It was a special feeling to finally be on site together again. Even though the joy prevailed, it should not be forgotten how many obstacles there were to overcome to get here. Thus, at the beginning, Dr. Friedhelm Rese, head of the fair, also addressed some emotional words of welcome to the room. After all, the crisis, which lasted for years and was difficult to predict, had also hit the organiser, Geoplan GmbH, hard. Among other things, the initially postponed steinexpo of 2020 actually had to be cancelled altogether in the end. A severe shock for many - and a great loss for the organising GmbH. But in the end it worked out. steinexpo will take place from 23 to 26 August 2023 at the usual venue in the MHI basalt quarry in Nieder-Ofleiden. And one thing is certain: with more motivation than ever before – on all sides.
What takes a long time, finally becomes good
Before a tour of the grounds could begin, a brief overview was given of the most important changes and conditions to be expected at the coming fair – including a sophisticated hygiene concept to counteract any possible surprise developments. After all, even the greatest joy in the world, anticipation, requires security.
This has been taken care of with a large entrance area that will guarantee safe and fast entry and exit in 2023. This will be located next year at the approx. 15 000 m² demo area D (former backfill). This means that in contrast to the last location at the central access ramp, the entrance will now be to the right of it. For exhibitors, there will also be parking spaces in the quarry this time. After the muddy experiences, this should please many steinexpo veterans. A digital parking guidance system will ensure clarity. Because of the limited number, it will be a kind of early riser reward system as a side effect. Either way, every arrival will be rewarded with the extraordinary innovation park “Quarry Vision”. On an area of approx. 2000 m², renowned exhibitors have the opportunity to present their future innovations, which are not yet necessarily ready for the market, in a way that is visible and tangible for everyone. On display will be highly intelligent machines, vehicles and services. Adjacent to the main entrance, it will be hard to miss. So much trust and commitment are being placed in this heartfelt project and its inherent innovative power that “Quarry Vision” is the overarching theme guiding steinexpo 2023.
What we can expect
A lot has changed at the Mitteldeutsche Hartstein Werke AG (MHI) quarry since the last fair. There is now more room for manoeuvre in demo area A, where the grandstand and the construction machinery car park were last time. A rather steep ramp still leads into the area. A completely new, more accessible ramp will therefore be built by steinexpo, leading into the demo area for large calibres. This time there would even be the possibility of creating a high-speed and/or mogul track for dumpers. A construction machinery parking area is also being considered again.
The area for accessories is still in demo area B. Compared to 2017, it is now somewhat narrower. And the rear area of the upper demo area C has also thinned out slightly. What has remained is the memory of the crowd pleaser, which must not be missing this time either: the breathtaking lift. Depending on the circumstances, there may be two again.
There will also be a double focus for the indoor exhibitors. The previous large pavilion will be divided into two – at two locations on two levels, one theme-focused exhibition pavilion each will be open to visitors. In general, more attention will be paid to how smaller exhibitors can also get their money’s worth. For example, there will probably be a special evening event for those who cannot offer an evening event of their own, and advertising opportunities are also to be made more accessible and expanded for all levels. After all, collaboration is what our industry is all about. Just as our young talent will be promoted through campaigns like THINK BIG! again this time, innovations from all sectors will be highlighted with “Quarry Vision”. At the same time, past crises show why an old exhibitors’ meeting is more than significant. When the outside changes, one focuses on what remains. That is the successful cooperation over many years, the drive of our industry.