Located at Messe Berlin in Berlin, Germany, InnoTrans features a full range of rail vehicles presented on nearly 2 miles of display track located outside the exhibition halls — 26 halls covering 160,000 square meters (1.75 million square feet). This year InnoTrans saw 106,000 visitors from more than 100 countries.
Messe Berlin Director Matthias Steckmann and Project Manager Kerstin Schulz are responsible for putting on InnoTrans. Steckmann says there are a couple of exhibitions at Messe Berlin that utilize the entire fairgrounds and this year was the first time InnoTrans used the whole space.
Steckmann and Schulz explain that for InnoTrans, the focus is on the exhibition as a marketing platform but they also support the convention with short, concentrated panel discussions. “It’s very important for us to keep this focus and to differentiate from other events like congresses with participating exhibitions,” explains Steckmann. “We are not a conference or a congress; we are a marketing platform first of all.”
Despite the tough economy, InnoTrans saw an increase in exhibitors and visitors. “We have an all-time high this year,” Steckmann says. “We have 2,515 exhibitors participating from 49 countries. Compared to InnoTrans 2010, it’s an increase of around 11 percent, so that’s why we now use the whole space.”
Schulz says, “I think there are countries that are not well right now; these countries don’t avoid InnoTrans.” She continues, “They come to InnoTrans especially because they know they cannot stay away … because if they don’t, they don’t do business.
She says, “So that’s why they invest. There’s the whole world here and they make business here.”
The United States had a booth in the pavilion and Schulz says next year, they plan on coming individually and having their own booth spaces. “First you have to come and look at how big it is; how many visitors and high-quality visitors. They realized next time they come on their own.”
Steckmann stresses that the reach of the show is international. The number of non-European countries is steadily increasing. This past year, Japan had its own hall and there were 13 companies from the Arab region for the first time.
Planning for 2014
“We already know what the future will bring because we already have mountains of applications for next time for exhibitors,” Steckmann says. “We don’t have space.” He adds, “It’s a nice problem to have.”
Schulz explains that they have already had limited space this year and for their Oktoberfest, there was limited space to build the restaurant inside of a hall. “So we put the restaurant outside.” With creative solutions they’ve come up with before, they aren’t concerned with accommodating the show’s growth.
Bombardier highlighted 20 innovations, including the Bombardier Flexity 2 low-floor tram, Bombardier Traxx F140 AC locomotive, Traxx P160 DE Multi-Engine, as well as the emission-free Bombardier Primove e-mobility solution for all types of electric vehicles. Also shown were examples of how Bombardier is enhancing passengers’ high-speed journey, including a full-scale mock-up of the V300 Zefiro very-high-speed train for Italy with its Flexx Speed bogies.
Voith showcased products and installations around the motto “Experience How You Get Ahead!” Included were the new vehicle head concept Galea and Voith SteamTrac, a waste heat recovery system.
The Galea rail heads, made from fiber composite materials, are collision-safe. They stand for maximum safety and, apart from meeting all requirements on collision protection, also comply with the latest fire protection, anti-noise and heat insulation standards. As front ends are subject to extreme loads during accidents, special structural and energy absorption elements are being used.