Column number 82 – 2021

Incredible, but true. After many postponements and numerous cancellations, the fairs restart. Always a fundamental driver of marketing and sales in the machine tool and tube sector, trade fairs, although they are experiencing a moment of serious identity crisis following the improvement of remote multimedia tools, always represent a fundamental appointment: they, constitute an irreplaceable moment for the encounter between people, to see and touch the news first-hand, to build relationships.

It is incredible how the health emergency, while contributing in a decisive way to the launch of remote communication tools, their implementation and their improvement, has made it clear to us that personal communication needs to be present, otherwise, to when fed at a distance, it ends up by extinguishing itself and being supplanted by new habits, more linked to the physical universe and decidedly less to the virtual one.

Similarly, a further effect of the pandemic is that travel is now much more complex and difficult: tampons, quarantines, different practices from country to country that closely resemble the rules for expatriation and customs of the past. If thirty years ago to travel you needed a visa, document control, passport, with all the resulting difficulties and hitches, today it is necessary to have a green pass and, in many cases, even a tampon in the last 48 hours. Not to mention the increase in costs over the past two years.

Ergo: it is easier and more convenient to travel once and go to a fair than to travel more frequently for shorter periods to visit suppliers or see the machines in showrooms rather than in companies that have already purchased them.

Hence, fairs resume their central role, or will resume it shortly, if the conditions listed above will remain stable for some time.

We confess, we are quite curious to see what will happen to EMO and Made in Steel which will be held in Milan at the beginning of October: of course, the companies that have joined and will be present are not really many, but it is natural after the trauma of last 18 months. The curiosity concerns the visitors: how many and, above all, from which countries.

The restart of the exhibition sector is one of the great challenges of the machine tool sector and the steel supply chain: the game is still to be played but in recent months many matches have already been won. This is demonstrated by the numbers of a recovery that appears increasingly solid and that has already almost reached pre-pandemic levels. Of course, the recovery of all that was lost in 18 months, in terms of jobs, market positioning, revenue, will still be a long affair, but the encouraging signs are all there.

As for our magazine, if you want we can meet in Milan. We will be present with a stand in hall 5, lane A n. 23. We are waiting for you!