International Participation Grows At IMB 2003

IMB 2003, the Cologne, Germany-based triennial fair for apparel production technology and textile
processing, attracted nearly 24,000 visitors. According to a visitor survey, the show’s
international participation grew two-thirds of visitors came from outside of Germany, 56 percent of
whom had decision-making authority. The same survey also revealed that 88 percent of all attendees
had purchasing authority, while 43 percent had decision-making authority. More than 700 exhibitors
from 45 countries showcased new technologies and materials in the fair’s 120,000 square meters of
exhibition space, while buyers from 114 countries an increase over IMB 2000 perused the
aisles.Organized by Germany-based Koelnmesse GmbH and sponsored by the German Engineering
Federation (VDMA), the 2003 edition of IMB included a number of specialized areas. The technical
textiles area, according to the visitor survey, attracted visitors from such varied sectors as
aerospace, automotive, furniture upholstery and medical engineering.Computer and information
technology (IT) were prominent at the fair as well. Exhibitors in these areas, including suppliers
of software and IT solutions for the apparel and technical textiles sectors, offered attendees both
worldwide networking solutions via the Internet and communication solutions for smaller operations.
Visitors interested in computer technology were especially interested in technology solutions that
offered high productivity and flexibility.The theme of the concurrent IMB Forum was “Securing and
Building on Expertise.” Discussions included leadership and knowledge management, as well as
technical textile production for the sportswear market, and IT.A Science and Education Center, and
a Speakers’ Corner also supplemented the fair, offering presentations by universities and research
institutes.This year’s edition of the fair marked the start of Koelnmesse’s long-term cooperation
with the China Sewing Machinery Association an effort to raise the profile of the China
International Sewing MachineryandAccessories Show (CISMA), to take place October 21-24 in Shanghai.
“With our involvement in China, we now offer IMB exhibitors an ideal way to enter the rapidly
growing Chinese market,” said Bernd Aufderheide, executive vice president, Koelnmesse. “At the same
time, we are intensifying our partnership with our customers, and thus further cementing our
business relationship.”

July 2003