Ceramitec 2024 will take place less than two years after the last trade fair. Do you think the industry is ready for another leading international trade fair?
Maritta Lepp: Absolutely. The heavy clay ceramics sector largely cancelled the last event and thus took a six-year break. These companies are definitely interested in participating in 2024; ceramitec is the most important trade fair for them. And we are not just the leading international trade fair for heavy clay ceramics. For technical ceramics, for example, which also fills an entire hall at ceramitec, there is a need to present at the leading industry platform simply because of the high level of innovation.
How have exhibitors responded so far? Are they impacted by the tense situation in energy and construction markets?
ML: We are delighted with the lively response; even at the official closing date for registrations, we were already seeing a higher level of participation than at the last event. The heavy clay ceramics sector in particular is making an impressive comeback, with well-known companies such as Tecnofiliere, Bongioanni, Händle, Refratechnik, Equipceramic, VHV, Ceramica do Liz and Talleres Felipe Verdes. The factors you mentioned are noticeable in that the industry is naturally hoping for strong impetus and new orders from ceramitec.
Will there be any changes compared to the last trade fair?
ML: We will be returning to the larger A halls and will once again be able to use the East Entrance with direct access to the underground railway. In addition, we have reorganised our nomenclature, sharpened it in part and added the segments of high-performance materials, composite materials and “solutions for energy”.There will also be a BMWK-sponsored joint stand for young innovative companies (registration until 31 January 2024).
What will be the main topics at Ceramitec 2024? Will energy topics play a role?
ML: Definitely! The major topics from 2022 are still relevant and will certainly accompany us for a while yet. These are decarbonisation, hydrogen technology, digitalisation, energy efficiency, energy storage, green technologies and the circular economy. We want to bring together exhibitors whose products can help meeting the current challenges under the new nomenclature item “Solutions for Energy” mentioned above. That’s why we are even dedicating a special show to this topic, “Smart Materials & Energy Hub” in Hall A6 (registration possible until 1 February 2024).
What can you reveal about the lecture and discussion programme?
ML: For our lecture programme, now called “ceramitec talks”, it has proved a success to have two thematically specialised forums in the halls with the corresponding exhibition focal points. Our aim is to link theory and practice, science and industry, best practice and the search for solutions as closely as possible. We are again receiving support from renowned publishers, associations and institutes in organising the content. We are particularly pleased that ZI will again be a strong partner in this year’s conference programme. The ceramitec talks in the heavy clay and raw materials hall A4 are primarily dedicated to decarbonisation, hydrogen technology, energy efficiency and raw materials.
What highlights are you planning for the trade fair?
ML: The highlights are primarily our exhibitors’ products and innovations. To familiarise ourselves with them and get an overview, we are once again offering guided tours in Hall A4 in cooperation with the VDMA. There will also be a “Rebuild Ukraine” conference, which is of particular interest to the heavy clay ceramics sector.
The Career Day for young professionals on the last day of the trade fair is a must, too. Also, we are planning to revive our Bavarian Evening for exhibitors and their customers on Thursday.
What can exhibitors and visitors from the heavy clay industry look forward to?
ML: Many returning exhibitors and visitors. To a conference programme that is more relevant than ever in these turbulent times in order to provide orientation. And to the important dialogue with industry colleagues from all over the world.