The official opening was done by a number of officials, among them the mayor of Izmir mr. Aziz Kocaglu, president of TOF, the Turkish bus operators trade organization, Mustafa Yildrim, Head of Transportation Planning Department from Izmir’s public transport company Eshot, Hakan Uzun Özet, Didier Ramoudt, President of Busworld International and Bekir Çakici, head of HKF Trade Fairs, responsible for the Busworld organization in Turkey. After the official cutting of the ribbon, the fair was officially opened in a shower of glittering papers.
Although some people had been wondering about how this move from Istanbul to Izmir would effect the number of exhibitors and visitors, it was clear from the very first minute when the exhibition opened its doors that it was going to be a success. Buses kept stopping at the gate of the exhibition ground unloading their passengers for a visit to Busworld. In total 10,040 visitors from 107 countries visited the 115 exhibitors from eighteen countries. The exhibition had a net surface of 10,500 square metres, making it even a little bigger than the previous edition in Istanbul.
Another way to measure the success of the exhibition is the fact that actual business was being done: buses were sold and lots of business negociations were held, resulting in several contracts. The biggest exhibitor was BMC, who is working on an impressive comeback after having disappeared from the bus industry for a couple of years. They had the largest (3,000 sqm) and also the most entertaining booth at the show with performances of a very lively Turkish dance group, a famous electric violin player and many more impressive acts. Every day there was a new surprise.
The Turkish manufacturers trade organization claims that the bus export industry is worth 1,15 billion USD. So in that perspective it makes sense that Busworld Turkey attracts lots of visitors and companies from abroad like the middle-east and other neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Iran. Many Turkish companies are indeed focusing on export, Otokar being one of them, as well as Güleryüz, Safkar and many others. Anadolu Isuzu for example is building a strong connection with Europe, especially France, exactly like what Otokar has been doing. International brands like Allison Transmission, ZF, Cummins,
Fasching, Fogmaker, Hübner, etc. were also represented in the fair. One of the visitors was heard saying that it seemed like he was walking in a big one-stop-shop supermarket with a complete assortment to produce a bus.