Now being held for the ninth time (this year taking place between 18 and 20 October), Volkswagen Group’s IZB International Suppliers Fair is raising its international profile. After receiving 51,000 visitors in 2014, the European automotive industry’s benchmark event (and one of the leaders worldwide) will this year welcome new exhibitors from countries making their debut at the trade fair.
In 2014, the IZB attracted exhibitors from 29 countries, a figure already exceeded by the 32 different nations’ supply chains represented at this autumn’s forthcoming event. The fair sponsored by the consortium based in Wolfsburg is growing in influence, particularly in Europe. For the first time, suppliers will attend from Slovakia, Finland, Moldavia, Norway and Sweden. Meanwhile, debutant nations from outside the Old World will include Taiwan.
For IZB Project Manager Stephan Boeddeker, “These new countries are going to bring really relevant ideas and give the show a new boost, as well as emphasising its degree of internationalisation.”
The rise in exhibitor numbers is generating growing expectations about visitor numbers. According to the information published about the last show by the IZB’s organisers, in 2014 “90% of the 900 exhibitors were satisfied or very satisfied with their time at the show and appreciated the opportunity to make new contacts.”
As an appetite-opener the day before the show proper starts, the IZB will hold the International Automotive Congress, this year under the theme “Mobility Goes Digital”. Digitisation of automakers’ and suppliers’ processes is creating innovative solutions and completely new applications. This trend applies equally to in-vehicle devices — both for driver assistance and infotainment — and to manufacturing processes.
Although the definitive programme has not yet been published, the organisers have confirmed that the talks given by high-calibre experts will focus on smart mobility solutions. Components manufacturers’ and technology service suppliers’ strategies, software and big data will be the topics addressed by firms like Bosch, Continental and ICT consultants MHP. HERE will tackle cloud-based solutions while the Fraunhofer Institute will provide its perspective on software system architecture and data management system integration.
Education and employment
While the eve of the Congress will be devoted to technology, the close will focus on the human factor, as at previous IZB shows. The exhibition’s final day will host the IZB Job Fair, which in previous years has attracted around 10,000 students, graduates and new industry entrants. In Wolfsburg, these potential industry recruits have the chance to speak to Human Resource personnel from a range of exhibitors and learn about the opportunities available at those companies.
The IZB Job Fair, which will take place on the 20th, has been promoted to a network of 100 university campuses, which the IZB calls “car unis”, that run automotive-related courses. The IZB includes in that content anything of relevance to the industry, from business and applied science through to information technology, anywhere in Germany. The organisers estimate that the information delivered via the various media is likely to reach around 370,000 German students.