This year, the Kunststoffen trade fair will be held at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch instead of at NH Conference Centre Koningshof in Veldhoven. The reason for this venue change is that considerably more floor space is needed compared to previous editions in order to comply with Covid-19 regulations while maintaining the format of the trade fair. This extra floor space has been found at the Brabanthallen. The decision to hold the trade fair at a different location follows extensive discussions with 40 exhibitors, cooperation partners (including interbranch organizations), and other stakeholders. The trade fair will still be held on 2 and 3 December.
There has been much uncertainty recently about whether various trade fairs and business events (both those held in the Netherlands and abroad) could take place. Geert Hellings, Managing Director of Mikrocentrum: “After deliberation with exhibitors and stakeholders, it has become clear that companies and professionals long to get back in touch with each other and to resume business. We also conducted surveys among visitors of events from the last three years in June and July. Over 80% of respondents said they would like to visit business events again in the fall, provided these can be organized safely. In order to provide sufficient space for all those present at the two trade fairs, additional floor space is required. Unfortunately, this additional floor space cannot be realized at Koningshof. However, it can be at the Brabanthallen. For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to not hold the Kunststoffen trade fair at the usual location this year. In total, the Brabanthallen will provide us with over 16.000 m2 of trade fair floor space, as well as 4 large lecture rooms."
The most important thing is to offer visitors a safe trade fair experience
Safety for everyone involved in the Kunststoffen trade fair is Mikrocentrum's priority at all times. The most important thing in all this is, and will continue to be, that the trade fair will only take place if this is safe. Mikrocentrum is convinced that this is possible. Jeroen Dona, Director of Libéma Trade Fairs & Events: “The Brabanthallen meet all the necessary conditions and guidelines, and the venue has approval from the government to organize activities such as the Kunststoffen trade fair and the Precision Fair. We will do everything in our power to facilitate a safe environment, and we will take every safety measure possible."
Current developments also offer opportunities
“We have noticed over the past few months that the developments surrounding Covid-19 have created much uncertainty about whether events can take place, and about how safe these events are,” says Els van de Ven, Events Manager at Mikrocentrum. “We have seen this uncertainty among exhibitors as well. Some of them have cancelled their participation due to these developments, but in the same period we have also had some new participants sign up. During our talks with exhibitors to discuss the future of the two trade fairs, some of the exhibitors told us they were considering cancelling their participation. But because the event has now been relocated to the Brabanthallen, these exhibitors have decided to participate after all. The extra floor space also allows us to give a number of new companies, which were on the waiting list, the opportunity to participate for the first time. If there is sufficient interest for this, we have the option of setting up an additional hall. However, for the time being, we will stick to the space we have, because we do not want to create any empty spaces on the trade fair floor,” says Van de Ven.
Floor plans will remain largely intact
The floor plans for the three main halls that had been created for Koningshof will be virtually unchanged. This means the 'feel' of the trade fair will remain largely the same. However, the aisles will now be 6 meters wide. Additionally, exclusive, semi-private VIP-spaces will be set up for the exhibitors next to the stands and catering points. This allows exhibitors to speak to their guests while their stand is manned by a colleague.
More targeted visitors and looking into hybrid possibilities
Geert Hellings: “All in all we expect fewer visitors than previous years. At the same time, the visitors who do come will be extra motivated and interested. Mikrocentrum is also looking into the option of holding hybrid trade fairs. This could have the advantage of drawing visitors who would otherwise have stayed home, but it might also lead to some visitors deciding not to come. Mikrocentrum will certainly look into this, but for now our main goal is to encourage visitors to be physically present at the two trade fairs.”
Trade fairs will only take place if it is safe
“Mikrocentrum is eager to organize this fantastic trade fair in collaboration with all the exhibitors, cooperation partners, and Libéma during these trying times. If at a later stage the situation changes and it is no longer possible to hold the trade fair in a safe and responsible manner, Mikrocentrum will cancel the trade fair. But for now, there is no need for that, and preparations are in full swing,” says Geert Hellings.