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    Backstage

    drinktec retrospective: A few final notes

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    20. September 2022
    6:00 min.

    Five days of the drinktec made for thousands of experiences: drinktec 2022 has ended, but the conversations and impressions will continue to resonate for quite some time.

    The drinktec is like Christmas: The weeks leading up to it are long, dragging on until you can hardly stand the excitement and anticipation. And when the week finally arrives, it seems to fly by in a matter of seconds. But although the calendar says the week is over, the many impressions and conversations will continue to resonate for quite some time. On Friday evening, the intensity and fullness of the five days of drinktec were clearly etched on the faces of the Krones team. And hardly anyone could resist the temptation to take one last look back as they departed the hall.

    The same is true for us, the Krones magazine team. Although our jam-packed editorial calendar is already calling with new topics, we took a moment to ask ourselves what we hadn’t covered in our live communications. Read on for our top five unanswered questions from drinktec – and our answers, of course. Enjoy!

    Number 1: What was the story with the selfie sticks?

    Some early-morning visitors may have wondered: Who are those people at the Krones booth carrying around selfie sticks and talking into their phone cameras at this hour? Well, they weren’t up-and-coming influencers. They were members of Krones’ China sales team. Because China’s quarantine rules prevented their customers from traveling to Munich, the team took the fair to them – digitally. Each customer received an exclusive livestream, in which the team member explained the exhibits in detail and fielded questions. It was a creative and pragmatic solution – and clearly fun for everyone involved. In China, large groups of colleagues often gathered together to watch the livestream. Doing trade fairs as public-screening parties? The idea definitely has trend potential!

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    Number 2: Why an entire hall?

    Which topics will we showcase at our booth? Which exhibits should we take along? These are the obvious questions we ask ourselves ahead of every drinktec. And sooner or later, we always come to the same conclusion: We have 11,000 square meters and it’s still not enough. Just like every other exhibitor at a trade fair that brings together the entire industry, we want to deliver a show that is both unforgettable and relevant. Because let’s face it: Our next chance won’t come around for a few years. Besides, given the sheer diversity of our customers, products, and subsidiaries, by the time the next fair does roll around, so much will have happened in terms of projects, development, and ideas that we will once again face the same dilemma of having too little space. So, it’s not just visitors who wonder whether we really need an entire hall. We ask ourselves the very same question, though we probably ought to know the answer by now.

    Number 3: What was the highlight of the fair?

    The bigger the event and the broader the variety of topics covered, the more difficult it is to choose just one highlight. Or at least, that is usually the case. But this time we were almost unanimous that one thing was bigger and more exciting than all of the technical topics: being together in person. That was something we just haven’t had enough of these past few years – sharing a table, talking, laughing, and enjoying good food together. The best spot for that was Krones’ own alpine hut, located at the heart of our booth.

    Andreas Schmidt, owner of the catering company Prinzipal, and his 110-strong team took care of our guests, serving up wonderfully varied three-course menus and creative snacks. To ensure that everything could be prepared fresh, a professional kitchen was set up in a tent just outside the hall. Each day, some 3,000 meals were prepared there – plus 600 more for the hospitality tent for the Krones staff manning the Krones booth. Every single meal was served with a warm smile and kind words – despite the fact that the hut’s 775 seats were fully booked almost all day long and the last lunch meals went out just as preparations were underway for the evening’s events. “At some point, just for fun, we started comparing our step counts after our shifts. My team averaged 36,000 steps, with one topping out at 40,000 steps,” recounts Andreas Schmidt. Despite their tired feet, the Prinzipal team is also wistful as they pull up stakes in Munich. “We’ve been part of the Krones booth since 2005, and we’re always very happy when things start up again, says Schmidt.

    The great atmosphere, the way everyone is so clearly happy to see each other, the many nations and cultures coming together – it’s something really special for us. Erwin HächlAndreas SchmidtOwner of Prinzipal

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    Number 4: A bar that only serves water? 

    That, too, elicited some surprised looks. But only briefly. Because anyone who risked a peek behind the bar found Florian Köglmeier and his colleagues, all trained water sommeliers and part of the Krones Water Design Team. Their mission at drinktec was to show visitors just how multifaceted water can be – and how it’s possible to produce a water that suits your own personal tastes. With their geniality and expertise, the water sommeliers were able to elicit a “Wow!” from even the biggest sceptics. Because who knew that a heavily mineralized water with high calcium content can turn some juice spritzers, like rhubarb, hazy? Or that a water with a high sodium content can help cure a hangover (say, after partying too long in Krones’ alpine hut – see question number 3)? If guests needed an explanation for the water tastings at the start of the drinktec, by day two they were making a beeline for the water bar. “One visitor told me he only came to the water bar because three different people had recommended it to him while he was on his way to the Krones hall,” laughs Florian Köglmeier. 

    Number 5: What will happen with the vision boards?

    Everything is going digital – or is it? Our vision stage, at the center of our booth, relied entirely on analog and hand-drawn materials to turn heads. Gabriele Schlipf and her team sketched out what they heard, in real time, on six-sided black columns. It was an amazing experience for guests and Krones staff alike. They were able to watch as their thoughts and ideas literally took shape. Since there were as many as three artists at work at any given time, the black vision boards filled quickly – drawing a steady stream of visitors to see them.

    Although the topics discussed – especially sustainability and digital transformation – were often very abstract, the visual “simultaneous interpreters” always found surprising ways to render the content of the conversations, often with a tongue-in-cheek flair. “Because the drawings represent ongoing thought processes, they have a slightly unfinished look to them,” explains Gabriele Schlipf. “They can and should serve as a source of inspiration and help the ideas continue to grow in peoples’ minds long after the trade fair is over.”

    So, those were our top five open questions, though there’s plenty more we could talk about. For example, did we mention that our furthest-travelled guests journeyed 40 hours to Munich from Papua-New Guinea? Or that our trade fair team was already planning the tear-down while the stand was still in its final week of construction – so the hall would be ready for the next show by this coming Friday? If you have specific questions that we still haven’t answered, please feel free to post a comment on our social media channels or message us directly!

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    20. September 2022
    6:00 min.

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