Smopyc 2011: A Four-Way Interview

The 15th edition of SMOPYC, the International Show of Public Works, Construction and Mining Machinery, will be held from the 5th to the 9th of April 2011. As the event draws closer, the sectoral leaders and the Director of the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center avail of this four-way interview to offer their views on the evolution of the fair, the general state of the sector, and their expectations for this latest edition of SMOPYC.
The interviewees are:

Francisco Carrillo, President of the Organising Committee of SMOPYC

José Luis del Prim, President of the Spanish Manufacturers Association of Construction and Mining Equipment (ANMOPYC)

Gerd Schreier, President of the Spanish Association of Distributers and Importers of Public Works, Mining and Construction Equipment (ANDICOP) and

José Antonio Vicente, Director of the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center
The 15th editon of SMOPYC is approaching. How would you assess the current status of the event and in which direction is it going?
Francisco Carrillo: Despite its many years in existence and long history, the initial enthusiasm and desire to work remain intact. Added to this is the experience gained in the course of all this time. The organisers are currently immersed in a period of intense work, during which significant modifications will take place to enable the exhibition to continue meeting its original objective: that of being a landmark for the industry. Our aim is to be capable of providing a response to this demanding sector, which we realise is going through a difficult period but which we are sure will have the best possible stage for emerging from the crisis at the Zaragoza Trade Fair Centre in the form of SMOPYC 2011.
José Luis del Prim: The exhibition can be no more than a reflection of the reality of the sector. It would be illusory to believe that an industry at its lowest point in decades will turn out en masse to attend a dedicated fair. But having said this, there are indications of a more favourable trend which causes us to believe that participation at SMOPYC 2011 is a must for those operating in the sector. In any case, we expect it to be a much better fair than if it had been held in April of this year or indeed last year. Investment is at an exceptionally low ebb, but following three stormy years and subsequent to taking stock of the effects of this, the time has come to build again. At the upcoming edition of SMOPYC, the main people involved in the sector, the most important opinions, the companies and their technical innovations will all be present. We all need to know what the future holds for our industry and there is particular interest in getting together with all those who make up this sector.
Gerd Schreier: As a trade fair, the event carries great weight in the sector and it has received even greater coverage in the media due to its renowned prestige and the extensive promotional campaign carried out both in Spain and abroad. The evolution of this event has been excellent and we expect this to continue.
José Antonio Vicente: In my opinion, SMOPYC is at the height of its powers. It is a well consolidated fair with an impeccable track record that has been driven by ever improving results. Take, for instance, the last edition, which broke all records despite being held at a time of economic crisis. Here at the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center, we are striving to ensure that SMOPYC 2011 continues to grow. We want SMOPYC to retain its position as the sector’s leading fair and its status as an event not to be missed.
Proof of this is that 600 exhibitor companies have confirmed their participation and 45 associations directly related to the sector plan to organise a range of activities at SMOPYC 2011.
What are the strengths of SMOPYC and what sets it apart from other fairs?
Francisco Carrillo: Obviously, the event’s main credentials are its track record and all that we have been able to achieve throughout SMOPYC’s intense history. However, we are aware that we cannot afford to relax our efforts and therefore we are striving to achieve a competitive fair with a decidedly international flavour. Our aim is to provide a renewed space with which all the companies can identify, a space which will offer greater quality and dynamism to the sector at this complicated time.
One of the hallmarks of SMOPYC that sets it apart from other fairs is its capacity to serve as an enormous shop window for new products. The large innovations gallery and the technological innovation awards make SMOPYC a bastion of R&D&i in the area of construction, mining and public works. Another distinguishing feature of SMOPYC is the demonstration area where machinery can be seen live in action. This is highly valued by visiting professionals.
José Luis del Prim: SMOPYC is the trade fair of the Iberian Peninsula. It is an integral part of the European trade fair circuit and also has great prestige in South America. It therefore offers equipment manufacturers added value that cannot be matched by other events. There simply is no other alternative to SMOPYC. A trade fair is a very complex product and the fact that an event has a track record of fourteen previous editions inspires the type of confidence that is very highly valued in a climate such as the current one.
Gerd Schreier: The strengths of SMOPYC that stand out most clearly are the years of experience, the enormous exhibition space (400,000 m2), including the extensive outdoor area, the excellent drawing power demonstrated by the figures of previous editions and the sensitivity of the fair to the current circumstances of the sector reflected in the effort to offer “more at a lower cost”.
José Antonio Vicente: Its main strength is the unequivocal support of the sector, which has made the event what it is today: a landmark trade fair at international level. Participation at SMOPYC is amongst the most significant marketing tools in terms of attracting clients. Other strengths range from the well thought-out sectorisation, which affords the opportunity to exhibit large machinery in the ample outdoor area, to the promotional and internationalisation services offered to exhibitors.
How does SMOPYC favour the internationalisation of companies?
Francisco Carrillo: As one would expect, our objective is to ensure that SMOPYC is, yet again, the event of the year at international level. To this end, we have intensified our sales and advertising in the areas that we consider crucial to our strategy. We have focused our efforts on two key regions, South America and the Maghreb countries.
With respect to Europe and for the purposes of strengthening and promoting business cooperation and the internationalisation of companies participating at SMOPYC, we have put together – in cooperation with the Employers Confederation of Aragón (CREA) – a special programme to be held on the 5th and 6th of April. This will take place within the framework of the Enterprise Europe Network. With a previously drawn-up working agenda, 200 buyers from 40 countries will participate in interviews with a view to opening new markets in which companies can sell their products. Because this forum has the seal of approval of the European Union, it is seen as an excellent tool for internationalisation.
José Luis del Prim: From the ANMOPYC platform, I am aware of the work being done to take the event to even greater levels of internationalisation. In this respect, it is impossible to do too much. ANMOPYC is making great efforts in terms of organising trade missions at the highest level. We manufacturers are aggressively competing to capture a share of the international market. Never before have such efforts been made to attract clients from new markets. The role of SMOPYC in meeting this challenge can and must be of great significance. South America is growing much faster than our European partners. SMOPYC is a leading brand in these markets, meaning that this event is an opportunity, both for the fair itself and for equipment manufacturers.
José Antonio Vicente: At this edition, as has been the case with previous editions, the emphasis on internationalisation continues to be a constant element of SMOPYC. This aspect of the fair is being worked on by the Organising Committee and by the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center. Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru in South America and Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in the Mediterranean region are amongst the markets most specifically being focused on. All our efforts are aimed in this direction. In addition to the different business meetings and trade missions organised at the fair, the communications campaigns have been stepped up and services at the fair have been enhanced. This is particularly the case with respect to transport links to the airport and the AVE (High Speed Train), which is important in terms of attracting international participants.
What can the exhibitor and visitor expect of SMOPYC 2011?
Francisco Carrillo: In these difficult times, SMOPYC and the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center are placing the emphasis on quality, customised service, added value and an enhanced image for the brand. The exhibitor at SMOPYC expects us to be in a position to attract a large number of professionals, while visitors want to enjoy the presence of the sector’s main groups and companies at worldwide level. I am extremely confident that both exhibitors and visitors will see all their expectations met, thanks to their attendance and participation at SMOPYC.
José Luis del Prim: For the exhibitor, the success of the fair hinges on the number and quality of visitors. On this occasion, it has to be added that there must be considerable foreign representation to make the fair a success. We hope that the trade missions organised serve the objective of bringing prospective clients closer to those who wish to sell. For this reason, the work of the fair does not end with promotion but also covers the provision of services which enhance the image of the sector and that of Spain. The current climate means that the quality on offer encompasses both the excellence of the product and other less tangible attributes, amongst which the environment of the sector is a chief component.
At SMOPYC, the visitor can be sure of finding two very valuable elements. On the one hand, the world’s leading manufacturers will exhibit their most recent technological breakthroughs as well as the processes and tools essential to development in the new situation in which we find ourselves. In addition, because this is a unique event in terms of the time and place in which it takes place, the visitor will be privy to all the valuable opinions that will be voiced at SMOPYC. It is impossible to be an active part of the sector without being present at this event.
Gerd Schreier: As exhibitors, we hope to enjoy a wide range of services at the fair. While we do not expect huge sales volumes, given the current situation, we would certainly hope to make international contacts. Visitors to SMOPYC will enjoy a great shop window featuring the products and innovations of the majority of the brands in the sector and they will also experience the support of manufacturers and importers.
José Antonio Vicente: Both the exhibitor and the visitor will find all that the sector has to offer at SMOPYC 2011. In the space of a few days, exhibitors will have access to numerous opportunities to do business and make contacts. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to enjoy a panoramic view of the sector and to bring themselves up to date with the state of the art of the industry through conferences, round tables and product presentations.
What recommendations would you give to participants at SMOPYC 2011?
Francisco Carrillo: As president of the Organising Committee of SMOPYC, I can confirm that this body has worked with great enthusiasm to provide the optimal framework to both exhibitors and visitors. I would therefore encourage exhibitors to avail of this work and to use the event as a tool and launching pad from which to emerge from this complicated situation. I am convinced that if we all show greater commitment and belief in our products and potential, we will be in a position to achieve our objective and that SMOPYC 2011 will help us reach that turning point where there is enthusiasm and confidence in the recovery of the sector worldwide.
José Luis del Prim: The recommendations to ANMOPYC associates have been formulated by its executive bodies in the course of their numerous meetings and discussions. These recommendations have been appropriately conveyed through the association’s channels of communication. The basic message is one of adopting a positive approach towards overcoming the crisis and returning to normality in the future. All these recommendations emphasise that this will not be easy and will require great sacrifice. Our recommendations are also made in the certainty that the Spanish construction machinery sector has earned a reputation and appreciation that has by no means been eroded by the adverse current situation and will be renewed and strengthened at SMOPYC.
Gerd Schreier: My recommendation is to try to get the best value at the lowest cost. In these 5 days, supply and demand will be in particularly intense contact and all possible steps must be taken to avail of the opportunity.
José Antonio Vicente: I would recommend that all exhibitors leave nothing to chance in order to take maximum advantage of their participation. We at the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center are placing everything we have at their disposal in order to contribute to their success. They must carefully prepare their participation, advertise it to their clients, avail of the opportunity to launch products, innovations and offers, care for the image of their stand, inform themselves of and subscribe to the services on offer at the fair and, of course, be ready to do business and make good contacts.
Francisco Carrillo: To conclude and summarise, I would like to confirm that SMOPYC 2011 is focusing on a greater drive towards internationalisation. We aim to grow in the foreign market and intensify demand analysis with a view to enhancing competitiveness. The Organising Committee of the fair, of which I am President, has worked very hard to achieve an exhibition which will be widely recognised and valued. The image of SMOPYC is a consolidated and reliable image, and one that makes the period from the 5th to the 9th of April 2011 the key to entering new markets.
Source: SMOPYC Press Room