Pizza, pasta, Piacenza – a summary of the industry get-together in Europe

It is common knowledge that a lot of communication is lost online. Video conferences and phone calls can only partially replace a get-together in the real world. It was all the nicer for some of our eguanas to be able to spend two days at the Geofluid in Piacenza (September 15-16) in beautiful Italy. How did they fare at the first fair since Corona?

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Nice to have the city to yourself (Credit: Peter Weihs)

For over 40 years, the Geofluid trade fair has been attracting stakeholders from the civil engineering industry to sunny Italy. Held in beautiful Piacenza, a small town in northern Italy that is known for its churches in the Lombard-Romanesque style, the fair has much more to offer than pizza, pasta and a picturesque setting. In 2018, more than 355 exhibitors and more than 11,000 visitors, almost 3,000 of them from abroad, gathered on an exhibition area of ​​32,000 square meters. Canceled last year due to corona, this year we were particularly looking forward to attending the industry get-together and being able to find out about innovations in special civil engineering.

The early bird catches the worm, and in order not to miss the flight to Milan, “the first thing to do was to catch the S-Bahn to the airport at 6:20 a.m. – not always my time”, says Peter.

The new FFP2 regulation in public transport came as a surprise, but did not stop us (Credit: Michael Ouschan)

Thanks to Michael, who is a very experienced traveller, it was then quick and easy to head for Milan, “where we then lost 1.5 hours to get to our rental car … The waiting time was used to take in first impressions of Italian coffee and to absorb it intensely Prepare the upcoming talks.” A 3G proof was requested at all stations of the trip and also checked by means of a QR code – uncomplicated and well organized, „but showing and keeping all invitations / tickets was a challenge for me!“, drew Peter résumé. He was able to experience firsthand the worklife of our not-yet-customers, who still have to work with paper. Unfortunately, SCALES is not yet available for all areas of life – but we are working on that 😉

Digitization and data management on the advance

Not only in terms of 3G proof, but also in terms of content, there was great interest in “digitization topics and data management in general”, says Michael. “It felt like a lot of non-Italians were at the fair, I heard that from other exhibitors too. So it is actually the industry get-together in Europe.”

Normally Geofluid takes place every two years, most recently in 2018 – we reported about it in a blog post back then. Due to Corona, however, it was postponed from 2020 to 2021. “The highlight of the fair for me: eguana was recognized – that means we were able to leave a lasting impression on our previous conversation partners!”

At the exhibition, manufacturers from all over Europe have the opportunity to present new devices and measurement techniques, digitization approaches and technologies. The focus lies on the specialization in drilling and underground construction, the exhibitors come from all areas of underground construction. Their activities include the exploration of the ground and the extraction of raw materials, special foundations, soil consolidation and various geological, geophysical and geotechnical investigations. Exhibits were technologies and equipment for the exploration, extraction and removal of subterranean fluids; machines and devices for surveying, special foundations and tunnel construction; and tools for monitoring and analysis.

Focus was on the exchange of visitors, from the company owner to the marketing manager to the consultant – a point that we as a data management company support, as cooperation is a pillar of our work. We also communicated at the trade fair that we stand for open data processing. “That was very well received,” says Michael happily: “You could tell that many companies are advocating openness and that proprietary solutions are increasingly a thing of the past.”

View of the exhibition grounds
(Credit: Philipp Maroschek)

Quality time with the team

The last big meeting was two years ago – but apart from the mask requirement, not much has changed since 2019, says managing director Philipp. “There have been some exciting initiations for cooperation and in general the topic of digitization and data management in special civil engineering is much more present than it was a few years ago. A personal highlight for me was the time together with the team. From visiting the trade fair to jogging with Karl and Michael (although you have to say that Karl didn’t even break a sweat) to having dinner together and a beer or two. “

Spending time with the team was also the best experience for our miner Karl. “For me it was my first visit to the trade fair with eguana. As a person with an affinity for Italy i loved the fact that the “Geofluid” took place in Piacenza – espresso, cappuccino, pizza, dolce, … I of course knew the colleagues from the office and from the team events, but two days with an overnight stay allow again deeper insights.” He was able to observe a passion for fast cars and a general lack of orientation in one person (no, I’m not talking about me here), while another colleague made an impression as a master of buffet catering and a third one revealed a fetish for Chain drives.

Who doesn’t love tracked vehicles?
(Credit: Cesare Schwabl)

Karl was also particularly impressed by “the range of drilling rigs – from small machines to real colossi. The very large machines in particular were new to me in terms of their dimensions. “

As always, there was a lot to see at Geofluid (Credit: Philipp Maroschek)

Very large drilling rigs were to be found in the outdoor area of ​​the exhibition. (Credit: Philipp Maroschek)

Peter was particularly impressed by this combination of Mercedes truck and drilling rig. (Credit: Cesare Schwabl)

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On Thursday evening we finally went back to Vienna. “The long departure, caused by heavy rain, almost prepared you for home,” says Peter. And at the end there was still enough time to buy fridge magnets and chocolate for those who stayed at home in the duty free area. We don’t always have to be innovative pioneers 😉

Anna Riedler

When the sense of direction was distributed, Anna had just gotten lost. So much the better that her work has only peripherally to do with construction sites – she would probably never find her way back to the office. Instead, the studied journalist diligently writes texts for our homepage and our blog, as well as short personal descriptions with all the potential of being nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature.