May 2022: There was no denying that déjà vu moment. In fact, everything was actually already in the bag, but the situation around the pandemic led to the last steinexpo to be cancelled in the end. As a prelude to steinexpo 2023, the crème de la crème of the faithful die-hards met on 27 and 28 April 2022 for the meeting of the traditional group of returning exhibitors. The meeting was followed by an exciting on-site visit to get a feel for where they would like to present themselves and their company’s exhibit from 23 to 26 August 2023. Because a lot has also happened in the last few years in Europe's largest basalt quarry, the stage for the popular demo trade fair.
It was a special feeling to finally be there on site as a group again. But even though everyone was in good spirits, it should not be forgotten how many obstacles there were to overcome to get to this point. Trade fair director Dr Friedhelm Rese opened the meeting with some emotional words of welcome to all present. After all, the crisis, which lasted for years and which no-one could accurately predict, also had a devastating on the organiser, Geoplan GmbH. For one, the initially postponed steinexpo 2020 actually had to be cancelled altogether in the end. A massive shock for many, and a great loss for the organisers. But finally, we have endured; 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 absolutely certain. It will be infused with more motivation than ever before – on all sides.
What has been sapping the energy ends on a positive note
As if the weather gods had given their blessing, the clear sky with sunshine raised careful optimism to ebullient confidence at this almost family-like industry meeting. Before an inspection 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 cleverly devised hygiene concept to counter any possible surprise developments. Because even the headiest joy in the world, the anticipation, requires safety.
A large entrance area that will significantly contribute to guaranteeing safe and fast entry and exit in 2023 has been included in the planning. This will next year provide access to the approximately 15,000 m² demo area D (former backfill). This means that in contrast to being located at the central access ramp the last time, entry will now be to the right of it. This time there will also be parking spaces inside the quarry for exhibitors. After previous muddy experiences, this should please many steinexpo veterans. A digital parking guidance system will ensure clarity. The limited number of available spaces will act as a kind of early riser reward system as a “positive side-effect”. Either way, every arrival will be rewarded with the extraordinary “Quarry Vision” innovation park. The area of approximately 2,000 m² in size will provide renowned exhibitors with the opportunity to present their future innovations, which may not necessarily be ready for the market yet, in a way that is visible and tangible for everyone. Highly intelligent machines, vehicles and services will be on display. And situated adjacent to the main entrance, it will be hard to miss. So much trust and commitment are placed in this close-to-the-heart project and its inherent innovative power that "Quarry Vision" will be 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 trade fair. For example, the demo area A has gained in room for manoeuvre, where the spectators’ stand and the construction machinery park were last time. A rather steep ramp still leads into the area. A completely new, more accessible ramp leading into the demo area for large machinery will therefore be built by the time steinexpo takes place. This time there would even be the possibility of creating a high-speed track and/or a track with mounds for dumpers. An area where construction machinery can be parked is again part of the concept.
The area for accessories will again be located in demo area B, although unlike in 2017, it will now be somewhat narrower. The space towards the rear of the upper demo area C has also slightly narrower this time round. What has remained is the memory-making crowd-pleaser which may not be missing this time either: the breath-taking lift. If circumstances allow it, there may again be two.
There will also be a double focus for indoor exhibitors. The large pavilion as it had been until now will be divided into two parts: a themed exhibition pavilion will be open to visitors at each of two locations on two levels. In general, more attention is paid to how smaller exhibitors can also get their money's worth. So. for example, there will probably be a special evening event for those who cannot host an evening event of their own, and advertising opportunities will also 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 again be promoted through campaigns such as THINK BIG!, innovations from all sectors will be given more visibility with "Quarry Vision”, so to speak. At the same time, the past crises show why a meeting of returning exhibitors is more than significant. External changes and forces turn the focus on what endures. And that is the many years of successful cooperation, the drive of our industry.
That is why it was so important to exchange ideas face to face again and also to get a fresh view of the place where the long-awaited demo trade fair will once again come to life in August 2023, and in person after such a long time. There was no better place for the combination of nostalgia and planning vision to inspire all those present.
So the meeting of our group of staunch returning exhibitors ended with shoes full of mud and hearts full of anticipation for what awaits us at the steinexpo in 2023.
Please visit the trade fair's website for up-to-date information on the 11th steinexpo.
www.steinexpo.eu and on Instagram at: @steinexpo_official
steinexpo: : As the biggest and most significant stone quarry demonstration exhibition on the European continent, the steinexpo had its premiere in the Nieder-Ofleiden stone quarry in September 1990. The trade fair is held in a three-year cycle. By means of impressive live demonstrations against the backdrop of a magnificent stone quarry, manufacturers and dealers of building and processing machinery, utility vehicles and heavy vehicles as well as plants for the extraction and treatment of materials put their performance capabilities on display. The recycling of mineral building materials represents another focus point. The steinexpo is organised by Geoplan GMBH, Iffezheim.
steinexpo2023_PI1_1) On April 27 and 28, 2022, longtime steinexpo supporters met for the traditional returning exhibitor meeting in Homberg (Ohm), in a familiar atmosphere.
steinexpo2023_PI1_2a+b) After a short introduction to the current and upcoming conditions for steinexpo 2023, the meeting moved on to the highlight: the on-site visit.
steinexpo2023_PI1_3) In the largest basalt quarry in Europe of the Mitteldeutsche Hartstein Werke MHI, the imagination of some people already became quite concrete.
steinexpo2023_PI1_4a+b) Full of anticipation and new trade fair perspectives, all participants are optimistically looking forward to steinexpo 2023.
Photos: jis/Geoplan GmbH
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