This year’s Industry Days and Automotive Hungary were completed
Despite the lower exhibitor and visitor turnout due to the coronavirus, the participants still had positive views on the recently concluded INDUSTRY DAYS International Industrial Trade Exhibition, which was concurrently hosted on this occasion with the AUTOMOTIVE HUNGARY International Trade Exhibition for Automotive Industry Suppliers at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center. The business partners agreed that re-launching the economy depends, amongst other things, on whether companies find networking opportunities such as those offered by the current event. The organizers of the exhibition introduced exceptionally strict health and hygienic measures which were observed to minimise the risk of infection.
After the over six-month-long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 virus, HUNGEXPO hosted the INDUSTRY DAYS International Trade Exhibition along with the concurrently hosted 8th AUTOMOTIVE HUNGARY International Trade Exhibition for Automotive Industry Suppliers on 19-22 October, which collectively – despite the challenges posed by the pandemic – served as the meeting point for domestic and international industrial and vehicle manufacturing suppliers and service providers, with nearly 100 exhibitors in attendance. Despite the lower exhibitor and visitor turnout, the participants still had positive views on the exhibition.
The coronavirus is forcing everyone to rapidly adapt to the new situation, including the economy and the industry, said László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology in his opening video address. According to the Minister, the significance of these changes is well-illustrated in that “according to certain forecasts, the current school-age students will work in positions that are mostly non-existent at the moment.” In this situation, the government must do more than adhere to the innovation environment, it must shape it as well, added the Minister.
At the opening of the conference scheduled during the time of the exhibition, Dr. Ádám Nagy, the Ministry’s Deputy State Secretary for Sectoral Strategy indicated that the pandemic is not merely a healthcare challenge, as it was important to protect the functionality of companies, the workplaces and economic results as well.
The CEO of HUNGEXPO highlighted the importance of corporate cooperation. According to Gábor Ganczer, re-launching the economy depends, amongst other things, on whether companies find networking opportunities during the pandemic. He explained that the exhibition’s greatest success is that they managed to host the event, despite the ominous signs. “Those who decided to come this year chose to invest in the future and their own growth,” said the CEO.
The traditional B2B Supplier Forum was highly successful, offering a unique business opportunity for suppliers and purchasers to establish relationships and conclude deals. Partners at the private forum had a chance to get acquainted with supplier companies unknown to the purchasers, who previously underwent quality screening. At the Supplier Forum, 50 suppliers conducted over 110 meetings with the purchasers of 10 major corporations during the exhibition and based on the feedback, a number of substantial business deals were made.
The 7th Techtogether Automotive Hungary, a national competition of engineer students, was hosted at the exhibition. 270 students in 12 teams attended the event from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Széchenyi István University, Neumann János University, University of Miskolc, University of Szeged, as well as the engineering students of the Óbuda University. The tasks, which posed major engineering challenges for the teams were compiled by known international corporations and prestigious mid-size Hungarian machine and vehicle industry companies. For yet another year, the on-site jury of the competition was provided by the Scientific Society for Mechanical Engineering. The competition was won by the Arrabona Racing Team, with the Szombathely Gépész – StudentTechLab team and the BME Formula Racing Team coming in second and third place, respectively. The special feature of this year’s event was that it was concurrently hosted online and at the exhibition site.
As in all cases, HUNGEXPO did the utmost to minimise epidemiological risks while hosting the exhibitions. Over the recent months, a POST COVID handbook has been created, along with new entry regulations for the premises of the Exhibition Center. The newly-developed concept includes centrally defined, fundamental hygienic rules in order to help the observance of regulations and significantly minimise the risk of infection.
The measures included checking the temperature of participants upon entrance with the thermal imaging gate in the entry hall, which also disinfected those passing through the gate. In order to avoid congestion, HUNGEXPO assisted visitors with broader walking surfaces, directional signs and opportunities to book appointments for meetings in advance, online. The pavilions hosting the exhibition were disinfected and treated with antiviral substances using a special disinfecting machine. Over the course of the four days, they regularly performed disinfecting cleaning with virucide and bactericide materials (more details are available here).
Similarly to the CONSTRUMA exhibition hosted one week earlier, on this occasion, HUNGEXPO also provided a platform for participants to virtually encounter visitors in the safest way possible. 25 exhibitors chose this option.
Under the current circumstances, the feedback from exhibitors and visitors is particularly important as it will be used to plan next year’s exhibitions, said Gábor Ganczer as a conclusion to the exhibition. “Based on the available data, we have reason to be optimistic: over 60 exhibitors have already indicated their intention to attend the 2021 Industry Days MACH-TECH exhibition,” added the CEO.