For five days, while walking the aisles of the Porte de Versailles, you couldn’t help hearing exclamations of: "What a fantastic exhibition!" from visitors. Indeed, in June 2016, when the FIEV, the FFC and Comexposium announced their plan to relocate EQUIP AUTO in the heart of Paris, the news was, of course, very well received. It was enough to convince those who had deserted the show in previous years to return. The presence of Bosch, Valeo, Delphi, PPG and the Alliance Automotive Group during this 2017 edition clearly demonstrates that this was the right decision. And with an improved structure, avoiding the eternal dichotomy of parts and materials and instead opting to mix them... EQUIP AUTO 2017 has been totally reinvented.
While it’s still too early to give any real figures, Mario Fiems, Director of the Transport and Logistics Division at Comexposium, already estimates that visitor numbers should be at or slightly above 2015 levels. As a reminder, the organisation targeted some 100,000 visitors this year. The only thing we can say for sure right now is that the profile of visitors has changed slightly. On the international side, Germany has joined the ranks of the top 5 foreign visitors (with Italy, Algeria, Belgium and Spain). "The exhibition's development clearly interests Germany. So much so that the economic Deputy Minister of the German Embassy of France came to visit the show for 3 hours... which had not happened in a very long time," explains Mario Fiems. On the French side, visitors from the Paris region, while they indeed made up the majority of visitors, now share the aisles with more professionals from the Hauts-de-France, Normandy, Rhône-Alpes and New-Aquitaine regions. "It is encouraging that the show is able to meet the demands of repairers and to be a national meeting place for the industry. Finally, the satisfaction level for exhibitors is increasing. Everything I’ve heard so far is positive," says Mario Fiems. "Exhibitor attitudes have shifted. They are more open, more relaxed, and many have managed to hold demos at their stands, motivating their customers and members."
A positive review overall, but the FIEV, the FFC and Comexposium do not intend to rest on their laurels. "Today, our strategy is still about trying to make things better. We've probably scored a point with EQUIP AUTO this year, but we still have convert the try." We’ll see you again in October 2019, at Porte de Versailles...
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