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Press entry

High-Tech Event W3+ Fair/ Convention in Wetzlar interlocked cutting-edge technologies

Hamburg, 17.04.2019


The sixth networking event for high-tech experts from the fields of optics, electronics and mechanics took place in Wetzlar on 25 + 26 February 2019. Around 200 exhibitors and partners met more than 2,700 visitors. In addition to the location in Central Hessen, there will be a W3+ Fair/ Convention in the Rhine Valley (D/A/CH/LI) for the first time in September 2019.

Hamburg, March 2019. At the two-day fair around 2800 trade visitors exchanged views on the latest technological developments with around 200 exhibitors and partners. Many major players such as OptoTech, Schneider, Carl Zeiss, Harmonic Drive and Meopta as well as hidden champions took advantage of the interdisciplinary meeting to position themselves well for the future with new contacts. Exhibitor numbers are becoming increasingly international: 30 percent are based in Wetzlar/Mittelhessen, 43 percent in other German federal states and 27 percent abroad. In total, companies and organisations from 11 countries were represented at the event. More than 40 specialist speakers, including speakers from Airbus, Schunk and the international EPIC TechWatch, shared their knowledge in the high-class lecture programme. The special areas `Additive Manufacturing` and the joint stand `Microtechnologies for Optical Devices` organized by IVAM were also very popular. The W3+ Fair/ Convention 2019 was opened by Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, Managing Director of Hessen Trade & Invest, Martin Rößler, Vice President of the Government of Gießen, and Manfred Wagner, Lord Mayor of Wetzlar.The second welcome round with this year's partner region of the trade fair, the Chinese Xuchang, took place with Dagmar Schmidt (MdB), Chairwoman of the German-Chinese Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag, Shuhong Zhao, Deputy Mayor of Xuchang, and the former Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate and Federal Minister of Defense, Rudolf Scharping. It shows: The trade fair has long outgrown regional borders. It is the flagship for the optical engineering region of Central Hessen but at the same time the gateway for experts seeking access to the high-tech location. The upcoming W3+ Fair/ Convention in Wetzlar takes place on February 26 + 27, 2020 again in the old rhythm on Wednesday and Thursday.

Top marks for trade visitor quality and many international visitors

Once again, the exhibitors awarded top marks for the quality of the trade visitors. The representative exhibition and the top-class supporting programme were also praised. In addition to this year's partner region, the Chinese Xuchang, there were many other international guests: contacts from the USA, Israel, Turkey, China and Argentina, among others, were invited to business matching by the Regional Management Central Hessen. After a tour of the fair, the opportunity arose to make contact with Hessian companies.

More than 160 technical students attended this year's Student Day, at which five companies presented themselves to the pitch before the next generation. For the specialists of tomorrow, the day provided a helpful overview of personal career opportunities. At the same time, it offered companies direct contact to a promising pool of applicants.

The exhibitors also used the opportunity to network intensively with each other. The get-together event, organised by the Swiss trade association Swissphotonics, provided a good opportunity for this. Afterwards, organizer Fleet Events invited exhibitors to the evening W3+ and Friends, where star chef Heiko Antoniewicz provided culinary surprises with his 3D printer.

Wetzlar Network and the European Photonics Consortium EPIC supported the W3+ Fair/Convention 2019 in Wetzlar as gold partners. Many other associations and sponsors brought competence and new contacts with them. The BME, Federal Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics, provided further highlights with its purchasing manager breakfast and a key note lecture. The concept of the event is now accepted and endorsed by all sectors. `We are very pleased about the successful event`, says Jörg Brück, Project Director of Fleet Events. `We still see a lot of potential with the simple and effective event format for exhibitors. In addition to the new trade fair in Dornbirn, we will take a closer look at other locations. In the future, we want to offer many platforms where experts can meet to jointly advance the technologies of the future`.

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About the W3+ Fair/Convention

The event is the result of an industrial initiative in Wetzlar and Central Hessen that aims to promote networking between the three sectors of optics, electronics and mechanics. New interfaces are to be used to launch forward-looking technologies. The fair took place for the first time in February 2014 in the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar. The W3+ Fair/Convention is organised by the Hamburg trade fair organiser FLEET Events ( The namesake Wetzlar Network ( and the European Photonics Industry Consortium EPIC ( will be there as gold partners. New is the W3+ Fair/Convention Rheintal, which will take place for the first time on 18 + 19 September 2019 in the quadrangle of Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany. EPIC and Swissphotonics are gold partners here.

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