HOW THEY THROW A TRADE SHOW IN EUROPE!
All I can say is wow!! It’s huge, and when I say huge I mean it stretches over three massive halls, with over 400 companies and suppliers all in one place driving the industry forward.
What is FAF?
It’s the ultimate trade show for the decorating industry, with everything on show from the biggest sprayers you’ve ever seen to the latest paints, brushes & tapes with everything in-between.
Most of the market leaders use the show to launch their new machines and products. This is really cool if you are interested in knowing what’s coming. We had a look at the latest tech from both Graco and Wagner as they are the main spray machine suppliers in the UK. Keep an eye out as we have got articles on both of those for you to see what’s on the horizon..
Although it is hosted in Germany and it’s clear from the products on show that it is aimed at the European market every exhibitor seems to have staff who speak English to help run through any questions – even the bar staff speak really good English so I need to brush up on my German for sure!
Who is the show for?
Everyone that is working within the decorative industry! Whether you are a shop owner, supplier, decorating business or one man band there is something of interest here for you. It has a real corporate and professional feel to it compared to other shows I have attended but it’s very relaxed at the same time. It actually feels at times like you have been snuck in via the back door because it seems like all the big company decision makers are there under one roof.. They are all suited and booted but carry an air of extreme professionalism which makes you feel like you shouldn’t be there however it is the complete opposite when you chat the them; they embrace you and you can tell that they are very passionate and knowledgeable about their products..
Where is it?
This year it was in Cologne, Germany which is very central to the rest of Europe. The exhibition was held at the Koln Messe which was a huge venue which was very accessible from the train station. It would usually be an 8 minute walk unless you think you know better and head to the arena which is a 10 minute walk in the wrong direction lol!!!
It runs over a 4 day period from Wednesday to Saturday usually in March and is only every three years, which when you think about it is actually a good idea. Firstly it give the companies time to design and test the new technology before launching it and it also stops it all getting a bit boring by launching smaller products more often . Secondly its good for us as we are not paying out every year for a trip to Germany lol which actually isn’t such a bad idea when you think about it.
We jumped on a flight early Wednesday morning for £100 for 2 of us!! Cheap I know, 3 euros for the train to the show which was only a couple of stops. The show is more expensive than we are used to at 35 euros per person per day but that alone keeps the freebie grabbers away. Some companies offer free tickets via the internet in advance too so don’t panic. A hotel for the night was £120 but it was only a 5 minute walk which was perfect.
So, overall for the two day experience it cost us a few hundred quid which is great.
The pure lack of freebies which also stops the show looking like a room of people scrambling around grabbing as much as they can for free whether they need it or not! Bags of freebies everywhere is clearly missing and I must admit it is probably what makes the show seem so professional. Don’t get me wrong, we all like freebies and samples to try and test but they do it in a really good way. They sit you down with a beer, wine or soft drink and chat to you find out what you need, take your details and arrange to send you samples. Yes, they get something in return – your information but in this day and age that’s clever marketing. The difference is that in return for your information they have given you something in return which is clever business but they follow up for feedback which helps them and inevitably helps you.
Why Attend Munich 2022?
Well it not just the free beer, drinks and food it’s seriously the best way to stay ahead in the industry!! If you want to keep current and ahead of the market then the best way to do that is to get the low down from the main manufacturers as soon as it becomes available. We have found that there is so much momentum within our marketplace at the moment that being at the front is paramount, attending FAF is even more important than ever. The latest advancements in sprayers, products and tapes were announced at the show this year. We spent a lot of time on some of the stands and will be adding blogs, videos and articles to keep you informed of what we found out whilst we were there so keep a look out.