Hannover/Perth. Germany's civil protection and rescue services and standards are highly regarded around the world, and German companies will be leveraging this positive image at the upcoming AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ event in Perth, Australia (5 to 8 September 2018). AFAC is Australia's leading emergency management showcase and has a combined congress and exhibition format. This year marks the first time that AFAC will feature a German pavilion. The pavilion is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Industry (BMWi) and organized by the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA), which is also a co-promoter of INTERSCHUTZ 2020 in Hannover, Germany. The AFAC trade show is a joint project between the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and INTERSCHUTZ organizer Deutsche Messe.
The lead theme for this year's AFAC show is "Changing lives in a changing world" – a challenge the German exhibitors can certainly relate to. "This year's lead theme strongly reflects our own philosophy," said Ewald Haimerl, Managing Director of Haix-Schuhe Produktions- und Vertriebs GmbH. "As an innovative high-tech manufacturer, our goal is to develop the world's best professional footwear – for the heroes of today and tomorrow. AFAC powered by INTERSCHUTZ is an important meeting point for the emergency services community and hence the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our products and forge new contacts." Haix is one of 10 co-exhibitors at Germany's national pavilion. Another member of the German contingent is Luitpold Schott Armaturenfabrik GmbH. "We're all about innovation and we would like to share our innovations with the Australian market," explained Jeffrey Shirly, the company's head of technical marketing. "As always, we will be expecting the unexpected," he said. "Our philosophy is to cultivate very close working relationships with our customers, because in our experience this can often lead to completely new, unexpected projects."
The other co-exhibitors at the German pavilion are Alro Engineering, askö, the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA), Jakob Eschbach, protectismundi, VTI Ventil Technik, Wagner Group and Zapp Zimmermann. There are also a number of companies from German-speaking Europe that have opted to run stands of their own at AFAC18. These include Bauer Kompressoren, Dräger Safety, ESKA, LHD Group and Mercedes Benz from Germany, and Rosenbauer from Austria.
This year is the first time since 2012 that AFAC has been staged in Western Australia. The trade show has enjoyed steady growth in recent years. Last year's event in Sydney featured 189 exhibitors, and this year the number is expected to rise to over 190. The conference program is a critical part of the event and in 2017 was a key contributor to the AFAC's overall attendee turnout of 3,200. "The conference program and networking opportunities are attracting many senior emergency management professionals," said Harvey Stockbridge, the Managing Director of Deutsche Messe's Australian subsidiary, Hannover Fairs Australia. "We are also working closely with a variety of agencies on targeting industry professionals who work on the operational side of emergency management. This mix of senior decision-makers and industry practitioners is ideal for our exhibitors."