Two years ago my last business trip was to Hannover, Germany, to attend the official press preview of the upcoming, but soon to be postponed, Hannover Messe. We knew things were happening in China that were bound to spill over to the rest of us. I don’t think anyone I talked with from any of several countries ever thought the situation would get as bad as happened.

Today I listened to that same preview from the relative comfort of my home office. 2020 experienced the Preview live and the Trade Fair virtual. 2022 will see the situation reversed. The Preview was virtual. The Trade Fair will be live, in-person beginning May 30.

Technology takes center stage at this event. There will be plenty of digital. Digitalization, digital twin, data, software. Many companies will be showing solutions for sustainability, decarbonization, climate change. I saw some new metal forming technologies. Connectivity and networking of many types will be featured.

I remember 10 years ago when the buzz was a new thing called cyberphysical systems. Much of that has been instantiated by now. But there is far to go.

Whether a trip to Germany is in the cards for me right now, I don’t know. It is an expensive trip. So far I have not been contacted directly by companies seeking audiences. I like Hannover, but it will take more than that to get me there. There are worse things than reporting from home.

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