With more than 1100 exhibitors: Ligna 2023 is open for business once again from May 15-19th 2023 celebrating its return with a comprehensive overview of the furniture, woodworking and wood processing industry. Despite everything that’s currently going in the world, the organiser confirms Ligna’s status as the world’s leading trade show with 105,000 sq m of exhibition pspace Global players and renowned companies from all over the world come together to showcase tools, machinery and equipment as well as smart solutions and new technologies.

In addition to companies from Germany, firms from Italy, Austria, Turkey, Spain, China, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark and the Netherlands account for the largest proportion of exhibitors by area. In the process, the world’s leading trade show has even been able to expand its exhibitor portfolio: this year, more than 180 first-time exhibitors intend to take advantage of the opportunities for business initiation and networking.

“Ligna offers a unique overview of the entire value chain of the woodworking and wood processing industry. It is the premier international showcase for innovations and the widely recognised stage for world firsts. We have been receiving a wave of euphoria from the community ever since planning began. The industry is looking forward to the face-to-face experience in Hannnover,” said Dr Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, highlighting the importance of the event at the Ligna.Preview which took place back in February. “At Ligna 2023, visitors will meet exhibitors from 44 countries. This is where trends are set and discussed that shape the industry and point the way to the future.”

Ligna focus topics move the industry

Ligna 2023 will also live up to its role as a trendsetter in its choice of focus topics. The topic of digitization is shaping the development of the industry and is a prerequisite for production that is as resource-efficient as it is flexible.

Under the title ‘Woodworking Transformation,’ it is also receiving a great deal of attention at Ligna. Exhibitors will show how far the networking of machines, tools, components and materials has already gone and will present innovations in the fields of robotics, automation and software. The buzzwords Smart or Connected Factory, Industry 4.0 or Internet of Things and IoT platforms will continue to become tangible at Ligna with concrete examples.

On the way to an economy based on renewable resources, wood as the most important renewable raw material forms a central foundation. The wood-based bio-economy is considered an innovative technology driver. The framework conditions for expanding resource-efficient wood use are part of the European Green Deal and pillars of a circular bio-economy. This is a development that will rightly be the focus of attention at Ligna 2023.

On display will be development lines of the wood-based bio-economy and technological innovations for responsible use of natural resources, as well as process technologies for shaping chemically digested wood fibres.

Wood is also steadily gaining (or should that be re-asserting?) its importance as a recyclable building material in the construction industry. The share of total construction volume accounted for by purely timber buildings and timber-mixed structures is growing continuously both nationally and globally. Ligna reflects this industry trend in the focus topic “Prefab Building Processes”: Because the increasing importance of timber construction also results in new requirements for technology and equipment.

At the Ligna.Preview, Bernd Oswald (GROPYUS) and Professor Achim Menges (University of Stuttgart) spoke on this topic. Conclusion: The construction industry needs a technology boost to produce in a contemporary and efficient manner - in prefabrication as well as on the construction site. At Ligna, interested parties can discover suitable solutions and approaches that will determine the future of timber construction.

On-site and digital: Ligna.Stage, Guided Tours, Ligna.Recruiting & Ligna.Campus

The Ligna.Stage presents the live audience in Hall 12 with a varied forum program of solution- and user-oriented presentations and panel discussions along the Ligna focus topics as well as recruiting and sustainability. For those who cannot be present on site, the various program items will also be available as a stream live and on demand on the Ligna website.

Visitors can also look forward to the Guided Tours again – this year in a hybrid format. The tours offer a tailored overview of various topics. In groups of up to 25 participants, interested parties will be guided to selected exhibitors and given exclusive presentations and live demonstrations directly at their stands.

Like the Ligna.Stage program, the Hybrid Guided Tours are available live and on-demand in streaming in English and German on the Ligna website.

“By streaming our additional formats, we want to make Ligna and relevant industry developments accessible to those who can’t be there on site,” says Stephanie Wagner, Ligna Project Manager. “Independent of location and time, we can thus extend Ligna’s appeal far beyond the event period.”

In addition, a networking service is available to all event participants. The Ligna ticket is a prerequisite for access. After registering, visitors and exhibitors can activate the service via the Ligna website and then receive contact suggestions and the opportunity to arrange appointments.

In view of the shortage of skilled workers and concerns about young talent, Ligna also provides an overview of research, education and career opportunities in the woodworking and wood processing industry. The Ligna.Campus provides information on education and training courses offered by universities, technical colleges and technical schools. Teaching also presents current research projects.

At Ligna.Recruiting, potential employers meet interested skilled personnel. A digital job wall allows companies – whether exhibitors or visitors – to post attractive job offers. This offer can not only be viewed and accessed digitally at the recruiting area at Ligna, but is supplemented by on-site opportunities for personal matchmaking between human resources and interested parties and by company pitches from participating companies.

One ticket, twice the business

Visitors will also benefit again this year from a special ticket cooperation: whether interzum (May 9-12th, 2023, Cologne) or Ligna (May 15-19th, 2023, Hannover) – the admission tickets for both trade fairs entitle the holder to visit the partner event in each case. This gives visitors an all-encompassing overview of furniture manufacturing and interior design, as well as the woodworking and wood processing industries.

Main focus of Ligna 2023

Ligna encompasses the entire value chain of the woodworking and wood processing industry and presents itself in a total of seven product segments:

  • Tools & Machinery for Custom & Mass Production (halls 11–15, 27)
  • Surface Technology (halls 16, 17)
  • Wood Based Panel Production (hall 26)
  • Sawmill Technology (hall 25)
  • Energy from Wood (halls 25, 26, open-air site)
  • Machine Components and Automation Technology (hall 16)
  • Machinery for Forestry, Roundwood & Sawntimber Production (open-air site, P32–35)