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Istanbul Hosts Internationals for the 12th Time

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Complete coverage of Asansör 2011, including a tour of the exhibition hall, begins here.

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, with a population of over 13 million. It covers 39 districts in the province of Istanbul and is the country’s cultural, economic and financial center. Most famously, Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world that sits on two continents –Europe and Asia. While it is not known for its high-rises, the mega-city has successfully hosted 12 elevator expositions in 25 years and has a thriving elevator association, AYSAD (Turkish elevator association). Presently, the Turkish economy is faring better than that of other European countries. In the construction industry, capacity is close to what it was before the recession; unemployment is decreasing; and building developers are active, but still have an inventory with which to deal. The national growth rate is 10%.

Held again in Tüyap, a full hour’s drive from downtown Istanbul, the exposition hall was everything for which exhibitors could hope. Two halls were added to the space from the previous expo in 2009. Confusion reigned in the early moments of the event’s first day, as exhibitors rushed around cleaning equipment and setting up last-minute signage. The magazine’s and associations’ booths were in the very back of the last hall (see Comments, p.18), so our problems getting the booth set up were not noticed, as few visitors got that far until late morning.

The Asansör 2011 grand opening and ribbon cutting was delayed several hours to accommodate the Turkish Minister of Industry and Commerce, Nihat Ergun. This presentation was accompanied by many local television reporters and other media. The primary speaker was Sefa Targıt, past president of AYSAD, head of the exhibition committee and general manager of Asray. He noted that the ministry had assumed the greatest burden in the process of harmonization. “The lift industry,” he said, “through AYSAD, entered into close cooperation and worked in harmony with the Directors General of Industry.”

He speculated that there were approximately 250,000 existing lifts in Turkey, and two-thirds of those have no inspection, supervision or maintenance. “It will be possible,” he said, “to create jobs for around 10,000 people through modernization and monthly maintenance of all existing elevators as required.” A number of Turkish officials were in attendance, providing additional prestige to the event. At the opening of the main exhibition, a number of representatives gathered to hear the welcoming addresses given by Selhattin Durak, gen-eral manager of Istanbul Fair Organization (IFO); Timur Erk, president of Sedefed (Federa-tion of Industrial Associations); Targıt; and Ergun. After the speeches, Ergun cut the ribbon and toured the expo with media and officials in his entourage.

A tour of the halls revealed machines of every size, shape, type and color. My favorite was pink and purple. Permanent-magnet machines continue to be offered by almost every supplier. Leaving the hardware aside for aesthetics, we saw beautiful cabs, ceilings, interiors and changeable panels, as well as hall and cab stations of every hue. One car panel had live goldfish swimming inside.

Fully operational elevators dominated the center of every hall, but there were also several full-sized escalators in operation. While there were many Turkish suppliers hoping to expand their range, there was an equal number of multinational exhibitors looking to participate in the vibrant Turkish marketplace.

By mid-afternoon on day one, the exhibits were active, and visitors had reached all corners of all halls. The next two days, Friday and Saturday, proved to be even more successful, with good crowds for most of each day. Your publisher met a number of visitors from Iran and Iraq. The four-day exhibition hosted nearly 400 companies from 37 countries. Some countries brought large delegations of exhibitors, with China being the largest. The official statistics from the organizers was 43,152 visitors, indicating a 39% increase from the previous year. While visitors came from 60 countries, the Middle East and Europe were heavily represented. From the U.S., there were two exhibitors, Hollister-Whitney and Draka, and a handful of visitors.

One evening, IFO brought most of the media together for dinner and drinks after the exhibits closed. The following evening, AYSAD and IFO took speakers at the congress and personnel of the magazines and associations for a lovely boat ride on the Bosporus. For many, it was an opportunity to see the beauty of Istanbul, golden at sunset with Europe on one side and Asia on the other. It was a fitting end to a remarkable event.

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