"Successful? It was very successful, making contacts, exchanging our opinions on the German political situation, talking about the might of the Chinese and the upcoming Indians. Oh and not to forget the south east Asians who are getting into the game," commented one weary photovoltaic module salesman.
What many were looking for, clocking in miles on their pedometers, were solutions. Solutions for the new laws that have been implemented, solutions for the changes that the governments were making and changing again thereafter, solutions to strengthen the solar industry.
In terms of hot topics, storage was the secret buzz. One person commented that it is going to be as important a theme in photovoltaics as cutting costs and increasing efficiency. "It is one of the key enablers to open up new markets and new applications. At least that is my not so humble opinion!" they said.
The major players like Trina Solar went all out to bring people together with their elaborate parties on mega scales, with attractive stars to sweeten the gatherings. Others kept it humble, with meetings at their stands and focusing on closing deals and signing papers.
Marketing, as some companies believe, is the key towards bringing attention, recognition and, consequently, clients. Other companies told pv magazine that they prefer to remain quiet in the marketing side and focus their attention on improving and innovating their products.
Companies from other industries, which are taking their first steps in the solar sector got recognized this year at Intersolar as well. Some were awarded with the prestigious Intersolar Award for their breakthrough products, despite being around for only a short time.
People were easy to reach, eager to talk and happy to share (the weather probably played a massive part as well … many called it ‘conference weather’).
Overall, the atmosphere was relaxed in a sense and everyone saw the positive side of things, despite the bad news that came pouring in from the political side. "Yes, the UK cut the tariffs. So what! It is only for larger installations," said one mounting systems manufacturer active in the European market. "And the German market can also be expected to pick up as well, so we ought to stay positive," he added.
Positivity is something Intersolar Europe 2011 radiated. Despite the lack of the sun all three days.
According to the organizers, a record 77,000 visitors from 156 countries flocked to the trade show. Furthermore, a total of 2,280 exhibitors presented their technologies and services in the fields of "Photovoltaics", "PV Production Technology" and "Solar Thermal Technology" across an exhibition space, which spanned 168,000 square meters, and included 15 exhibition halls and an outdoor exhibition area.
Check out the rest of the Intersolar Europe news, and read our candid exhibition reporter blogs. Watch out also for the July edition of pv magazine, which will include more indepth Intersolar coverage.