Bologna pleases some but not others

1 November 2005

The consensus of opinion regarding the Bologna shows is that there were fewer visitors but that the quality was high. As normal when times are hard the time wasters stayed away and only those focused on doing business bother to show up. One regular who has been exhibiting for many years writes: 'My personal opinion is that this was - for once - a good fair for many participants (I refer to Lineapelle) and that is of much more importance since the prospects were very negative. But then - as these fairs/exhibitions go -- what's good for one is not necessary good for his neighbour.' The big surprise was that the Lineapelle magazine devoted an article to complaining about Bologna and the high prices and poor infrastructure which started rumours that next year the show will be back in Milan. It is much more likely to be a warning to Bologna that if they do not improve their service the show might well relocate. Over at Tanning Tech the story was much the same, only more so. There were definitely fewer visitors and depressed business and the exhibition was much reduced with some of the biggest names, BASF, LANXESS, Stahl and others staying away. The show occupied one less hall (34) but retained the two the gained from Lineapelle last year which offers the light and air missing from the traditional Hall 34. Despite much gloom, because Europe really is in the doldrums, there were still companies who felt that Tanning Tech was delivering what they needed. Forestal Mimosa/Mimosa Africa said they had seen all the people they wanted or expected to see. What was missing were the onlookers who in the past have wandered by and gone onto the stand out of curiosity. And at the other end of the spectrum, drum and automation specialists Olcina also said they had seen all the people they normally see. However, we heard reports that there had been some requests from exhibitors that the fair be reduced to three days to fall in line with Lineapelle or even become a biennial show. Certainly there is some tough talking which will take place when ASSOMAC hold their next meeting to discuss the future of the show. The Lineapelle magazine accuses the township of Bologna as being guilty of losing business for Lineapelle because of the doubling or trebling of hotel prices, the minimum stay clauses, the late trains, the gridlocked motorway. It finally admits that the hotel situation is keeping people away, both as exhibitors and short stay visitors.

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