70 years of K-Fair: A look back

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70 years of K-Fair: A look back
| KraussMaffei

Long-time employees remember special moments

The K celebrates its birthday! In 1952, what is now the largest plastics trade show in the world opened its doors for the first time - and KraussMaffei was there from the very beginning. In this series, long-time K participants talk about technical highlights, emotional moments and what they are looking forward to at the 70th anniversary this year. Today, Ralf Dahl, Director Expert Sales, talks about his start at the gigafair and his role as "trade show cop."

KraussMaffei

Can you still remember your first K trade fair?

Ralf Dahl

Indeed! Being thrown into such a gigafair early on in 1989 as a young engineer fresh from university in a tough professional life (already in sales there) was deeply impressive. The crowds of people, the internationality of the visitors, the volume of the running machines and the Babylonian babble of voices. The tension before the talks and negotiations, and that feeling of having made a first deal on my own - that clearly left its mark on me. Since then, I simply love this trade show and still throw myself into the crowd and the stress with delight.

Ralf Dahl
Ralf Dahl
Director Expert Sales KraussMaffei Extrusion

KraussMaffei

How many K fairs have you been a part of?

Ralf Dahl

This K will be my 11th, believe it or not! Since 1989, I have been on stand duty at all Ks as a participant of a plastics and rubber machinery company exhibiting there. From 2000 onwards from Hanover, first for Berstorff GmbH, KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH and now KraussMaffei Extrusion GmbH. I will probably be able to achieve 12 Ks by the time I retire. 

KraussMaffei

What has been your highlight over the years?

Ralf Dahl

2007 was Berstorff's last independent appearance at the K, already back to back with the KraussMaffei booth.  For this fair I was the "trade show cop", meaning I was responsible for the implementation, booth organization and booth discipline. This trade show went down in the annals of the Breite Wiese, which is the address of our location in Hanover, it was terrific!

KraussMaffei

What has changed since you started?

Ralf Dahl

The K fair has become more serious, in my opinion. In my early years, it was more spontaneous, more improvised - and more celebratory! People always worked hard and long hours, but they also celebrated - at and after the trade show. The Bavarian evening at the KraussMaffei booth was legendary! The interaction between customers and colleagues was more open and casual. It seems much more stringent and serious these days.
What has remained, however, is that the K is still the performance show of the industry, here everyone shows what they have and can do; that´s truly impressive over and over again. And KraussMaffei must, of course, continue to have the largest booth of the machine builders. 

Ralf Dahl in conversation

KraussMaffei

What is your highlight at this year's K show?

Ralf Dahl

Finally, a major event in person again. Seeing customers, colleagues, suppliers and competitors live and in color. Negotiating with shouting at the table and lying in each other's arms at the closing of the deal - no virtual meeting can offer that!

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