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World packaging 'capital' shifts to interpack

Dsseldorf, Germany, takes the spotlight for packaging as interpack 99 opens 15 exhibition halls to some 2괌 packaging exhibitors, May 6 to 12.

This exhibition is the 15th Intl. Trade Fair for Packaging and Confectionery Machinery and Packages. The fair is organized by Messe Dsseldorf (details at Web site: assistance provided by U.S. subsidiary, Messe Dsseldorf North America (Chicago, IL).

The fairgrounds are practically a self-contained city, including restaurants, banks, shopping arcades, post office and a variety of travel service offices. It holds just about everything except the always-scarce hotel rooms.

Because of its size, Messe Dsseldorf compartmentalizes exhibitors. Companies exhibiting packaging machinery fill more than eight exhibition halls (839ꯠ sq' in '96). Exhibitors of materials, containers and packaging occupy more than three halls (356ꯠ sq' in '96). The confectionery machinery exhibits are contained in two halls and parts of two others.

According to Messe Dsseldorf, worldwide packaging machinery sales total about US$17 billion, with Germany accounting for about one-third. More than 80% of Germany's packaging machine production is exported. The total volume of all packaging in Germany was estimated at US$22 billion in '96.

Based on the '96 show, 81% of the exhibition space is devoted to packaging machinery and materials, plus another 4% offering services. At interpack 96, some 188ꯠ visitors from around the world were in attendance, about half from outside Germany. However, because European exhibitions typically do not require attendees to register, it's not possible to quantify the number of attendees from manufacturers. A survey from '96 indicated that more than two-thirds of attendees were involved in procurement decisions for their companies.

As of January 20, more than 900 exhibitors came from Germany, 400-plus from Italy and 100 from the U.S. Nearly half of the U.S. companies will be located in a special North American pavilion organized by Messe Dsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (Arlington, VA).

Unlike most recent stagings of interpack, no conferences or special events have been scheduled. However, Apeal, the Assn. of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, will hold its Second Intl. Congress, May 6 in Dsseldorf (see p.69). And the fairgrounds at nearby Essen is staging Metpack '99, the Third Intl. Trade Fair for Metal Packaging, May 4 to 8 (for more details, phone: 011/49.201.7244.245, or check its Web site:

The exhibitor list that follows includes U.S. companies, plus many European companies that operate within the U.S.

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