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The AM highlight as a boost for your company: Focus on initial contacts, business, and concrete project discussions

International exhibitors share their successes at Formnext and how the trade fair strengthens their market position.


“Formnext is definitely a very successful business tool for us,” explains Norbert Gall, head of marketing and PR at the Austrian company Lithoz, which specializes in the 3D printing of ceramics. For the Italian AM powder manufacturer Mimete, Formnext is “the most important trade fair of the year” according to communication manager Magda Perez Gila. We spoke to both companies about how they use the potential of Formnext, which target groups they encounter, and what has helped them achieve so much success at the trade fair.

Lithoz, which was founded in 2011 and now has 150 employees in four locations, starts focusing numerous advertising and marketing activities on Formnext in the summer of every year. "This shows how significant the trade fair is for us," says Gall. "It has also paid off: At Formnext, we can present a very exciting technology in the right light and thus reach the right contacts." This year, the company once again increased the number of discussions it had and the contacts it made compared to 2022, as Gall and his colleague, PR manager Alice Elt, explain. "The contacts came from the medical sector – a very important industry for us – but also from numerous other sectors, such as electronics and semiconductors. We also made many others that we weren’t really expecting, including in the renewable energy sector."

“We also were very happy with the number of new contacts we generated. The academic sector plays an important role for a young technology like ours, and universities and research institutions were also very well represented,” Gall continues. In general, Elt and Gall emphasize the high number of initial contacts one can make at Formnext.In this respect, Formnext is one of the strongest trade fairs in any sector.” 

“Established a strong identity”

Mimete is also extremely pleased with the many interactions it had at Formnext 2023. The company had set up numerous appointments at its booth in the run-up to the event. “These were about specific questions, such as the development of custom materials, or particle sizes for certain applications or production technologies. We also made a large number of interesting new contacts,” explains Perez Gila, who praises the high quality of the discussions, as well.  

The Italian start-up, which is part of FOMAS Group, was founded in 2017 and took part in Formnext for the first time in 2018 – at a booth measuring just three meters square. “Initially, we had many contacts at universities and research laboratories, which are very important for a young company. Over the years, however, we’ve been dealing more and more with production companies. They’ve become increasingly important for us, and we’re realizing significantly higher volumes with them.”

Having started with seven employees, Mimete has now grown to 24. “We’re now established as an internationally active manufacturer of metal powders for additive manufacturing and other technologies. Formnext has helped us a lot on this path,” Perez Gila explains. Right from the start, an important goal for the young company was to establish itself “with a strong identity” at the trade fair and on the AM market. For Perez Gila, expanding Mimete’s booth and positioning also played an essential role in this: “Over the years, we’ve moved between different halls and become bigger and bigger. In 2023, we were occupying 25 square meters right in the middle of Hall 12.0, surrounded by important companies that make up our business environment. That was our dream space,” the marketing expert reveals.

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Discussions often lead to specific technical exchanges

Lithoz was even able to sell a machine directly for the first time at Formnext 2023. “That had never happened for us at a trade fair before. It was also surprising; we normally have quite a long sales cycle because the 3D printing of industrial ceramics still requires a lot of explanation,” reports Gall. “But this customer – one we’d had only sporadic contact with previously – approached us directly at the trade fair with a request to sign a purchase agreement.”

Since Lithoz participated in the first Formnext in 2015, the conversations at its booth have also changed. “In the past, visitors would sometimes come up to us and ask us what we actually do and how it all works. Today, they’re generally much better informed,” explains Gall. As a result, the proportion of visitors who come to the company’s booth with specific ideas for improving certain applications has continued to rise. “Discussions at the trade fair often lead directly to a concrete technical exchange with our experts, which really gets down to the nitty-gritty of designs and implementations. Of course, not everything can be implemented, but a lot can.”

More voices on Formnext:

“This is the first time we exhibited at Formnext with 3D-Werk and we are thrilled! The quality and quantity of the discussions we’ve had and the new contacts we’ve been able to make exceeded our expectations - especially considering the current economic situation. You can see here that Additive Manufacturing is still on the rise!"

"Formnext was overwhelming for us in every respect! The sheer amount of innovations here and the many valuable discussions we were able to have with potential customers... We realized here that a completely new market is opening up for us in Additive Manufacturing and now see even more potential for us to fully enter the supply chain as a powder supplier.”

“We generated a high number of contacts, we are happy about the frequency and quality of visitors that came to our booth. People have more and more knowledge about the technology, they are asking technical questions and are more and more likely to take decisions in their companies.”

“We wanted to bring 3D Printing to the factory floor and announced the shipping of our Array system. Therefore, we met the right partners from all over the world. The interest was overwhelming; at our booth we had lots of people with buying power.”

“That’s the place to be to see the improvements in the AM market. Here at Formnext we are able to explore and review all the various systems and materials efficiently in one place. That gives us the opportunity to find and select the most suitable solutions for our production.”

Formnext 2023 - at a glance