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German automation show may turn away exhibitors

01 December, 2005

The German drives and automation show, SPS/IPC/Drives has been so successful at attracting exhibitors and visitors that the organisers are considering imposing restrictions on the type of company that can exhibit at the show in future.

The most recent show, held last November, attracted 1,160 exhibitors (up from 1,030 in 2004) and 34,600 visitors (compared to 31,822 in 2004).

The three-day show, now in its sixteenth year, has continued to grow despite the economic downturn. The organisers are worried that it is becoming too large and may, in future, turn away potential exhibitors that they do not regard as being involved in the exhibition`s core areas. "We have to concentrate on electrical automation and connected subjects," says Joseph Rath, president of the management team.

Although the show is dominated by German exhibitors, it attracted 192 exhibitors from outside Germany, with the largest foreign contingent (39) coming from Italy. Most foreign countries had more exhibitors at the 2005 show than in 2004 - with the notable exception of the UK, whose numbers dropped from 15 in 2004 to 9 in 2005.

The one area where SPS/IPC/Drives is failing to expand is in the number of people attending its conferences and seminars. The number of conference attendees fell from 493 in 2004 to 446 last year, and two planned workshops - on energy-saving drives and embedded networking - had to be cancelled because of a lack on interest.

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