Sustainable concepts for trade fairs and in-house events

    Krones attaches great importance to sustainability at events – from construction of the stand through selection and coordination of the exhibits all the way to catering.
    • This year’s AGM in Regensburg’s marinaforum was rated according to certain economic, ecological and social criteria. Krones scored 714 out of a possible 892 points – leading to it being awarded the Green Note Seal of the my-green-meeting.de competence network. 图片来源:


    At the beginning of June Krones invited its shareholders to the annual general meeting (AGM). The venue for this year's event, the marinaforum in Regensburg, is optimised for sustainability – from the energy supply through mobility to catering by local partners. It’s a concept that Krones also identifies with, given that sustainability likewise plays an important role in every single area of the company – and that goes for events too, of course.

    The AGM is just one of the more than 90 events which Krones organises or attends every year. Whether trade fairs, customer days, jobs fairs, the AGM or the Capital Market Day, Krones’s events calendar is full to the brim. On average, we or one of our subsidiaries will be represented at an event eight times a month in 2024, either as exhibitor or as organiser. The great majority of these are trade fairs, as Sandra Schindlbeck of the trade fair team explains: “In 2024 we are planning to be at 53 trade fairs in 23 countries on five continents. And whether in Chicago, Nuremberg, Dubai or Shanghai, wherever we are in the world we naturally want to ensure that visitors recognise us.”

    Image 40101
    The most important trade fair is definitely drinktec in Munich. Here Krones and its many subsidiaries traditionally occupy a complete hall, roughly 11,000 square metres.

    In-house “trade fair kit” for each region

    Krones develops a new trade fair and communication concept for every drinktec. This then remains valid for the following four years. “When it comes to building a stand especially, the long life of the various elements such as walls, platforms and display cases plays to our advantage,” says Charles Schmidt, who is responsible for Krones’s communication concept as Head of Cross Media Solutions. That’s because, with sustainability to the fore, the individual elements are not, of course, constructed again from scratch for every single event. Instead, Krones works with a fixed set of stand construction equipment for each region or continent. This is then passed on from one trade fair to the next in that area. “By always reusing the elements within a region, we are acting sustainably while at the same time keeping purchase and transport costs as low as possible,” Charles Schmidt continues. Krones manages the necessary logistics by working with permanent partners for major trade fairs, while for smaller events we also use local stand constructors.

    Image 40102
    Stand elements such as walls and display cases are used multiple times. That is why there is a separate kit for all trade fairs of a region.

    Alongside reusing materials, Krones has consciously taken the decision to dispense with single-use elements such as carpets, which would otherwise have to be disposed of after the fair. Nor are any product flyers printed, as these generally get just a cursory glance before ending up in the wastepaper basket. The only promotional gifts that Krones normally distributes are gummy bears to fortify visitors for a day at the fair.


    Keeping transport distances short

    The physical exhibits are an essential part of trade fairs where Krones has sufficient exhibition space available. Krones takes the decision on whether and how many lines and components are displayed on the stand based on a combination of various criteria: “Firstly, they have to make sense in the context and fit in with the theme of the fair. Then, of course, we need the appropriate amount of free space, because large exhibits such as fillers, labellers and tanks take up significantly more room than a platform with valves or pumps,” Sandra Schindlbeck adds. Transport costs too, though, are scrutinised closely. “Every line that we display at a trade fair has already been sold to a customer – and later it will be installed in the region where the fair is being held. That means we are not shipping a filler from Neutraubling to a fair in Dubai before then transporting it to the future plant in Brazil, for instance,” she underlines.

    Travel costs also under scrutiny

    The issue of travel costs plays an important role not only for our lines, but also when it comes to organising staff for the trade fair. The region in which the event is being held will also provide the majority of staff, such as the information counter team and the local sales colleagues. These are supplemented by experts from Engineering or, of course, those employees who have arranged specific meetings with customers at the fair. “We try to utilise personnel synergies as much as possible – but at the same time we can never completely avoid situations where colleagues will board an aircraft just for this one event,” says Sandra Schindlbeck.

    Image 40105
    At events in the regions, the majority of employees also come from there, supplemented by experts from Germany.

    When Sandra Schindlbeck talks of “Krones”, by the way, she means not just the AG itself, but the subsidiaries as well. Every trade fair, after all, sees all Group members for whom the particular event is relevant gather together under the Krones umbrella and join forces at the fair, “except, of course, if the theme of a fair is one that is really only limited to the core competence of a single subsidiary,” says Sandra Schindlbeck. “Even then, though, we will naturally consult closely and work according to the same basic concept.”

    Hybrid versions also possible

    If you’ve got the impression, though, that Krones only gets involved in specialist fairs, you’re well off the mark! “We’ve actually got another 40 events this year at which we will be representing Krones,” says Charles Schmidt. Among these he cites not only careers fairs at schools and universities, but also events that Krones itself is organising: customer days, investor relation events such as the AGM and the internal employee meetings, to mention just a few. “Here too, though, of course, we want to be sustainable as far as possible,” he underlines. “This is naturally easier for us to achieve at in-house events. When the local circumstances and the number of participants allow, it makes sense, for instance, to hold a customer day in our own plant rather than renting external premises.”

    Image 40106
    Customer days are often also held in-house, in this case an event run by Krones Lifecycle Service in October 2023 focusing on the returnables market.

    There are also virtual options for other events: At the quarterly Capital Market Days, for instance, investors can decide whether to attend in person or virtually. Of the two employee meetings held each year, one is staged on site in the plants, while the second is designed to be a purely online event. “The virtual events established themselves during the coronavirus pandemic, and we have retained them as an alternative for at least some occasions,” Sandra Schindlbeck explains. “I think the mix is a good one – it doesn't always make sense, after all, to gather everyone together in one place if some of them have to travel long distances to attend. At the same time, though, there should also be an opportunity to engage face-to-face with each other, because that creates a whole different vibe from sitting in front of the screen.”

    It is precisely this aspect of personal contact – both with other Krones workers and with visitors – that delights Sandra Schindlbeck time and again. “It always takes a lot of organisation, coordination and work to prepare and organise an event, whatever its size. Things get particularly stressful just before the start – when you don't know, for instance, whether all exhibits will actually make it to the trade fair in time or logistics or customs authorities wreck all your plans,” she adds. So it’s all the better looking into the many interested and sometimes even fascinated faces when they see our stand for the first time – and even more so when you get positive feedback straight away. Then you know that all that hard work has been worth it.”


    在我们的 Krones.shop 您可轻松请求无约束力的报价。