“The Definitive Guide by Joris for Surviving Formnext 2023”


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I’ve been attending Formnext, and its previous iteration Euromold, for several years now. Every year, I gain valuable insights that I believe could benefit future attendees. Formnext is an exciting and extravagant event, but it can be demanding and overwhelming if you don’t plan ahead. That’s why I want to share these tips to make your visit more efficient and enjoyable.

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that relying solely on serendipity to see everyone and everything at Formnext is no longer feasible. With the event’s rapid growth, you need to be prepared and organized. Several weeks before Formnext, take the time to familiarize yourself with the venue map. The event spans across four halls in two buildings, each dedicated to specific technologies and types of companies. By understanding the layout beforehand, you can plan your visit more effectively.

Next, use the company directory to identify firms of interest by applying various search terms. Take note of whether these firms or their resellers will be in attendance. Once you have a list of companies you want to visit, pinpoint their locations on the Formnext layout. Look for clusters of companies that are worth spending more time on or require multiple visits. This will help you optimize your schedule and minimize unnecessary travel time within the venue.

Scheduling meetings in advance is crucial to ensure you secure your preferred time slots. Aim to arrange meetings in the same hall to further optimize your time. Prioritize your most important meetings and schedule others nearby. For example, plan all your Tuesday morning meetings in Hall 11.0 and all your afternoon meetings in Hall 11.1. Leave a one-hour buffer between meetings to account for any delays and prevent a domino effect on your schedule. Use this interlude to explore the hall and discover new products or technologies.

In your calendar, include the contact name and stand number for each meeting. This will help you navigate the event more efficiently, especially if internet connectivity is spotty. If someone else schedules a meeting for you, add a separate calendar entry with the stand number to expedite your navigation.

Whenever possible, try to end meetings ahead of schedule. This allows attendees to have some breathing room, take restroom breaks, and network. It creates a positive impression and shows consideration for everyone’s time. Many high-level executives are confined to small meeting rooms for the majority of the event, so giving them a break is greatly appreciated.

Reserve the event’s last day for unscheduled activities. Regardless of your plans, it’s a day that tends to fill up quickly, and it’s a great opportunity for more relaxed conversations. However, be mindful of the varying packing commitments among companies. Avoid lingering too late around companies that require significant teardown efforts, but larger firms with external teams for dismantling may be more open to late interactions. The window between 13:00 and 16:00 on the final Friday provides an excellent opportunity for meaningful conversations.

When arriving for a meeting at a large stand, locate the receptionists immediately. This is especially important because attendees often forget about scheduled meetings, necessitating a quick search. If you arrive early, it’s advisable to request water as you’re likely not hydrating sufficiently throughout the day. However, if you’re punctual and already with your host, avoid asking for beverages to save time.

Navigating the venue can sometimes be time-consuming, and attendees often make the mistake of using incorrect entrances, leading to unnecessary delays. To avoid this, familiarize yourself with the different transportation options. The S-bahn lines S3, S4, and S5 stop at the Frankfurt Am Main Messe station, which is conveniently located near Halls 8 and 12. The U4 Bahnoff Festhalle Messe stop is situated on the eastern side, near Hall 1. Hotels along Europallee are best accessed via the Emser Brücke, Torhaus entrance, while the Marriott or Melia Messe are closer to the Turn or Festhalle entrances.

Moreover, the layout of Halls 11 and 12 can be a bit confusing. The walk between them can take up to 15 minutes or more, especially if you bump into acquaintances. To conserve time, try to minimize trips between these two halls. Plan your movements carefully instead of making impulsive decisions.

Finally, upon entering any hall, take note of the aisle markers. This will help you orient yourself quickly, since the lettering system can be confusing. For example, in Hall 11, exit A is to the right, while the last aisle, F, is to the left. In Hall 12, it’s the opposite, with A being to the left and E being to the right.

By implementing these tips, you can make the most out of your visit to Formnext. It may require some upfront planning, but it will ultimately make your experience more efficient and enjoyable. Don’t leave things to chance – take control of your visit and make the most of this incredible event.

Doing Formnext Differently: Maximizing Efficiency and Building Meaningful Connections

Formnext, one of the largest additive manufacturing trade shows, offers a multitude of opportunities for professionals in the industry to connect, learn, and explore new technologies and innovations. While many attendees focus on visiting stands and attending parties, I have found that approaching the event strategically and prioritizing efficiency can lead to a more enriching experience.

In terms of stand numbering, Hall 12 is organized in such a way that higher numbers are closer to the Portalhaus. On the other hand, Hall 11 features stand numbers that increase as you move away from the Portalhaus. It’s worth noting that while most small stands are clearly tagged with red numbers, some larger ones may not be as clearly marked.

Restrooms are consistently located to the sides of the entrances on the ground floor, making them easily accessible to attendees throughout the event. This thoughtful placement ensures that attendees can navigate the halls without having to look for restrooms for extended periods.

When it comes to scheduling meetings, I try to steer clear of individuals who are geographically close to me. Instead, I focus on connecting with those who are more difficult to reach. By doing so, I maximize the unique networking opportunities that Formnext provides. I also tend to skip meetings with people I already know since video conferencing platforms like Zoom offer a more efficient way for us to connect. My priority at Formnext is to meet new people, aiming to gain a deeper understanding of who they are and what they do.

To optimize my time, I try to group meetings based on both location and subject matter. For example, I might arrange multiple ceramics-related meetings on the same day to delve more thoroughly into that field. By organizing meetings in this way, I can immerse myself in specific areas of interest and engage in more focused discussions.

While it’s crucial to be direct and get to the point in meetings, I have learned that establishing at least a basic personal connection is equally important. This helps provide context for future interactions and gives each party a sense of who the other is. A deeper understanding of the person across the table can lead to more fruitful collaborations and partnerships in the future.

Unlike many attendees who only stay for two days, I typically arrive a day early and depart on Saturday. Having the extra time allows me to fully explore the vast scale of Formnext, especially when juggling numerous meetings. The event has significantly expanded over the years, making it increasingly challenging to see all the exhibitors and technologies that pique my interest.

To mitigate this challenge, I rely on the recommendations of others. Inquiring about standout exhibits or technologies that others have come across has proven valuable in helping me discover intriguing offerings I might have otherwise overlooked. People’s unique perspectives and expertise can be invaluable in identifying hidden gems within the event.

Networking is another top priority for me. I actively try to link people with mutual interests or needs, enhancing the value of the event for them and those they get introduced to. By facilitating connections and collaborations, I contribute to the collective growth and advancement of the additive manufacturing industry.

Attending Formnext for the full four days provides me with the flexibility to space out meetings and connect with individuals I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet. It allows for more organic and spontaneous interactions, creating a conducive environment for meaningful conversations and relationship-building. Adding an extra day or two to my Formnext attendance is a more efficient use of time than attending separate events or arranging meetings elsewhere.

While parties and social events can be highlights for many attendees, I have found that events extending past 1 a.m. are enjoyable but not particularly beneficial for networking or business purposes. Given that Formnext offers one of the most concentrated opportunities for effective meetings, it seems counterproductive to attend these events tired or hungover.

That said, stand parties can be highly effective for networking. Enjoying a beer at a stand party allows you to not only celebrate the hosting company but also interact with a variety of staff members and partners you might not typically meet. It’s a terrific setting for both meeting new people and strengthening existing relationships.

Impromptu lunches can also offer unique networking opportunities since many attendees eat alone. Inviting someone you’re conversing with to grab lunch can be a pleasant and productive break. However, as the day progresses, parties tend to become too noisy for meaningful conversations. Similarly, dinners can be hit or miss, depending on the people you’re seated beside. In such settings, the quality of networking can be inconsistent.

Approaching social aspects strategically is crucial. Carrying business cards is a tried-and-true networking tool, so remember to bring plenty. Additionally, photographing all the business cards you receive helps ensure that you don’t misplace them amidst the chaos of the event. At the end of each day, take a moment to connect with valuable contacts on LinkedIn to maintain those newly formed relationships.

When capturing visuals at the event, start by photographing the company’s logo and brand name before taking shots of machines or products. This allows you to easily associate the visuals with the exhibiting companies and helps with post-event organization and follow-up.

In summary, attending Formnext with a strategic mindset and a focus on efficiency can result in an incredibly valuable experience. By maximizing the time spent at the event, connecting with new people, and networking strategically, professionals in the additive manufacturing industry can make the most of this unique gathering. Prioritizing meaningful conversations and relationship-building over late-night parties ensures that Formnext contributes to personal and professional growth in a substantial way.

Title: 10 Essential Tips for Navigating Trade Shows Successfully

Introduction:

Trade shows are exciting events that offer valuable networking opportunities and a chance to explore the latest trends and innovations in your industry. However, attending these events can be exhausting and overwhelming without proper preparation. In this blog post, we will share ten essential tips to help you navigate trade shows successfully, ensuring you make the most out of your experience.

1. Take Notes and Follow-up:

During your interactions with exhibitors, make sure to take notes and jot down any commitments or promises made. Utilize business cards or apps like Trello to keep track of important details. These notes will prove vital for successful follow-up after the event.

2. Capture the Moment:

Don’t underestimate the power of visual documentation. Take more photos than you think you’ll need, as the one picture you regret not taking often turns out to be the most useful one later on. Be liberal in capturing images and store them for future reference.

3. Prioritize Rest and Relaxation:

Extended periods of networking and speaking can leave your mind buzzing. Prioritize sleep by winding down with activities like meditation or light exercise such as jumping jacks. This will help you ease into a restful state and wake up refreshed for the next day.

4. Fuel your Day with a Hearty Breakfast:

Opt for a satisfying but not overly heavy breakfast like muesli. This will provide you with sustained energy throughout the day, eliminating the distraction of constantly thinking about your next meal.

5. Take Care of Your Feet:

Trade shows involve spending long hours on your feet, so foot care is crucial. Consider bringing remedies like Epsom salt for foot-soaking to alleviate any discomfort. Additionally, invest in high-quality socks from reputable brands that offer cushioning and support.

6. Wear Layers for Climate Adaptation:

Trade show environments can vary in temperature. To remain comfortable regardless of the climate, wear layered clothing like a shirt and sweater that can easily be adjusted to adapt to temperature changes throughout the day.

7. Stay Prepared for Illness:

Trade shows can be breeding grounds for illness due to high-contact environments. Pack a first-aid kit containing essentials like paracetamol, ORS, ibuprofen, throat lozenges, and nasal spray. These items will mitigate symptoms and help you stay healthy during the event.

8. Stay Hydrated:

Dehydration is a common issue at trade shows, often caused by the atmosphere or constant talking. Stick to drinking water for the most part and limit coffee intake to when you truly need a pick-me-up. Keeping yourself properly hydrated will help you stay energized and focused throughout the day.

9. Stay Informed and Learn from Industry Leaders:

Stay updated on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry by attending events like AM Investment Strategies on November 2, hosted by Additive Manufacturing Research and Cantor Fitzgerald. This free online roundtable, happening a week ahead of Formnext, will provide insights from industry leaders and prepare you for the event.

10. Keep an Eye on Offers and Opportunities:

By staying up-to-date on industry news and receiving information and offers from third-party vendors, you can gain valuable insights and explore potential opportunities to enhance your trade show experience.

Conclusion:

Trade shows can be intense and demanding, but with the right preparation and mindset, they can also be incredibly rewarding. By following these ten essential tips, you can navigate trade shows successfully, make valuable connections, and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. Remember, the key is to prioritize your well-being, manage your commitments, and seize every opportunity for growth and learning.

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GCode-Guru

Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.

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