HANNOVER, Germany – European woodworking machinery expo Ligna is gearing up for its 2017 season, show organizers report, with 90 percent of exhibition space already booked.

“Ligna is on track for success. Compared to the same stage in the planning cycle for the last show, we are well ahead in terms of booked space,” said Christian Pfeiffer, Ligna director at Deutsche Messe, co-runners of the expo along with the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association.

Ligna 2017 will be held May 22-26 in Hannover.

The central focus of the upcoming show will be on intelligent concepts for integrated manufacturing across all links in the wood processing chain. Integrated manufacturing opens up major opportunities for companies seeking to develop new business areas, boost productivity and build their competitive edge, says Deutsche Messe. LIGNA 2017 will showcase the close interplay between and ongoing integration of the virtual and real worlds – across the entire value chain of the timber processing and woodworking industries.

The upcoming LIGNA will see smaller providers showcasing themselves alongside major players. Exhibitor locations at the show are now based on salient aspects of technology use, giving rise to completely new display clusters. Visitors, in particular, may benefit from this revamped layout plan, designed to provide access to specific segments and themes of the industry.

Ligna organizers say exhibitors are pleased with the new hall layout scheme, which in some cases has even led to exhibitors booking more space for enlarged presentations.

Repeat exhibitors with a significantly greater footprint in 2017 include Biesse, Bürkle, Cefla, Felder, IMA, SCM and UNIMAK. Also among their number will be Festool, represented at two separate booths. The 2017 show will also feature numerous first-time exhibitors, such as RS Wood from Italy, Aigner-Werkzeuge from Austria and Vector Systems from New Zealand. Newcomers in the surface technology display area also include many internationally renowned companies, such as Intergroup Plastik (Turkey), Unison (Poland) and IVM Chemicals (Germany).

Organizers expect around 1,500 visitors, with more than half from outside of Germany.