Events surrounding the show were tough this year between track maintenance on the main line, a transit strike in Hannover, and the security surrounding President Obama’s visit. Despite all that, the
show itself was a success. By the numbers:
- 190,000 visitors, 5,000 from the USA
- 5,200 exhibitors, 58% from outside Germany, 525 from the US
- 19 of the 27 halls were filled (about 2/3 of the 5.3 million square feet)
- 1947 was the first year of Hannover Fair
Check out the infographic for more facts and figures.
Some photos to give a sense of scale:
Although slightly off-topic, here’s how I dealt with the travel and security challenges:
The main train line between Frankfurt and Hannover was getting some track maintenance done. Since I’ve been attending Hannover Fair since my Wonder years, I knew this is normally less than a 2-1/2 hour trip. This year it was an hour longer both directions.
Tuesday featured a one-day transit strike for Hannover. The Fair tried to remedy the problem by running buses. I got to the bus stop 15 minutes before the bus was due to hear that there was one bus coming but 3 bus-loads of travelers waiting. I was told one train was running to the fair, the S4. Hot-footed it to the ticket machine and just caught the standing-room only train. Of course it arrives and departs from the furthest possible entrance from our hall.
Security was intense due to the president’s visit. I had to apply weeks ahead for a special security pass. Arrived at the appointed entrance at 6:15am after directing the taxi driver to the obscure entrance. The security line took over an hour to pass through three security portals only to get a final wanding. I passed the wanding and was allowed to skip the fourth security portal. Now I get to our booth in a hall that is locked down so no visitors may enter. That gave me time to chat with my PI colleagues and visit some PI North America members’ booths.
I was right on the rope to watch the president and chancellor pass by. The policemen to my right and left counseled me not to reach over past the rope. Here’s the photo sequence from the close encounter
And here’s me in the background making sure I got the photos: