April 15, 2021
Texcare International is the leading trade fair for the textile care industry. After the trade fair was canceled last year, Texcare is to take place from November 27th to December 1st, 2021. In the interview, Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim, Head of Texcare International, speaks about the current plans and the challenges for the industry in the pandemic.
Another seven months, from November 27th to December 1st, 2021 exhibitors, visitors and media representatives will meet at Texcare International in Frankfurt am Main. Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim, Head of Texcare International, speaks in an interview about the current booking situation at the world’s leading trade fair, the challenges for the industry and the longing for personal encounters – in real life and in color.
Mr. Schmid-Wiedersheim, the early booking period for exhibitors ended on January 29th. What is the current planning status?
Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim: “It surprised us, but by the early bird deadline even more companies have registered than at the comparison date before the postponed Texcare 2020. The most important companies from all product groups in textile care will be there again. That’s a great result and makes us optimistic. I think it also shows how much the industry wants personal encounters and international exchange. There is a great longing to meet good business partners again, to experience technology in live operation, yes, to orientate oneself as an industry together and to align for the future. And of course the companies shaken by the crisis are hoping for concrete impulses for business at a time when the corona pandemic in Europe has hopefully become manageable. ”
In your opinion, what is the mood like in the industry? What feedback have you received for Texcare International?
“We get it mirrored from all sides: 2020 was a very challenging year for the industry. The burden of Corona were everywhere highly and real dramas took place in individual establishments. The slump, especially in tourism, in the hospitality industry and in the private customer business, is immense, and that is no different for us in the trade fair business. However, there is still the prospect of a significant backswing once the pandemic is over, despite the uncertainty as to how long normalization will take and which trends will outlast the crisis in the long term. In many laundries, sales of work clothing have declined somewhat less, despite short-time working. This also applies in the area of flat linen for hospitals and care facilities, where admission stops and the postponement of predictable operations have had an impact. The topics of hygiene, security of supply and sustainability in the sense of textile recycling economy have here at the same time gained in importance and the know-how and experience of the textile service providers will in the end perhaps be even more in demand than before. ”
What are the next steps up to Texcare International?
One focus is of course on the topics that have just gained momentum due to the pandemic, such as digitization, the development of new business, hygiene and sustainability. I am curious to see how we will look back on this time in a few years; I am sure that a large number of positive changes will remain and the creative ideas that have now been developed will have a lasting impact on the industry. In order to support the innovation boost also from newcomers to the industry, we have decided to support young companies with a start-up package for the first time at Texcare International. Other supporting program items are the World Textile Services Congress, which will take place during and after Texcare on December 1 and 2, 2021, the Cinet Best Practices Awards on the first day of the fair, as well as a special program for young professionals.”
In the positive case, travel activities will be almost normal again by November 2021. But what it will look like in concrete terms is difficult to say at the moment. What do you offer for visitors who cannot travel to Texcare?
“We firmly believe that by the end of November travel and business activities within Europe, but also with other trading partners, will largely function again. It is important – despite the special circumstances – to look positively into the future and not to put your hands on your lap. The European proportion of visitors to Texcare has always been the largest at 80 percent. The non-European visit will not least depend on the respective vaccination status, and here too many countries around the world are making progress. If we look at the globe and look at our other trade shows for textile care, a certain continental focus can be expected everywhere in the short term.
The Texcare Asia & China Laundry Expo, for example, worked very well again for the Chinese market in autumn 2020 and this development will certainly continue at the Clean Show 2022 for the American continent. But of course we definitely want to preserve the character of Texcare as a leading international trade fair. That is why we are working flat out on concepts for how visitors from overseas can visit the fair this year in a purely digital manner. It is very important to us to convey the innovative character of Texcare.”
What if the epidemiological framework should not allow it and the event has to be suspended?
“Unfortunately, nobody has a crystal ball that can tell us for sure what is to come. We are constantly coordinating with the industry and will find a solution for such a situation as well. But two things are certain: firstly, textiles must continue to be cared for and processed, and we want to be the industry’s partner to enable the exchange live. Second, digital events cannot replace people’s desire to meet face to face. That’s what the last year taught us. And that’s why my team and I are doing all we can to make a personal encounter in the industry possible. I look forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors to Texcare International in Frankfurt. Until then: Stay healthy and above all hopeful. “