monicacommentThis year Metpack marked the 25th anniversary since its conception in 1992, Wolfgang Niemsch, chief executive of canmaking machinery supplier Lanico said at a press conference held on the first day of the show last month in Germany.

The canmaking exhibition was conceived when metal packaging machinery suppliers were expelled from the Interpack show in Düsseldorf, and publisher of The Canmaker Allan Sayers and Wolfgang Niemsch came up with the idea of a dedicated metal packaging trade show.

Having previously visited a welding fair in Essen, Sayers thought the space could be rented from Messe Essen, which declined to rent out its exhibition halls but agreed to host the show.

The Canmaker played a crucial role in Metpack’s launch: the magazine gave all the adverts for the show for free. Sayers also sold most of the exhibition space and helped create a great first Metpack – it was in fact the most successful first trade exhibition in German history.

But within months Sayers was unceremoniously dumped from the Metpack Committee and has had no connection with the show since. He then had to think of a new name as all the annual canmaking shows were going to be called Metpack and rotate between continents. This is what gave birth to Cannex, which next year takes place in Guangzhou, China, on 15-18 May.

Next year’s show marks the fourth visit of Cannex to China and is expected to surpass yet again previous visitor numbers. The last couple of Cannex shows in China already had more logged visits than this year’s Metpack, around 9,000 compared to 7,200.

German trade fairs, and those who just copy press releases, perpetuate the myth of their number of visitors by counting logged visits as visitors. I, for example, was counted at least four times when I visited Metpack.

Meanwhile Messe Düsseldorf claims that their seven-day Interpack show attracted 170,500 “visitors”.

But The Canmaker strives to give you the full picture and the right data.

Mónica Higuera