exhibitors and prominent figures from this sector of industry. INTERMAT 2000 also will feature new special areas around the themes of plant hire, site safety, environment and motors and applications.
INTERMAT 2000 is poised to take place in a favorable economic setting, according to show officials. The arrival of the Eurodollar and the perspective of integration of the Central European countries should accentuate the upsurge of the European market. "A trade show like INTERMAT 2000 will help our companies to forge ties with one another and with their suppliers, to explore new opportunities in Europe as a whole," said Phillippe Levaux, chairman of FIEC, an umbrella organization of 30 national federations from 23 different countries.
In 1998, the total construction market in Europe (building and civil engineering) registered a rise of 1.6%. For 1999, experts forecasted an acceleration of this growth to 2.4%. Most of the activity is concentrated in five countries: Germany (26%), Italy (14%), France (13%), Great Britain (12%) and Spain (8%). The consolidated sales volume of the European construction sector is estimated at $832 billion.
Growth in construction equipment sales also characterized 1998: The market was up 20%. Biggest rises were seen in wheel loaders (+43%), wheel excavators (+27%) and manually guided rollers (+45%). "We are entering into a period where there will be a major effort to update equipment bought in the late 1980s," said Pierre Leboucher, president of the equipment trade association SEIMAT and JCB in France.
During the six-day event, exhibiting companies will have the opportunity to develop international contacts and to win contracts.
Last spring, Fil Filipov, president of Terex Lifting, said his company expected to make 50% of its sales outside the U.S. "Europe is becoming more and more important to us," he said. Characterized as a business-driven exhibition, INTERMAT is a lightning rod for transactions: 50% of its visitors are decision-makers, 30% come to purchase and 38% of exhibitors received orders on their booths during the last show.
For more information on INTERMAT 2000, contact Francois Gros, IMEX Management Inc., 505 E. Blvd., Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203 or call 704/365-0041, fax 704/365-8426, Internet address: [email protected].