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Five Takeaways from K Show 2022

Dec 7, 2022

What exhibitors can learn as they prepare for NPE2024

Once again, the plastics industry convened in Düsseldorf, Germany, for the K Show, a global trade fair for plastics and rubber. This year’s show reported success with 3,037 exhibitors and 176,000 trade visitors.

For 8 days, the focus was on the newest manufacturing offerings, raw materials, digitization, and conversations around creating a circular economy. The PLASTICS team was there in full force with a press conference announcing the latest NPE details and a booth to sign up exhibitors. We also took the opportunity to explore the show to see what learnings we can bring forward to NPE2024, and how we can make the business experience even more effective and efficient.

Here are our key takeaways:

The Plastics Industry is Back to Business

Crowded aisles, long lines, and full meeting agendas were the scene. Innovation displays sent a strong message that the industry continues to accelerate and advance. New products were in the works the past three years and were on display. The audience was ready to discover, to meet, and – most importantly – to buy.

Quality Over Quantity

Even with a large and crowded venue, the official post-event count put the show at about 80% of the 2019 numbers. The lower volume of turnout seems to be a consistent trend with most post-pandemic benchmarks across major tradeshows and events for 2022. The good news is the exhibitors reported a much higher quality of leads. Some reported gathering more A- and B-level leads than in prior shows. Even though fewer people are coming, the ones that do come are the decision-makers and influencers.

The Best Swag Shows off Your Product

From a molded Jack o’ Lantern to a premium toolbox, the longest lines were for the giveaway items that demonstrated the machine capabilities. Our recommendation as you plan for NPE2024: leave the stress balls and pens at home and focus on the relevant and useful items you can produce on the show floor.

Sustainability is a Business Conversation

We’ve moved beyond the feel-good conversation on recycling, and now the focus is on how sustainable practices drive business. The industry has been taking serious proactive measures towards creating circularity. In addition to the purpose-built Circular Economy Forum and numerous products focused on tracking, reusing, and recycling, sustainability was woven into many booths and displays as a value proposition.

Nothing Replaces the Serendipity of In-Person

Unexpected encounters with old friends, new networking opportunities in the lunch line, and miles of product discovery reminded us just how valuable in-person events are. The opportunity and experience of being in the same place with the entire plastics economy is something that will never be replicated over a computer screen.

For more information about exhibiting or sponsoring at NPE2024, visit the Exhibitors page now.