From 2nd-6th June, the Gran Via venue will host the 19th edition of Equiplast, Fira de Barcelona’s International Meeting of Plastic and Rubber. In this interview, the director of the trade show, Pilar Navarro, reveals the main new features of the most significant trade fair event of the sector nationally and one of the most important in Europe.
Question: First, can you tell us why Equiplast is taking place in June and not in October, as it used to?
Answer: The first joint holding of Expoquimia and Equiplast was in 1984. The two leading sector events have been held jointly and simultaneously, because of the more than evident synergies between the two sectors. From the outset, the organisation of Fira de Barcelona has always been attentive to their needs and concerns. That is why, in response to a request from the main players in the sector, we have moved it to June, a more suitable month for its commercial, communication and marketing policy.
Moreover, we believe that Barcelona is a destination that offers numerous attractions in June for both exhibitors and visitors, which makes us optimistic about the next edition.
Talking about attractions, what will Equiplast 2020 offer in comparison to the 2017 edition?
Every three years, the organisation of Equiplast takes on the challenge of designing and organising a trade fair event that can surprise everyone, as well as being a great business opportunity for all professionals in the sector. And in this regard, working hand in hand with the main associations, entities and companies, we have designed a trade show that sets out to highlight and assert the importance of this sector for the socio-economic development and welfare of all.
We want to emphasise that the sector is doing its homework in environmental matters both by legal obligation and moral conviction, as well as to demonstrate that the commitment that the sector is making to recycling and circularity is real. Thus, we will have a scale model recycling plant, Reciplast, which will operate throughout the trade show. Accordingly, we have announced the first edition of the Equiplast-Shape the Future Awards, which will reward projects or products made from recycled plastic or other sustainable materials.
Can you tell us what Equiplast 2020 will be like?
Hall 3 of Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue will once again be a major production centre, highlighting the strength of the sector. We will have several activities to recognise the effort the sector is making to minimise and reduce its environmental impact without losing its level of competitiveness.
At the same time, we will offer leading professional visitors the opportunity to see the new items from the main exhibitors through eight sectoral routes in closed groups of 25 people according to their sector-specific application.
We will complete our offering with several days of discussions and seminars that will focus on three main themes: the circular economy, technology transfer, and digital transformation.
Which sectors will be present in Equiplast 2020?
As a flagship event, year after year, we will once again have a wide representative sample of all the segments that make up the plastics and rubber sector, which is fundamental for socio-economic development. We will have a large presence of Italian, German and French exhibitors, as the most representative countries, as well as a large number of Spanish firms both manufacturers and distributors.
What kind of actions has Equiplast carried out to publicise the 2020 edition among exhibitors and visitors?
We are aware of what the change of dates means for professionals in the sector, which is why we have drawn up a programme of actions to approach the market, listen to its concerns and encourage debate.
We have maintained an extensive agenda of contacts with the main associations and companies in the sector from all over Spain and in partnership with Fira de Barcelona’s international affiliates to publicise what Equiplast has to offer, together with Expoquimia and Eurosurfas, in the international arena.
At the international level, we have designed an International VIP Buyers Program, focusing on the most accessible foreign markets such as North Africa and Latin America, which has enabled us to secure the presence of various reverse trade missions.
Finally, as director of Equiplast, what are the main challenges facing the plastics and rubber sector?
The sector must continue to work along the same lines as it does now in terms of its commitment to sustainability and the circular economy. Accordingly, I believe that all the players must continue to work to disseminate the advantages of plastic and to value its contribution to people’s well-being to counter those voices that are demonising the sector.Pilar Navarro