Trade fairs: The Busworld Europe Kortrijk exhibition, 19–25 October 2017
This year, BussiPro made its first ever appearance at a Busworld trade fair held in Kortrijk, where this series of exhibitions was established back in 1971 and gained legendary status in the industry. While many veterans of the trade fair were disappointed to learn that this was would be the last year of Kortrijk hosting the event, it was a fine send-off to the location: the arrangements certainly left nothing to be desired. The organisers hailed this year’s event – the 24th Kortrijk exhibition – as the best ever.
376 exhibitors (with dozens queuing for a place), from 36 countries
37,241 visitors, gathering from 118 countries
Other distinguishing characteristics – the organisers’ press release can be read online at https://www.busworld.org/uploads/pressreleases/63/PostShowRelease-Figures-BusworldEurope20171027-ENG.pdf
While the atmosphere at the Kortrijk Xpo conference centre has always been fantastic, this popular event has simply outgrown the premises. For several years, temporary structures and marquees were set up in the area of the exhibition centre to provide more space for exhibitors and visitors alike. The next Busworld Europe exhibition, to be held in 2019, will see the event move to Brussels, where it will be easier to reach. We join the exhibition regulars in hoping that the great atmosphere of Kortrijk too will be transferred to the new venue.
In early autumn of this year, we performed advance marketing and conducted marketing studies among the bus operators in Germany and the Benelux countries. These companies expressed keen interest in our new BusCare concept, and their positive feelings also translated into large visitor numbers at our exhibition area, with more than 200 new contacts made. At times, we were so busy that, no matter all of our best efforts, our five-strong team could not talk to everyone who visited.
We were also pleased that many of our OEM partners, among them Knorr-Bremse, Meritor, and Mekra, paid us a visit.
Also, we were pleasantly surprised to receive the first offer requests before the event had even ended, and we arranged to hold meetings with operators interested in finding out more about the concept in late 2017 and early 2018.
We are happy to announce in addition that we will be able to make the position of Marc Schröder, our German bus market expert, permanent, thanks to the successful international introduction.
We would like to extend our warmest thanks to those who helped us in our export project: Lahti Region Development (Ladec)’s Johanna Veikkolainen, Marc Borremans (with Mathces2success), Hannele Zilm-Schulz (of FinDeConnect), MyFinland’s Taina Immonen, Arto Varanki of Messeforum, Markku Mäkelä (with the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, or Tekes), Miia Forsström (of Finland’s Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment), and many others.