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W3+ Fair Wetzlar 2019
Review

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

Hamburg, 28 February 2019. The two-day W3+ Fair/ Convention 2019 (www.w3-wetzlar.com) - Home of High-Tech Innovations - ended the day before yesterday in Wetzlar. 2783 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 and partners. Exhibitor numbers are becoming increasingly international: 30%are based in Wetzlar/Mittelhessen, 43%in other German federal states and 27%abroad. In total, companies and organizations 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 program. The special areas "Additive Production/ 3D Printing" 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. That shows: The trade fair has long outgrown regional borders. It is the flagship for the optical engineering region of Central Hessen and at the same time the gateway for experts seeking access to the high-tech location. The upcoming W3+ Fair/ Convention in Wetzlar will take 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 prestigious exhibition and the top-class supporting programwere 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, where five companies presented themselves to the pitch before the next generation. For the professionals 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 took the opportunity to network intensively withthemselves. The "Apéro" get-together event, organized by the Swiss trade association Swissphotonics, provided a good opportunity. Afterward, organizer Fleet Events invited to the exhibitor evening W3+ and Friends, where celebrity 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 a 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 Keynote speech. 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".