Written by Adam Tank, Chief Customer Officer
Despite a decade in the water industry and attendance at almost every major international water show, I had yet to cross IFAT – Munich off my list.
Seeing 100,000 of my closest water friends buzz around buildings upon buildings of water & wastewater treatment was eye-opening and I can’t wait for the next one.
Here are my top three takeaways from this year’s conference.
1. Digital solutions are no longer ‘the future’ – they are the present
The number of booths that were ONLY software, and to a larger degree, combined hardware & software, made up 80%+ of the tradeshow floor. Even the ‘old school’ players seem to be getting on the train, with many featuring connected machinery as the FIRST display in their booths, rather than tucked away in the corner. Data generation, capture, and reporting for all kinds of water & wastewater assets is here for good.
2. Waste to energy was a major focus
Entire booths (and even halls, to some extent) were dedicated to waste to energy technologies. It appears that vendors are taking notice of the value embedded in wastewater and have spun up technologies & services to capture that value. I anticipate this being a ‘hot topic’ in the years to come, just as big as PFAS or other emerging contaminants are now becoming.
3. Content capture was commonplace
I hadn’t witnessed companies hiring full camera crews until IFAT of this year, where semi-permanent recording studios were set up in a number of booths to record interviews, showcase product demos, or even livestream from the conference. Water companies are traditionally quite bad at storytelling, so to see this emphasis and investment in content generation was an unexpected positive.
I am hopeful that these categories will continue to be commonplace at other major industry tradeshows. This ‘old, slow’ industry might be showing signs of hope after all 😊