Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the organiser of Formnext, the leading international event for Additive Manufacturing/3D printing, has confirmed that it will now be held solely as a virtual event. Named ‘Formnext Connect’, the dates of the event, November 10–13, 2020, will remain unchanged.
In an official statement, the organiser explained, “Due to the recent rise of the COVID-19 infection figures worldwide, and the associated increase in travel restrictions, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has decided to hold Formnext 2020 purely virtually.”
“The digital event will be named ‘Formnext Connect’. Formnext 2020 was previously planned as a hybrid trade fair, that is, with the on-site event at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds plus a digital add-on component. This plan was based on the Corona Contact and Operating Restrictions Ordinance valid in the State of Hesse and a health and hygiene concept agreed upon with the City of Frankfurt am Main, the State of Hesse and Messe Frankfurt.”
Formnext Connect will reportedly offer a wide range of digital services which will include exhibitor presentations in showrooms (products, information, videos, chat function, lead generation/lead tracking), intelligent matchmaking with all participants supported by AI, live streaming and on-demand content of the supporting programme and webinars as well as the scheduling/assignment of appointments for online meetings with exhibitors. Further details are expected to be announced shortly
Petra Haarburger, president of Mesago Messe Frankfurt, stated, “The current rise of the COVID-19 infection figures in Germany, Europe and around the world have led to increasing uncertainty among exhibitors and visitors. Together with the renewed tightening of official and in-house travel restrictions, this will no longer allow the otherwise highly international Formnext to be carried out in the accustomed quality.”
Sascha F Wenzler, vice president of Formnext Mesago Messe Frankfurt, commented, “We have been planning Formnext 2020 for months now. We have done this consistently and with the full support of our Exhibitor Advisory Board and with the highest level of protection and safety for the health of our exhibitors and visitors.”
“In doing so, we examined the entire layout of the fair from scratch from the halls with all entrances, booths, to the aisles. We devised completely new stand construction packages, spacing and communication areas in accordance with the health and hygiene concept agreed with the authorities. Our disappointment at the end of the summer is all the greater now that we have to recognise that the course of the pandemic is destroying our efforts to make these personal encounters possible again.”
Wenzler added, “An exchange between technology providers and users is absolutely necessary for this, and we are now putting all our energy into the realisation of a virtual Formnext, the Formnext Connect. It will be the central virtual platform for business and knowledge exchange for the global AM community at the end of the year.”
The organiser explains that in the course of the crisis, the Additive Manufacturing industry has clearly demonstrated the potential that lies in flexible, diversified and decentralised production. There is no doubt that AM will be one of the leading technologies that will lead the way out of the recession and will play a major role in the development of new products, the design of resilient supply chains and the development of sustainable business models, reports Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.