From consumer fair to trade show

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From consumer fair to trade show
| Franziska Stadlmayer

A look back at seven decades of K fair

What began as a household trade show quickly became the largest showcase for the plastics processing industry. And KraussMaffei has been there from the very beginning. From groundbreaking innovations to current socially critical topics, there is a lot on offer at the K trade show every three years - as the first part of our review shows.

On October 11, 1952, the K trade show opened its doors for the first time. 270 exhibitors showed their products on around 14,000 square meters under the slogan "Miracle of Plastics". Among the exhibitors from the very beginning were parts of today's KraussMaffei, which presented technologies for plastics processing that were still little known. The interest was great, a good 165,000 visitors came to Düsseldorf, above all to see plastic innovations suitable for household use, such as nylon stockings or plastic utensils for the home.

Practical household items made of plastics were the big novelty at K 1952. (Photo: Deutsches Kunststoffmuseum)

In 1959, a raincoat made of PVC was the main attraction, but from 1963 the event was transformed into a pure trade show. As a result, the focus was on innovations such as the first series-produced plastic body for a passenger car in Germany. In subsequent years, the K was able to live up to its relevance in terms of space as well: From 1971, the show was held at the Stockum exhibition center in Düsseldorf, which was considered the most modern trade show venue in Europe at the time.

The venue of the trade fair changed - but the characteristic logo has been around since 1952. (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf)

As an exhibitor from the very beginning, KraussMaffei repeatedly draws attention to itself with technical innovations and sophisticated booth concepts. However, it is not easy to impress at the K show. For the most important performance show of the plastics industry, the companies start planning months before the fair starts.

KraussMaffei is an eye-catcher at the trade show with impressive booth concepts, as here in 2001. (Photo: KraussMaffei)

The K fair provides an ideal setting for presenting new products, which is why participants are working on innovations right up to the last minute. From the 1970s onwards, international companies are also among the exhibitors, with the American joint stand in particular attracting visitors with its international flair. 

The American joint stand attracts visitors with innovations from overseas. (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf)

In the second part of our series on 70 years K fair, we look at critical fair topics and the "monster of the K'07". Stay tuned! 

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