The Marbach Group, has existed for almost 100 years. But we are not only a successful company and world market leader in our field, but also a successful exhibitor at many international trade fairs.
The origin of the decision to actively participate as an exhibitor at trade fairs is to be found in 1966. Then, Karl Marbach Junior visited a large exhibition for the very first time in his life: the interpack in Düsseldorf. Here, visitors could inform themselves about packaging machines and packaging materials.
Eleven years later – in 1977 – Karl Marbach was again in Düsseldorf at a trade fair, but this time as an exhibitor. The "drupa", trade show for the printing and media industry, was an important international event: with more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 20 countries exhibiting there and showing their innovations to the 285,000 visitors. Marbach's participation was a great success. From that point until today, drupa has been the company's most important trade fair in the field of die-cutting technology.
Tina Dost, Marketing Manager of Marbach: "The timing for participation at the 7th "drupa" in 1977 was perfect, because the upswing, after surviving the oil crisis, began again and many domestic and international visitors, visited our booth number 6293 in hall 6. And so, our trade show team at that time could not only welcome existing customers but also many new customers from abroad. At this event, visitors learned more about state-of-the-art steel rule cutting: this ranged from the use of two CO2 lasers and 32-K byte process computers, to the possibility of storing programmed data on punched tape. After the show, all our visitors were personally contacted." Thus, participation in drupa ensured contact with new customers both nationally and internationally.
The success of our participation in this first exhibition continued at many other trade fairs around the world.
In 1988, Marbach exhibited for the first time at PacPro in Düsseldorf. This had a somewhat different approach than drupa, because it specialized primarily in the packaging industry. PacPro brought together manufacturers of packaging as well as tool, packaging material and machine suppliers. Marbach Stanzformtechnik and Werkzeugbau both had a booth at the trade show. In 2003, PacPro was discontinued – but Marbach still remained committed to the industry-specific trade shows. From the 1990s to this day, Marbach Stanzformtechnik has been exhibiting at FachPack – a trade fair specialized in industry packaging – in Nuremberg.
However, not only Marbach Stanzformtechnik, but also the Marbach Werkzeugbau division can look back on many trade fair exhibitions: the most important one for this branch of the company has always been the plastics trade fair "K". Like drupa, this also takes place in Düsseldorf. To this day, Marbach presents its products and innovations here in three-year cycles.
In addition to the packaging specific trade fairs, Marbach was also present at the world's largest industrial fair, the Hannovermesse, through the 1990s and early 2000s. Marbach attracted special attention at a joint booth of the "Equipment Suppliers, Components, Suppliers Baden-Württemberg" in 2001. In the "Heilbronner Stimme" newspaper of April 26, 2001, it was reported that Marbach's booth had been a real visitor magnet. The reason for this was the new CAD-controlled waterjet cutting machine marbajet, which the visitors could experience live in action.
Dost further explains: "The trade fairs are an important part of our marketing activities for maintaining customer loyalty and for acquiring new customers. That's why we align activities such as new product developments, a new homepage or a new corporate design with our participation in trade fairs. Each exhibition has its own appeal: whether it's 3 days at FachPack, 8 days at K or 11 days at drupa. At the trade fair, we not only meet customers, but also make many new contacts including sales colleagues from all over the world. This welds the Marbach team together as well as being lots of fun. In the more than 25 years that I have been on the road at exhibitions for Marbach, I have experienced so much that I could probably write a book out of all the amusing anecdotes."
But then, during the Corona pandemic, there was a new development in the field of trade fairs: in addition to face-to-face events, exhibitions now developed online and hosted hybrid events so that attendees from around the world could dial in online. Dost continues, "Although we participated in some online trade fairs as well, we found however, that an online event is not an adequate substitute for an on-site exhibition!"
For 45 years, Marbach has been a trade fair exhibitor in many cities around the globe. Sometimes close to home e.g. in Stuttgart and Sinsheim, or sometimes a bit further away as in Düsseldorf, Hanover, Leipzig or Nuremberg. But the list of cities where Marbach exhibits does not end there. Here are just a few examples: Basel, Istanbul, Moscow, Barcelona, Singapore, Birmingham, Brussels, Paris, Gothenburg, Chicago, Beijing or Alexandria. Sometimes single individuals from Marbach represented the company, sometimes large trade fair teams provided visitors not only with information in many languages but also small snacks. Each and every representative has contributed to the company's continued success with their commitment and ability to convince and will continue to do so in the future.
Trade fair appearances have changed considerably over the years: in the beginning, the focus of an exhibition was purely on the technology. Now, trade fairs are about networking in a good atmosphere, talking, and building relationships.
Participation in trade fairs has been an important factor in the development of the Marbach Group. But probably the most important milestone for the great success of the Marbach company was the introduction of the first laser system in European diemaking. You will learn everything about this far-reaching investment decision of Karl Marbach Junior in the fourth part of this series: "100 years of Marbach. A major milestone: the use of laser systems in die-cutting technology."
In 2023, we will be able to look back on 100 years of company history. After this special event, the next big event for us is already waiting to happen next year: In one year – exactly on May 28, 2024 – the leading trade show of the printing and packaging industry, drupa in Düsseldorf, will finally take place again.
We are at home in the packaging industry. Almost 100 years ago, we began in Heilbronn as a 3-man business with a small workshop measuring 36 m² (4 x 9 m). Today the company has 1,600 employees worldwide at many locations around the globe. In Heilbronn alone, the total area for production and administration is 24,352 m².
As a result of this expansion, space in the existing buildings has repeatedly become cramped over the years. As a consequence, new buildings and extensions have had to be built.
In addition to our comprehensive portfolio of cutting-dies, we also offer compatible storage systems. The Marbach Die Storage System (MDSS) has been designed for packaging manufacturers seeking optimally functioning in-house logistics.