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SPS expects 1,100 exhibitors after three-year absence

16 September, 2022

The SPS (Smart Production Solutions) automation megashow will return to its Nuremberg venue in Germany in November for its first physical show since 2019, with the organisers hoping to attract around 1,100 exhibitors, compared to the 1,585 in 2019. Last year, the exhibition had to be cancelled at the last minute because of soaring Covid rates in Bavaria.

Despite the reduced number of stands, the show will still occupy 13 halls – two fewer than in 2019. All of the major exhibitors are said to be returning and some have even opted for larger stands in 2022 than in previous years. But the show - taking place from 8-10 November – will be missing more than 100 exhibitors that it has previously attracted from China because of continuing travel restrictions from that country.

The exhibition has moved from its previous dates at the end of the November to earlier in the month – and will move permanently to a mid-month slot in future years. The organisers believe that if the 2021 show had been scheduled for two weeks earlier, it would have gone ahead. They want to minimise the risk of coinciding with a winter surge in Covid infections in future.

About 340 exhibitors are expected from outside Germany, representing 31% of the total.

In the first live SPS show since Brexit, the number of British-based exhibitors has dropped from 17 to 7 – and most of those attending are not UK-owned. But the organisers point out that some UK companies will be present on the stands of their parent or partner companies based in other countries.

The online “SPS on Air” event which was established during the pandemic will return in 2022, giving people anywhere in the world access before, during and after the physical event. A digital “pre-heat” event with technical presentations and product previews will take place in the week before the exhibition and will be open to SPS ticket-holders.

Siemens will occupy an entire hall at the 2022 SPS show as it has in previous years

During the show, the SPS Live Studio will offer presentations and panel discussions on topics such as drives, digital transformation, safety and security, robot integration, smart sensors and artificial intelligence. Participants can also use the digital platform to initiate contacts and arrange appointments both on-site and digitally, network with each other, and find contacts for automation queries.

SPS on Air will remain online for a few days after the end of the event. An on-demand media library and much of the recorded lecture program will be available until November 15, 2022. This will give those who visited the show in person the opportunity to view presentations afterwards or to establish contacts with digital participants worldwide.

SPS vice-president Sylke Schulz-Metzner says that the experience of the past few years has shown that “digital events cannot replace physical fairs. Visitors want to talk to people in person, and they want to be able to touch, feel and see. We are very happy that we can run this year’s event again physically”, she says, while continuing to offer an online option.

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