This week, we report on EMO MILANO 2021, which took place from October 4-9, 2021 in Milan, Italy. The exhibition was the first large European show for manufacturing technology since 2019. The show has been declared a success, and not only by its organisers UCIMU and CECIMO. More than 700 exhibitors packed six pavilions with over 3,500 machines, a value exceeding half a billion euros. Over 60,000 visitors and about 400 journalists registered — a testimony that the manufacturing industry is alive and buzzing, and that exhibitors and visitors are re-engaging at in-person shows with a passion after a long hiatus.
Exhibitors represented 34 countries, with non-Italian companies accounting for 60%. The top-ten countries were from Europe: Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Turkey, Poland, Russia, and Denmark. The U.S. – together with Great Britain, Taiwan, and South Korea – had the next strongest showing. It is important to note, however, that many overseas exhibitors were present through their European subsidiaries or partners. This was the case with most of the AMT members who exhibited, as well as many large Asian companies.
For the first day of the show, Northern Italy experienced the heaviest rainfall on record, which was not ideal conditions for an opening and affected attendance. Things picked up as the week progressed and the final numbers were very promising for all upcoming shows in the manufacturing technology space. Of the 60,000 visitors, 30% were from outside Italy and represented 91 countries. Numbers were certainly down from pre-COVID EMOs, but those that did come were serious about doing business.
Another noted trend was that exhibition space was used much more economically. Stands were smaller with less equipment and personnel. The prevailing positive opinion from this year’s event was that there is a renewed interest in exhibitions, both on the part of exhibitors and of visitors, and that the exhibition industry is on the verge of bouncing back in a more streamlined and focused way.
One theme of this year’s exhibition was automation in the manufacturing processes, both at the booths of exhibitors and in the accompanying discussions. The matter was strongly promoted by the Italian association for robotics and automation, SIRI, with the message that robots will be at the heart of all manufacturing very soon.
The comments from most of the AMT members taking part at EMO Milano 2021 were that the show exceeded expectations. Some members reported unexpected orders taken at the show, while others took it as an opportunity to launch their new European acquisitions or new product lines that were developed over the last two years. Other members revised their distribution network.
AMT had an information stand, courtesy of the host Italian association UCIMU, who was a great help to all the foreign delegates. AMT staff met with several foreign sister associations to exchange ideas, global issues, and industry intelligence in the ongoing global association collaboration.
All in all, it was a very productive week and very promising as we look forward to more in-person manufacturing technology exhibitions, which is very good news with IMTS 2022 only 11 months away (www.imts.com).