In September 2018 FachPack, the European trade fair for packaging, processes and technology, will go into its next round of events. And since October 2017, it has had a new face at the helm, in the shape of Cornelia Fehlner. The 31-year-old native of Amberg has succeeded Heike Slotta as Exhibition Director. Slotta will continue to be associated with FachPack but will in future be focusing on strategic matters and will have overall responsibility for FachPack, BrauBeviale, EUROGUSS and SFC Street Food Convention. Fehlner, who has a degree in cultural economy and geography, gained experience abroad while still a student, spending time in Paris, Prague and Brussels. In her last role she was the Business Development Manager for the municipality of Weiden in the Oberpfalz region. A little more than a month after she officially joined NürnbergMesse, we met her for a chat.
Where do you come from? What attracts you about the trade fair business?
Cornelia Fehlner: I was born in Amberg and studied at the University of Passau and in Eichstätt. My last job was as Business Development Manager for the municipality of Weiden in the Oberpfalz region. I am delighted to now be part of NürnbergMesse and to get to know a new sphere in my capacity as Exhibition Director of FachPack. I have always been fascinated by the trade fair business, and have had professional dealings with it as well. From my previous experience I can say that trade fairs are not just about selling but are an important platform for networking with all major market players and for establishing and nurturing customer relations. I have made use of trade fairs as a marketing tool in my previous roles. So I will keep on wearing my “customer hat”, to offer the greatest possible added value to exhibitors and visitors of FachPack. There are certainly a lot of synergies with my previous employment. As a business development manager, I promoted our town as the ideal location for e-commerce and logistics – areas that are also covered by FachPack.
How was your first month as Exhibition Director?
Naturally, the first thing I had to do was to get to know the organisational and sales processes and find my way around the large exhibition grounds. After all, the exhibitors at FachPack take up 12 halls, almost the entire exhibition centre area. I also used my first weeks to get to know my team and establish an internal network. It is important to me to immerse myself quickly in the packaging sector and to forge contacts with customers, partners and industry associations.
What goals have you set yourself for FachPack 2018? What do you plan to do?
I am putting association work centre-stage. Because it covers expertise along the process chain for packaging for industrial and consumer goods, FachPack is a very diverse sector. This means that my first task has to be to further develop my network, reinforce partnerships and devise new formats within the trade fair as a marketing tool. I would like to design inspiring concepts precisely tailored to the needs of the already very large numbers of exhibitors and trade visitors. In respect of other European countries in particular, my goals are to win over new market participants, strengthen customer relationships and consolidate the position of the FachPack marketplace as the No. 1 platform for the European packaging industry. In this context, my personal connections with our European neighbours will no doubt stand me in good stead.