Visitor numbers up at Vitrum 2009: + 0.36 percent versus 2007

Despite the overall downturn in exhibition activity during 2009, the 16th Vitrum international trade fair for machinery, equipment and systems for the processing of flat and hollow glass; glass; and finished products, Oct. 28-31, in Milan, posted excellent visitor attendance from Italy and more than 100 countries, according to a Nov. 5 release.

A large number of visitors toured the three areas of the exhibition dedicated to flat glass, hollow glass (Vitrum Hollow Glass) and the green economy (Vitrum Energy). Attendance figures were higher than initially forecasted: 20,689 total visitors--a 0.36 percent hike over the previous exhibition in 2007--with 11,224 from Italy and 9,465 from other countries. Noteworthy was the 3.68 percent increase in overseas visitors versus 2007.
Vitrum Director Renata Gaffo confirmed: “The exhibition exceeded all expectations: we saw with our own eyes the industry’s desire to pick up again and the vitality of a sector that has always been a factor of excellence with an international reach,” according to the release.

Contributing to this year’s success was the focus on energy-saving technologies and the use of renewable energies, such as warm edge, solar panels and solar thermal systems, which also were examined at the Glass and Energy Savings Conference Oct. 29 at Vitrum Energy.

The live demonstrations by the master glassblowers from Murano (Maestri Muranesi) attracted large crowds. The creative workshops for about 250 children at the center of Vitrum Lab also generated a significant amount of interest. This was Vitrum’s first artistic workshop and was sponsored by the Lombardy Region – Education, Training and Employment Office, and the Milan Province, to offer a display to visitors and to help disseminate the artisan art and culture of glass making.

“There was a very significant increase in visitors, especially from other countries, with people spending more time at the exhibition and a large number returning for another visit," said Vitrum President Dino Fenzi, in the release. "Most important of all however, very important contracts were signed: we can say that the atmosphere was a very positive one. We seem to be moving towards optimism. As the saying goes: 'Time will tell …' "