Assomac say that Tanning-Tech 2004 offered a perfect snapshot of the international tanning technology system; a snapshot taken from the Italian stands and that highlights the serious difficulties in which the Western leather/footwear/leathergoods system finds itself.

They conclude that there is little point in returning to China, which is attacking the world economy on two fronts. On the one hand, the finished Chinese product has reshaped the manufacturing structure and, as a result, it has reshaped the material and technology suppliers’ clientele. On the other, China is putting itself forward as a supplier of materials and technology itself. This very succinctly is the reality of the international leather/footwear/leathergoods system; ignoring it will not make it go away.

Having said this, however, Assomac point out that: Italian entrepreneurs in the technological, chemical and tanning sectors are fully aware of the situation; the response at the fair seemed perfectly suited to the situation, ie few flights of fancy and many concrete proposals – the reaction of people with every intention of remaining in the market; the expansion to the new pavilions 31 and 32, which has at last provided chemistry exhibitors with adequate space, seems to have been a success.

In practical terms, the reaction of the exhibitors to the economic and structural difficulties in the sector was a healthy one of active defence; that of those with no desire to passively sit through the recession. No great new ideas were seen in technology or chemical products, but we did see a strong drive towards innovation everywhere, directed mainly at the search for practical solutions, and avoiding those ‘forward thrusts’ that may make the headlines but see little actual market response.

After the fall in 2002, 2003 had seen a return of visitor numbers to normal levels. Well, something truly surprising happened in 2004: the entrance on Via Aldo Moro that leads directly to Tanning-Tech recorded the same number of visitors – exactly the same – as the previous year. Not one operator more, not one fewer! The sway between Italian and foreign visitors was also negligible and the difference consisted only in a very few individuals more on the Italian side. Still on the visitor front, there is also direct access to Tanning-Tech through the two entrances to Lineapelle, held at the same time and a comparative appraisal of the overall data for the two events reveals it has stayed basically the same.

‘We can certainly say that Tanning-Tech has confirmed its role as the world’s leading trade fair for tanning chemistry and technology, offering those working in the sector a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas.’