Hagen Scaffold Forum 2017 – it was just great!

Almost 3,000 guests from more than 700 companies. That is the impressive number that underlines just how successful the Hagen Scaffold Forum 2017 was. The motto of "Come on everybody!" was sounded out loud and clear from the company premises of scafom-rux Deutschland from 15 to 18 March. And, indeed, many scaffold users from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the neighbouring European countries did come along – there was even one visitor from Mexico! Almost all the visitors were immediately captivated by the specially orchestrated atmosphere of the 1950s on just entering the event location. From an original cinema foyer with film posters and a popcorn machine along a Main Street with real, genuine Cadillacs, American Diner and Milk Bar to a stylish, curved main stage in a plushy, glamorous red colour; yes, there was a lot to see that conjured up collective memories reminiscent of the 50s.

But firstly, after having enjoyed a small snack, the visitors were led into the auditorium where the expert audience – quite in line with the Forum tradition – was shown the new innovative products from the portfolio of Rux GmbH. "The products are new, but the approach is already a classic”, explains Stefan Kahlhöfer, Marketing Manager at RUX. "We briefly present the products and the intentions behind them and the users tell us their opinions about them by filling in the assessment survey sheet. Along with the talks and discussions that follow, we are able to gain a very clear impression of the ‘tops’ and ‘flops’. Then either a series part will result from the idea or it will be referred back for internal reconsideration or, logically enough, it will sometimes even find its way into the shredder."

Among the new products there were some interesting solutions for large projects (MULTI-ROOF and pedestrian bridges with a new K-Frame, suspended scaffold solution), normal "bread and butter" articles (new ladder frame, steel toe board, optimised access ladder) and some smart accessory parts with added value (brackets and system adapters, screw and anchor solutions). Overall, more than 40 new or modified articles were highlighted. An innovative abundance that stood in stark contrast to the retro backdrop.

The number of assessment survey sheets filled in led us to believe there had been “quite a high election turnout” – also something quite remarkable in these times and an important indicator for the interest in an event of this dimension. Subsequently, the visitors were set loose to stroll down Main Street – affectionately named "Brinkmann-Avenue" by way of honour to the head of the scafom-rux group of companies. Besides indulging in retro culinary delights there, visitors could also take in a number of specialised exhibitors or even decide in favour of a completely new hair-do, specifically created by the Rockabilly hairstylist especially engaged for this role. The themes that were taken up by the participating partner companies were also very fitting to the occasion: Scaffmax-Software showed its scaffold software that had been supplemented with some virtual reality features, the start-up company Kewazo provided some insights into the world of the fully-automatic scaffold assembly system of the future and followed up with some discussions, the Chamber of Crafts and various associations were just as well represented as were leasing and engineering offices. The hit among the co-exhibitors was without doubt the supplier that demonstrated individual scaffold markings using an ink-jet pistol.

When the visitors had then had enough of work for the day following a number of workshops, they could relax and make themselves feel at home with milk shakes, hamburgers or even some home-style dishes form the years of the “economic miracle” while waiting for the show programme to begin. Here, a brilliantly-performing “Marilyn-Monroe” ensured there would be numerous selfie-moments before really creating a sensation together with her artistic group with live highlights from the evergreen musical “Grease”, including some acrobatic rock'n'roll interludes.

The rest can be told in just a few words: An attractively illuminated street café atmosphere laid out against a wonderfully detailed setting simply invited friends and like-minded people to linger – and even to get talking to good-humoured “Ruxonians”. And once more, at the end, not only the visitors but also many Rux employees went home not knowing whether to laugh or to cry: ah, the good old days, they will never come back!