Q&A Intertraffic Amsterdam organisers in the first edition of The Daily News
Erik Dijkshoorn and Joyce de Winter
Q. The present economic climate remains challenging, and yet this year’s Intertraffic is bigger than ever. Why do you think this is?
A. Yes the economy is challenging, very challenging, and that is why we are doing everything possible to provide the very best environment for visitors and exhibitors to gather, network and learn from one another. Exhibition organisers like the RAI are not immune from these difficult conditions, in many respects we are finding them even more challenging than most, so we have to be sure that we are investing correctly in our products to ensure our events remain relevant, topical and offer outstanding value for money to all attendees.
We like to think that Intertraffic is unique in terms of its breadth of coverage of ‘connected’ technologies. Successfully integrating infrastructure, ITS traffic management, safety and parking allows the visitor to move throughout several complementary areas of the exhibition to maximise their ‘Intertraffic experience’. We also continue to innovate and add extra dimensions to the show such as the Smart Mobility Centre and Conference. This is a fine example of how the RAI constantly wants to drive Intertraffic forward. Resting only on previous success would be foolish and makes us complacent. We will not allow that to happen, so we continue to talk to our main exhibitors so we fully understand their needs and requirements, and act accordingly. Much like the Avis principle of years ago, we don’t believe that we are number one; we believe our customer is, whether that is an exhibitor or a visitor.
Q. Over recent years the event has successfully attracted more and more overseas visitors and exhibitors. This bucks the trend, so what do you attribute it to?
A. Intertraffic Amsterdam is a truly global event for all the reasons outlined above. Therefore when companies or individuals need to select one event that matches all of their requirements, we like to think that Intertraffic Amsterdam ticks many of the boxes. Companies use this event to launch new products. That is a fact! This week quite literally hundreds of new products will be premiered. Visitors know that and so they earmark this event as they are guaranteed to see many new introductions on the exhibition floor that they will never have seen before.
Equally, from the exhibitor’s point of view, Intertraffic Amsterdam is where the transportation world comes to present its wares, so there is a need to be viewed in that environment. If you are confident of a strong audience, and Intertraffic has historically delivered that, then you want to ensure your company is present and able to compete with the best in the industry.
In addition, growing markets such as China, India, Russia and parts of South America have specific needs to find innovative mobility solutions. As their economies expand their governments are investing heavily into transportation infrastructure and look to implement the latest technology. They come to Intertraffic to see what is available and to discuss any particular requirements with exhibitors on the show floor.
Q. New to this year’s show is the Smart Mobility Centre (SMC). What is the thinking behind this latest development, how did it come about and what will visitors experience within the SMC?
A. This is a very exciting new event within Intertraffic 2012). There is no doubt that in order to effectively manage urban traffic and transport better, we need to be smarter and implement the latest technology based solutions to achieve the best results. This event will provide a fantastic insight into how real success can be achieved. This 3-day conference will take delegates through a series of themes that include in-car technologies, smart parking solutions, smart traffic management solutions, cooperative mobility solutions and even a cooperative driving demonstration that has been organized by Eindhoven Technical University of Technology (TU/e) that shows the collaboration between a mighty DAF truck with the tiny Volkswagen Lupo EL electric research vehicle! They show how the truck automatically responds to the speed of the Lupo EL and the distance between the two vehicles is maintained.
Tickets are still available for the 3-day Smart Mobility Seminar. There is a choice of tickets; 3 days for 195 Euros or a daily ticket for 95 Euros.
Q. CEVITTS is another new addition in 2012 which, as I understand it, has technology displays that are complementary to those found at Intertraffic. Please tell us a little more about this area and explain why a visit to this segment of the event will add to the overall ‘Intertraffic experience’.
A. The CEVITTS Conference runs alongside Intertraffic Amsterdam 2012 and deals with all issues around electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure with a practical focus on the business side of the accelerating development of EV Infrastructure. CEVITTS also comprises a specialist pavilion with solutions in the field of public, commercial and private electric vehicle charging systems and the deployment of charging technologies and the accompanying infrastructure.
There is a very good reason to run this event alongside Intertraffic this year. The imminent roll-out of mass market electric vehicles means that each country will have to deal with a new load on their grids and develop the necessary charging infrastructure both in public places and the home to support them. These stations won’t necessary be on the street corner but rather located at movie theatres, shopping malls, coffee shops, restaurants and the office car park. This rapidly growing network of public and private charging systems and the deployment of charging technologies and the accompanying infrastructure will provide manufacturers, wholesalers, installers, service providers, builders, designers, architects, importers, and agents with tremendous opportunities. CEVITTS 2012 will bring together the industry at large.
There is a charge for attending the CEVITTS conference and workshop programme: The full ticket fee is € 495, while a day ticket is available for € 295. All fees are excluding VAT, but including coffees, teas and lunches.
Q. The Intertraffic Innovations Awards are always highly sought after. How do this year’s entries compare to previous shows in terms of numbers and scope of the technology offerings?
A.This has been another terrific year for the Intertraffic Innovations Awards which have become very competitively contested! We are delighted that the awards are held in really high esteem .. Fourteen products and systems from 10 countries have made the shortlist. The winners will be announced at the Opening Ceremony this morning and receive their awards from Professor Fred Wegman, chair of the awards judging panel.
The scheme invited entries in five categories: Infrastructure, ITS/Traffic management, Parking, Safety and Smart mobility. In addition to the individual category awards, there will be an Overall Award and, for the first time, Sustainable Mobility Award Winner.
We would like to thank all the companies that took the time and effort to take part. For those who were unsuccessful this time we hope you will not be put off from participating again in 2014, and for the shortlisted companies we offer our congratulations.
Q. Finally, 2011 saw the first Intertraffic take place in India. Were you pleased with the outcome and, if so, what does this mean for further expansion of Intertraffic as an international brand?
A. Yes, we were very satisfied with the outcome in New Delhi, especially as it was a launch event. The quality of exhibitors was very high and it was especially pleasing to see many government visitors. This enabled the continuation of contacts and relationships between our exhibitors and key buyers. In total we welcomed over 3,000 traffic professionals to the event and the combined IRF conference so it was excellent.
Looking at our other international events, for companies that are interested in China, we will have a special China Business Opportunities session on Friday morning 08.30 hrs. Iit takes place the Smart Mobility Theatre in Hall 9 and it will give exhibitors a better understanding of the enormous potential that exists in this vast country. There will be a Chinese delegation on hand to answer questions and provide a fascinating insight into the Chinese market. There is still a limited amount of stand space available at the Beijing show, so if any exhibitors are still interested in participating (May 15-17, 2012) please see a member of the RAI staff who will be happy to help.
As far as Intertraffic Istanbul is concerned, the 2011 event was very successful and no doubt the show scheduled for 29-31 May 2013 will continue to grow both in exhibitor and visitor numbers. Finally, although Intertraffic Amsterdam 2014 is still two years away, we have already received a number of stand requests. The registration form for 2014 is available and our entire network of agents is present to give advice on participation possibilities. Should anyone wish to learn more about our portfolio of Intertraffic events, both from an exhibitor as well as visitor perspective, they are most welcome to meet our international team at the Intertraffic stand 01.117.