At this year’s Achema, the world’s largest process industry trade fair for chemical, biotechnological and process engineering, two Emerging Leaders from ISPE D/A/CH will participate as exhibitors. In our interview, they share their experiences.
How did you come to be an exhibitor at this year’s ACHEMA in the first place?
Laura Kuger: This story exemplifies the benefits of membership and involvement in ISPE – you participate in events, expand your network, and in turn gain new, unique opportunities, such as active participation in ongoing and planned projects. Emerging Leaders & Students (EL&S) are regularly involved in the organization and execution of ISPE events. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise!
As for me personally: I was asked during an ISPE workshop in June 2022 if I would like to support the ISPE-Exhibition-Team from the EL&S side – for me this was of course a rhetorical question!
What were your expectations of ACHEMA as an exhibitor? Were these expectations met?
Laura Kuger: I imagined a whole week at a trade fair as an exhibitor to be very intensive and varied, but also exhausting – in this respect, my expectations were undoubtedly met! The days were filled to the top with the trade show itself, meetings and social events in the evening. There wasn’t much time to relax, but the knowledge gained, the experiences and adventures with Melisa, the ISPE team and new contacts were well worth the lack of sleep!
What was unexpected/has surprised you?
Melisa Arslantepe: For me, the dimensions of the costs that you bear as an exhibitor were incredible. Of course, in the back of my mind I was aware that it would involve immense costs, but this scale actually surprised me. If you then see what the companies partly still bring everything to the exhibition space, how large the occupied area is and what was then still organized for the visitors… hammer! One company even organized bicycle cabs that took visitors to a ship with catering, live music and speedboat tours on the Main River – I don’t even want to imagine what all that must have cost.
From your point of view, how did the visit as a visitor differ from the visit as an exhibitor?
Melisa Arslantepe: Back then, when I was still a student, the reason for the visit was quite different than now, after almost 3 years of professional experience and as an exhibitor. As a visitor, I just walked the halls with my fellow students and we interacted with exhibitors (and bagged the goodies, of course). All the background knowledge and seeing how the companies compete with each other, the immense costs involved and everything else, of course, as an exhibitor you now get to see much more. Of course, the content of the conversation also varies in this case. I thought it was great that I could have the comparison.
What experiences did you take away? What is your conclusion?
Melisa Arslantepe: That it is not that difficult to establish conversations with the most diverse personalities if you know what you are talking about. As an exhibitor, you are, so to speak, “forced” to approach everyone who is standing at the booth and looking at something, and to engage in a conversation. Because we all knew what we were representing and what we were here for, all the conversations were so casual and it was really easy to jump from one topic and experience to the next.
Laura Kuger: My speech! The world of pharma/biotech engineering is really very small and you found common ground or connection with just about everyone you talked to at the show, which resulted in a wide variety of conversations. For me, the fair was a complete success all around in terms of my personal and professional goals and I am grateful to have been given this opportunity!
Would you recommend it and why?
Melisa Arslantepe: Definitely! I would recommend anyone who gets this opportunity and would also like to represent their own organization to take advantage of this opportunity and take the experience with them. It involves work, of course, but if you enjoy what you do, it really is an incredibly great way to represent the company/organization you stand by and also a great way to make new contacts.