Interlift 2009, What A Week!

Over 18,000 attendees and 450 exhibitors took part in the industry’s largest exhibition last week and Elevator World was there.  Spanning four full days (9 a.m. until 6 p.m.), Interlift provides a huge platform for the international elevator community to come together in the quaint German village of Augsburg.  This was my third trip to Augsburg and, once again, I left with many contacts, new ideas, great memories and sore feet.

Augsburg, the second oldest city in Germany, is approximately a one-hour drive northwest of Munich.  Best of all the drive from Munich to Augsburg is via the famed Autobahn.  Two years ago while attending Interlift, I personally had to give the new BMW I was renting a good “test drive.”  And no, we here at EW don’t usually rent BMW’s on business trips, that’s just the “standard” car you get from the rental company in Germany.  Really!

As you would imagine, it is very cold in this part of the world during October.  However, this was the first time out of my three trips that it has actually snowed.  Most of the week was light rain and sleet but while leaving the exhibition on Wednesday evening a good downpour of snow began to fall and on into the night.  Although the snow was a nice alternative to the rain, I was happy when greeted by the sun upon my arrival back home in Mobile, AL USA.

As always, the food in the Bavarian region is hearty and appetizing.  One of the only downfalls of spending 7 days in Germany is that you have a very high chance of leaving with tight pants by the end of the week.  That means bye bye to Wiener Schnitzels and Bratwurst and hello to salads! 

In addition to the 6 fully-packed exhibition halls, there were a wide range of topics presented by top industry personnel.  Just a few of the presentations consisted of:  Trends for Modern Gearless Traction Machines, Energy Efficiency in Lifts, Improving Maintenance, Quick and Automated Measurements of Hoistways and Standardized Network for Lift Control Systems.  You can view a full list of presentations here.  You can also look for a full report on the exhibition in an upcoming issue of ELEVATOR WORLD.

By the fourth and final day of the exhibition everyone was ready to head home and kick up their feet for a few days.  However, some folks like us at EW, have longer travels home than others.  And, what a trip home it ended up being!

After packing up our booth we drove back to Munich for an overnight stay that would allow more sleeping time for our early morning flight.  Seven hours into the flight, somewhere in northern Canada, an older gentleman had a mild heart attack that led us to land in Goose Bay, Newfoundland so he could receive medical attention. We sat on the plane for nearly two hours before we took off for another 4 hour flight to Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Of course we missed our connecting flight and spent a very long 3 hours awaiting the next available flight home.  We finally touched down at home late Saturday night, just over 4 hours later than our initial arrival time.  As I look back at the week, with all said and done, much was accomplished and countless hours were logged.  There were meetings, snow, dinners with old friends, long days on the exhibition floor, great food, interesting conversations, emergency stops in unexpected places and good old business deals.  What a week! 

Oh, and my feet still hurt. 

Read On,


P.S.  Look for some photos from around the city to come soon.

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