If a trade show that draws 56,000 visitors from 125 countries and approximately 2,500 exhibiting companies from 80 countries sounds overwhelming, well it can be for first-time visitors to the annual Fruit Logistica in Berlin. In 2013, the expo is being held Feb. 6-8.
Despite the size and number of attendees, the Fruit Logistica committee goes to great lengths to ensure that all visitors can find their way to and from the show and through the halls with minimal confusion.
Gérald Lamusse, global brand manager for Fruit Logistica, said that having the world of fresh produce under one roof is both exhilarating and, at the same time, challenging.
“Being well prepared is the only way to achieve the most value from your time at the event,” said Mr. Lamusse. “First-time visitors often have three aims. The first is to identify and call on specific exhibitors; the second is to visit workshops that offer the latest industry insights; and lastly, to benefit from simply walking around the exhibition halls. The most important element in all of this is to have enough time, so plan to use all three event days to the fullest extent.”
Fruit Logistica offers an excellent search and meeting-planning tool called Virtual Market Place, which is accessible at www.fruitlogistica.de/en. It helps visitors to quickly and easily identify companies they may be interested in and to establish contact with them to plan and set up meetings ahead of the event. This, combined with deciding ahead of time which workshops and forums visitors wish to attend, is key in having a valuable experience at an event as comprehensive as Fruit Logistica.
“Make sure you give yourself enough time for the meetings and for getting to and from the expo,” said Mr. Lamusse. “The rest of the time simply walk about, soak up and engage with the exhibitors and other visitors. It is amazing how many fruitful ideas can be picked up and how many chance encounters made here translate to serious business opportunities.”
The Fruit Logistica website is the most valuable key for visitors to the event. It offers the entire schedule, floor plan, visitor services, events, hotel and travel information, and exhibitor services. And it is continually updated.
“The website always has the latest information, as well as offering an overview of the great program of hall forums, workshops and other meetings,” Mr. Lamusse added.
When he spoke with The Produce News in early November, Mr. Lamusse said that with nearly three months to go until the doors to Fruit Logistica Berlin open, things were coming together very well.
“Both on the exhibitor and visitor side we are expecting a similar turnout to the past year’s event,” he said. “That means that around 56,000 top trade visitors from some 125 countries and approximately 2,500 exhibiting companies from 80 countries will be in the Berlin exhibition halls.”
Because the show is so large, and people are traveling from their accommodations in many different locations in and around Berlin, the Fruit Logistica committee offers advice for coming to and leaving the show.
Mr. Lamusse said that the huge number of visitors and exhibitors means that in the mornings and evenings literally tens of thousands of visitors and exhibitors are traveling to and from the exhibition center.
“My advice is to use either the hotel bus shuttle service, which FruitLogistica offers, or the excellent S-Bahn public train service, which is safe, comfortable and affordable, and stops at the south entrance of our exhibition ground,” he said.
One of the major highlights at the exhibition will be the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award, which is one of the most sought-after prizes in the international fresh produce trade. The top 10 products of the year are on display in a special area, and visitors get to vote for the product they believe is the best.
The Fresh Produce Forum, held on the eve of the exhibition, always offers excellent insights on specific subjects. This year it focuses on new formats and new looks for the supermarket sector.
“A trip to Fruit Logistica offers wonderful insights into the fresh produce trade here in Europe and indeed beyond,” said Mr. Lamusse. “But beyond the work side of things, make sure, if at all possible, to spend a day or two longer to discover Berlin. It is truly a fascinating city with much to offer.”