The above adjectives fall short of describing the European Coatings Congress and Show, which was held in Nürnberg, Germany, May 7-10, 2007. For those who may think the coatings industry is stagnant, or not innovative, or does not have the ability to attract young people I would suggest a walk through the Show floor – or attending the Congress. That is, if you can get through the Show floor easily or find a seat at the Congress. Actually, you could find a seat, as the rooms are very large and they did bring in extra chairs when needed; some sessions on smart coatings and nanotechnology were packed!! All are signs of great success.
Once again new records were set at both the Show and the Congress. At the Show, there were approximately 840 exhibitors representing 42 countries, which is an increase of 22% over the 2005 event. Net exhibition space also set a record and surpassed 2005 by a 17% increase. At last count – and this is not final yet – the number of trade visitors was well over 22,000 from approximately 100 different countries – again about a 15% increase from the prior event. The Nürnberg Congress and Show is held on alternate years, and in the decade since I have been attending it continues to set records.
The corresponding Nürnberg Congress, where I focused my time, featured 150 technical presentations and was attended by close to 800 people. It was very difficult to pick which sessions to attend as all the topics were good and the research innovative. These were not product presentations (those were held on the Show floor), nor were they talks that had been presented many times prior, as we sometimes encounter. Most of the talks I attended discussed cutting-edge research and brand new products that will only be commercial by year-end.
The European Coatings Award for the best Congress paper, which is sponsored by the European Coatings Journal, was presented to Dr. Rolf Dersch and his team from BASF AG, for his paper “Water-based hybrid for high-gloss utilizing structural principles of solvent-based alkyds”. I am hoping that we will have an opportunity to present that paper to you in the future.
The exchange among the Congress delegates was also excellent – good questions and answers and much interaction at the breaks, lunch events and after-work party. The team of people who work very hard to put this together need to be commended for doing an outstanding job. You cannot help but feel energized when the day is done – and, although you are tired, you look forward to going back the next day. It is a professional event where serious business is conducted on the Show floor.
Our July issue will include more coverage of the Show, and we will bring you more coverage of the technical papers and their content in future issues. The good news is the industry is very much alive, innovative and thriving if there be any doubters out there!