The ninth steinexpo – excellent outcome and new visitor record

254 exhibitors in the MHI Nieder-Ofleiden basalt quarry successfully played host to 48 130 visitors, 93 % of whom came to the fair out of purely professional interest. According to a quick survey by the trade fair management, more than 70 % of the visitors were decision-makers or took part in the decision-making process in companies that also operate quarries or gravel and sand pits. The rest of the projected 30 % of the visitors came from construction companies or recycling companies who need to invest in modern technology. All praised the all-encompassing offering in the representation of complete processes from mining through processing to transportation. The increase in the overall participation of exhibitors and brands by around 15 % compared to 2011 and visitors by approximately 20 % compared to the previous event is a well-deserved result of the successful conceptual work by the organizers.

This year‘s fairgrounds in the Nieder-Ofleiden stone quarry hosted a super show on a total area of approximately 180 000 m² in more partial sections of the quarry than ever before. Highly visible colours designated the different areas from A to E where trade fair events and demonstrations took place (Fig. 2).

Since the birth of the original idea in 1989 and its launch in 1990, the steinexpo concept has hardly changed. The concept is to demonstrate machinery and equipment for the mining and processing of rock and stone live and as practical as possible (Fig. 3). This demo concept is the heart of the show and clearly distinguishes it from other events. As much as exhibitors are convinced, visitors confirm that the live experience and the tangible results for trade visitors are important elements in the information gained and in upcoming investment decisions.

For the demonstrations to run as planned, the planning team has provided a total of 25 000 t of material for the exhibitors this year. Basalt aggregate material, crushed stone, gravel, but also spoil material, building rubble and asphalt – as ordered by the exhibitors – are handled in the practical demonstrations to show what modern crushing, screening and sorting plants can produce nowadays in terms of high-quality end products (Fig. 4). The joint demonstration of construction equipment in area E again perfectly moderated by Raoul Helmer this time puts six excavators, seven wheel loaders and five transporters (heavy vehicles, dumpers and trucks) from various brands through their paces in perfect harmony.

“At no other steinexpo had so many completely new products been announced as this time round,” said Dr Friedhelm Rese, Trade Fair Director (Fig. 5), pleased with the high degree of recognition that exhibitors attach to the steinexpo as a platform for a product launch. The goal of the organizer Geoplan GmbH was to break through the 40 000-visitor ceiling. And at the final count, steinexpo enjoyed the attention of 48 130 interested individuals (Fig. 6). With this result, the fair this year beat its previous peak in 1996, which saw approximately 46 000 visitors going through the gates. This result underlines the steadily growing acceptance of steinexpo in the market. The various measures by the organizers and the technical and conceptual trustee associations have contributed to the level of awareness of steinexpo gradually growing internationally. So this year saw 65 international exhibitors and again more than 20 % international visitors arriving at the basalt quarry in Nieder-Ofleiden. This trend was supported by a far greater presence of international press representatives to the fair and the diverse online activities of the fair.

The exhibitors had only praise for the flexibility of the organizer Geoplan GmbH for its excellent understanding of and response to exhibitor wishes before and during the fair. The exhibitors in the pavilions were also very satisfied with this year‘s response. It was not only the rather cool weather at the start of the exhibition and the effort they put into attractive stand layouts that ensured them more visitor attention than at previous events, but also the new pavilion concept with its side walls that could be opened almost completely that proved itself as a great success. The ‘stands with an outside view’ were also those with an ‘inside view’ and so generated the expected traction (Fig. 7).

In terms of current investment trends, exhibitors confirmed that the demands of decision-makers were very focused on issues relating to energy efficiency and quality as well as the industry-known measurement of ‘cost per tonne’. Here and there a ‘bargain’ may in individual cases still be a selling point, but in the plant and equipment segment, especially, the best possible quality and suitability for the particular application remain the decisive criteria for an investment. Lifecycle considerations, even beyond normal wear resistance, environmental aspects and fuel and energy savings are key in making a final decision on the purchase of new construction equipment. This reality has been mirrored in the tailored offerings of the exhibitors (Fig. 8).

Crowd-pleasing additional events, such as the Truck Trial ­European Championship races, attracted more visitors from Germany and neighbouring countries. The concurrent hosting of the two events has now become the norm after the third round.


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