As The 11th Intermat Paris kicked off today (April 23), with a refreshing reboot to reflect the changing dynamics of a rejuvenating industry, iVT spoke exclusively to new exhibition director Isabelle Alfano
Intermat Paris 2018 is, for the first time, physically divided into four distinct sectors. The four hubs – earth moving and demolition; roads, minerals and foundation; lifting, handling and transport; and buildings and concrete – have been arranged to provide more clarity for visitors and exhibitors alike.
“This year’s show takes place against a backdrop of renewed market growth,” Intermat’s new exhibition director Isabelle Alfano, tells iVT. “In Western Europe alone €935bn (US$1,144bn) is planned for investment between now and 2030. In France the Grand Paris project means a lot of new rail lines, buildings and even cities created around stations. In Italy the Brenner Tunnel will connect with Austria. Meanwhile the Middle East and Africa boasts a host of projects, especially in North Africa where brand new cities are being constructed. In response we are arming exhibitors with more tools than ever.”
Other innovations at Intermat include the introduction of a free business service that enables visitors and exhibitors to go online arrange meetings for the week of Intermat, and a village dedicated to start-ups.
“We’ve identified certain new tendencies in the way the market is changing,” says Alfano. “The digitisation of the industry led us to create a village for 14 new start-ups. These companies are developing solutions for the construction market, in particular platforms where you can buy or rent equipment. Globally we’ve identified trends around motorisation. The show reflects that.”
These new trends came out of Intermat’s Construction Observatory, a huge 2017 survey of 12 EMEA countries. The report analysed forthcoming projects to emphasise the potential of the market and to entice exhibitors and visitors alike. Numbers reflect this: this year offers 1,400 exhibitors, and an anticipated 200,000 visitors; 65% from France, the rest from Europe and beyond.
“That’s a lot of coffee,” says Alfano, “and a lot of champagne! I have organised shows for 20 years but this is my first in the construction industry and it’s a very exciting market. You see a lot of machines here at Intermat, but behind the machines it’s all about the people.”
By Saul Wordsworth