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IDS press conference emphasises success story of the global dental trade fair

From left: Dr Markus Heibach, executive director of the Association of the German Dental Industry (VDDI); Klaus Bartsch, vice president of the association of German dental technicians’ guilds; Dr Henner Bunke, board member of the Council of European Dentists; Dr Juliane Winkelmann, a technical officer at the European Observatory of Health Systems and Policies; VDDI chairman of the board Mark Stephen Pace; moderator Susanne Schöne: Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse; and Markus Oster, division manager at Koelnmesse.
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Mon. 13. March 2023


COLOGNE, Germany: On 25 January, about 50 trade journalists from Europe joined the IDS press conference in the halls of Koelnmesse, marking the start of the final preparation phase for the trade fair that will open to visitors and exhibitors from across the globe tomorrow. At the press conference, representatives from the organising bodies of the show gave an outlook for IDS, which will be held for the 40th time and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In his opening, Mark Stephen Pace, chairman of the executive board of the Association of the German Dental Industry (VDDI), highlighted some milestones in the history of IDS, which was first held in 1923. Under the patronage of the VDDI’s predecessor, Verband der Deutschen Dental-Fabrikanten, which was founded in 1916, the first show took place in Berlin and was attended by 29 companies, exhibiting over a space of 350 m2. Pace underlined that the first years of IDS, during which time the show was held annually, were characterised by war and inflation—quite similar to the current situation in Europe. After moving to Düsseldorf in 1937, IDS was forced to go into hiatus from the onset of the Second World War and was held again in Hamburg in 1951. Parallel with the flourishing economy in the 1950s, IDS grew significantly and toured various cities across Germany in the years that followed. The internationalisation of the show took off when the organisers entered into a partnership with Koelnmesse in 1992 and IDS settled in Cologne. In 1995, the number of foreign exhibitors exceeded the number of German companies. In 2015, there were more visitors from abroad than from Germany for the first time. By 2019, the number of exhibitors had increased by threefold. In that year, over 2,000 companies and more than 160,000 visitors attended IDS.

Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse, said that he expects a strong IDS 2023. (Image: Koelnmesse/IDS)

Looking back on the last IDS, which had to be postponed to September 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictions on mass gatherings, Pace said: “Holding IDS in 2021 was the right decision in order to demonstrate that the German dental industry is able to offer technological as well as organisational solutions even during difficult times. Although IDS 2021 was much smaller, it was a very important event that reaffirmed the show’s standing.” In summary, Pace said that IDS has developed into the world’s most comprehensive innovation showcase, an indispensable industry meeting point and an exhibition for the global dental industry over the past 100 years.

Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse Oliver Frese stressed how delighted and proud he is that Koelnmesse has been part of the IDS success story for 30 years. He said that registration by over 1,700 companies from 60 countries demonstrates that the trust in trade fairs has returned after COVID-19. “We are well prepared for the anniversary event. The current registration numbers are close to those pre-pandemic,” Frese stated.

He added that Koelnmesse is pursuing digitalisation in all areas. A mix of in-person and online formats is planned again for this year’s IDS. However, he also pointed out that the past three years have shown that, although digital offers create important added value, in-person engagement at trade fairs is indispensable.

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