A confident SIMAC9 May 2005
SIMAC closed in Bologna on April 29, after four up and down days, leaving operators with a confident feeling. Amilcare Baccini, director of Assomac, the association that organises and promotes the event, summed it up as follows: 'given the general trend in the footwear and leathergoods sectors, I was expecting the worst; but, although the flow was not constant, the visitors came in number and showed interest, especially in the stands proposing new ideas and special initiatives. It is hard to draw a final balance because, like other trade fairs, SIMAC no longer represents a market opportunity but a moment of encounter, contact and promotion.' After a hesitant start on the first day Tuesday, April 26, the event livened up considerably on Wednesday and Thursday, especially in the middle of the day. Although the visitor 'bedrock' remains the Italian clientele, at least 50% of the operators recorded at the three entrances were of foreign origin. Apart from official delegations from China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Peru, Russia and Vietnam and the private Indian 'collective' organised by the ICE offices in Delhi and Chennai, operators came from all the countries working in the leather sector, thus helping to revitalise the event and bring back the 'fair effect' to SIMAC that we thought was disappearing in recent years. Spring 'burst upon us' in conjunction with SIMAC, and perhaps this environmental factor contributed towards a more positive atmosphere. What is more, thanks to the new exhibition layout, the event appeared more 'orderly' and easier to follow. In particular, the two new pavilions, 31 and 32, were much appreciated and replaced the prefabricated structure, putting all the exhibitors on the same standing in terms of presentation. We can call this a solid SIMAC that remains a reference point for footwear and leather goods technology, despite being caught up in a market in difficulty. Within the scope of the inevitable restructuring of the sector, SIMAC has provided positive food for thought and raised expectations for the next appointment scheduled on 26-29 April 2006, once again in Bologna.