It’s going to be the biggest and most international INTERSCHUTZ of all time. This Saturday, it will be exactly 100 days until the world’s leading trade fair for the fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security kicks off. Opening on June 15 in Hannover, Germany, INTERSCHUTZ 2020 will feature technological innovations, amazing fire and rescue vehicles, the latest machinery, gear and personal protective equipment, and quality information, networking and knowledge-sharing.
The last INTERSCHUTZ was five years ago, and a lot has happened since then. The megatrends of digital transformation, urbanization and demographic and climate change mean that societies worldwide – and the fire, rescue and civil protection services charged with safeguarding them – now face greater and often different challenges than just five years ago. Consequently, INTERSCHUTZ is now even more important than when last staged in 2015. “It is in times of change such as these that the world most needs an INTERSCHUTZ,” commented Deutsche Messe Managing Board member Dr. Andreas Gruchow. “INTERSCHUTZ is a platform for discussing key trends, a showcase for learning about the latest technologies, vehicles and equipment, and a gathering hub for building up networks and a sense of community and cohesion.”
This year’s show, which runs from 15 to 20 June, will be the biggest and most international INTERSCHUTZ ever. The organizers already have bookings for 115,000 square meters (1.18 million sq. ft.) of exhibition space, up from the previous record of approximately 108,000 square meters (1.16 million sq. ft.), set in 2015. So far a total of more than 1,500 companies and first-responder organizations from around the world have registered. The organizers have also achieved their declared goal of further boosting the show’s internationality. At 44 percent, almost half of the exhibition space at INTERSCHUTZ will be occupied by international participants, up from 37 percent in 2015. The biggest exhibiting nations, after Germany, will be Austria, Italy and the Netherlands, followed by the USA, China, France, the UK, Poland and Turkey.
“INTERSCHUTZ is very close to the hearts of a lot of people,” Gruchow said. “It is a B2B show that people attend with very definite procurement aims in mind, certainly; but it is also a powerfully emotive thing – like a keenly anticipated family reunion combined with the world’s biggest festival for the firefighting community.” INTERSCHUTZ is a major event that would not be possible without its numerous supporters, chief among them the official INTERSCHUTZ partners, namely the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA), the Firefighting Equipment Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA Feuerwehrtechnik) and the German Fire Services Association (DFV). The DFV is also the organizer of the 29th German Firefighting Convention, which will be held in parallel with INTERSCHUTZ and will attract even more members of the firefighting community to Hannover.
INTERSCHUTZ revolves around six main display categories: Fire Fighting (a large part of the show), Fire Prevention (featuring as a display area in its own right for the very first time), Rescue Services, Civil Protection, Communication & Control Center Solutions, and Protective Equipment.
This year is also the first time that INTERSCHUTZ has a lead theme. “Teams, Tactics, Technology – Connected for Protection and Rescue” will shape the displays and dialogue at the exhibition stands, forums and symposia. The “connected” aspect of the theme refers both to the opportunities and benefits of digital technologies and to the power of collaboration among stakeholder organizations and institutions.
Another key focus of this year’s INTERSCHUTZ is “Digitalization and Transformation”. It is the defining theme of Hall 16, which will be configured as a space for interactive learning and discovery, innovative thinking and new ideas. The hall will feature theme-specific walk-through displays that will explore the defining megatrends of our times and take visitors on a journey of discovery through the future of civil protection. The purpose of this part of the show is to bring together a range of perspectives, spark new ideas and initiatives, break down outdated structures and help actively shape the digital transformation process.
INTERSHUTZ 2020 is rounded off by an extensive program of supporting conferences, workshops and captivating action. Over the six days of INTERSCHUTZ, there will in fact be more than 70 of these side events. They will be held in the exhibition halls and – in the case of spectator events and live demonstrations of the latest fire vehicles and fire extinguishing technology and agents – on a large outdoor demonstration site. There will be knowledge-sharing and professional training sessions on offer at special summits on the rescue services and civil protection, fire prevention, incident-site hygiene and digitalization, at the “Transcending Borders” Civil Protection Symposium, and at the Hannover Emergency Care Symposium.
Meanwhile, career starters and changers will find the information they need at the Job & Career showcase. And of course, INTERSCHUTZ would not be INTERSCHUTZ without a thrilling mix of high-performance sport, physical contests and outright fun. Events of this type include the German High Angle Rescue Championships; the Holmatro Rescue Challenge (in which 29 teams from all around the world will compete for top honors), the S-Gard SAFETYTOUR Program, and, last but by no means least, the FireFit Championship, in which firefighters will go head-to-head in an all-out contest of strength, fitness and speed.
As a global event that welcomes participants from around the world, INTERSCHUTZ will be drawing special attention to a particular country on three of the show’s six days. On the Tuesday, the spotlight will be on exhibitors from France, on the Wednesday, Italy will be in the limelight, and on the Thursday, exhibitors from the USA will take center stage. This diversity of the show’s exhibitor lineup will likewise be a powerful magnet for visitors from abroad. National pavilions by Finland, France, Italy, Canada, Korea, Malaysia Russia and the USA, for example, will serve as a major drawcard for high-ranking visitor delegations from outside Germany. This international effect will be further amplified by numerous international side events, such as the meeting of the FEU Officer Development Leadership Program and the meeting of the ISO TC94/SC14 Firefighters PPE Committee.
The exhibitors and organizers are now kicking their INTERSCHUTZ preparations into high gear, and the same is true for visitors, judging by the ticket sales. Several hotels in and around Hannover are already fully booked for the duration of INTERSCHUTZ, but participants still looking for accommodation are sure to find what they are looking for at www.interschutz.de/en/for-visitors/accommodation-stay/