More than 65,000 visitors and 1,887 exhibitors from 57 countries came together at the 30th A+A trade fair, the world’s leading platform for manufacturers in the field of industrial and occupational health and safety. The biennial trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, is therefore also the most important event for the uvex safety group. What did a visit to the trade fair hold in store? What innovations were presented there? And what impressions did visitors form at a trade fair like this?
Karina Morozova, Communications Assistant for Corporate Branding & Marketing at the uvex group, took a look around the trade fair. She describes A+A 2015 from the perspective of somebody whose working day is not directly focused on occupational health and safety.
Covering a total area of 650 square meters and featuring a high white wall adorned with the uvex brand name, the uvex stand at the A+A 2015 certainly caught the eye from a distance. We were on site at the trade fair on the first day, eager to hear what experiences and stories our colleague could share with us. Hall 3, in which the uvex stand was located, became quite busy shortly after the doors to the trade fair were opened. Thorsten Udet, Head of Marketing and Communication at the uvex safety group, revealed that a total of 120 uvex employees from all subsidiaries travelled to Düsseldorf to work on the largest stand at A+A 2015. Throngs of inquisitive visitors had their questions on the latest product innovations answered by uvex experts.
In comparison with adjacent exhibitors, uvex’s stand was very impressive. Tables and seating areas were dotted around the edges in between a few smaller product features, while new products were showcased in the centre of uvex’s exhibition space, demanding the attention of all visitors. “We have been working on a stand concept and corresponding framework programme for the A+A 2015 since the start of the year,” explains Tobias Schmid, who works on all things related to trade fairs in a marketing team headed up by Thorsten Udet. “When you see the completed stand, you soon realise that everything has been well designed. But the process involved in preparing the finished exhibition space is an long one. Everyone is pleased when it all finally comes together.”
The uvex employees working at the stand were easily recognisable from their uniforms: the men all wear a grey suit with a claret tie, while the ladies are dressed in black and white for the trade fair. This means visitors can easily spot those in the know when seeking information on uvex and our personal protective equipment (PPE). One such person is Jens Metzger, a Junior Product Manager in the Eyewear SBU. Despite this being his first time at the A+A, Jens was thrown in at the deep end and presented an exciting technological innovation: uvex has developed a prototype of smart safety goggles which can tell when they are being worn. Jens explained the technology step by step, taking a circular saw as an example: there is a sensor on the circular saw which is calibrated to the safety goggles. When a user puts on the safety goggles, a signal is transmitted to the circular saw. The machine can only be switched on once the goggles are being worn. If the user takes off the goggles, the machine stops instantly. The prototype has obviously not yet been released on the market, but it did attract the attention of many visitors. So, how did Jens feel when asked to present such an innovative technology at his very first trade fair? He answered: “It was really exciting! I’m working at the uvex stand today and tomorrow, but on the third day I should have a bit of time to look around and meet other exhibitors, although I’ll mainly be inspecting the competition!”
Naturally, we wanted to find out what the glass pyramid in the middle of the uvex stand was all about. A selection of colour-coordinated products were on show inside; a large infotable revealed that this related to the new uvex i-gonomics product system. We learned that modern PPE not only protects wearers, but should offer long-lasting and measurable relief to them during their work activities. This is a future-oriented approach in the face of demographic developments in Germany and can be seen as an attempt to maintain the population’s sound health.
Before heading off to visit other exhibitors across the nine halls, we took a peak at the brand new uvex safety group image film which was being projected on a wall at the entrance to the uvex stand. Although it will be a slightly different experience to watching it on a big screen, the video can also be viewed on Youtube:
After many hours spent exploring the fascinating innovations, a long and tiring day at the A+A 2015 drew to a close. We hope that our colleagues enjoyed a successful few days at the trade fair and are already eagerly anticipating the next instalment in 2017.