Despite pandemic-related difficulties and restrictions, the 2021 edition of Vitrum, the biennial international trade show organized by GIMAV, the Italian Association of Glass-Processing Machinery and Accessory Suppliers, successfully returned to Milan, Oct. 5-8.
The event featured 120 exhibitors from 16 countries at the Fieramilano pavilions, and drew 6,150 visitors, 45 percent of whom visited internationally, representing 74 countries. The stands occupied 22,450 square meters of exhibit surface area, with an approximate 20 percent increase in average size of individual stands compared to the 2019 edition.
“Even though the world has changed over the last two years, Vitrum tenaciously holds true to its position as the benchmark among trade shows specialized in glass processing machinery and equipment, and as the must meeting place for glass industry professionals,” says Vitrum president, Dino Zandonella Necca. “This year, the exhibitors went all-out, bringing their latest technologies and innovations to the show; and they found a Vitrum that offered unlimited opportunities for conducting business.”
In addition to allowing manufacturers, agents, buyers, Italian and international glass industry association representatives and trade journalists to meet in person after months of hiatus, Vitrum 2021 also launched two new programs: the Vitrum Life digital platform and Vision Milan Glass Week, through which the world of glass, for the first time ever, introduced itself to the public at large. “We absolutely laid the groundwork for Milan to be the capital of glass technologies for years to come,” says Zandonella Necca.
Of the 120 exhibitors, 75 percent were manufacturers. Thanks to the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and of ITA, the Italian Trade & Investment Agency, 60 top buyers and opinion leaders from 29 countries attended the show and kept about 400 appointments at the stands of Italian businesses.
According to organizers, despite the pandemic, the show upheld its international allure. Half of the visitors were from Europe with the remainder distributed evenly ‒ proportionate to their size ‒ among the other areas, (the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania). VitrumLife, Vitrum's digital platform for online visitors, aired close to 50 hours of live video and a continuous flow of in-depth programming and news that were followed by nearly 31,000 users, 40 percent of them international. The social channels dedicated to the event are also very popular, with 75,000 impressions for Instagram, over 41,000 users reached through the Facebook profile of the event that generated more than 2,700 interactions, while Linkedin records 12,700 post views.
Finally, with the aim of broadening the target to embrace the entire glass industry, Vision Milan Glass Week, held concurrent to Vitrum, opened across Milan from two main hubs—Piazza Gae Aulenti and Fondazione Riccardo Catella. By showcasing the excellence of Italy’s glass industry to the entire city, it attracted more than 10,000 visitors in all. The event was sponsored by the Lombardy Region and the City of Milan, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, along with Milano Wine Week and Lifegate as media partner.
Six of Milan’s museums, six glass buildings, 12 parallel event Road Map locations and 26 “Vitrum Party on the Road” night spots were involved. In addition, more than 20 works of glass art were displayed, including the drum set by El Cocal Glass Studio and the Lagoon Monster art installation in Piazza Gae Aulenti.
“Given the success of these programs, we are already working on launching future events and thinking even bigger this time,” says Zandonella Necca.
Vitrum returns to Milan Sept. 5-8, 2023.