RETRO INDEX™20 (October 2021)

INDEX™20 Figures


We are pleased to present herein the data available about the exhibitors and visitors who have participated onsite in INDEX™20 between the 19-22 October 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Immediately after the exhibition, the organizers conducted a survey amongst both exhibitors and visitors. This study was conducted via an independent market research company through an online questionnaire. The objectives were to identify the reasons for attending the event and to assess whether INDEX™20 met the requirements and expectations of its target audiences. At the same time, it aimed to benchmark the performance in front of previous editions, as well as to identify areas where there is room for improvement with the will to enhance its value to all participants for the future editions.

In this report, the information provided by the research was complemented with registration data entered by visitors when registering for the on-site event. 

Together, these data sources provide an outlook of this last edition of INDEX™, which was held in a very particular context (Covid crisis and its worldwide impact). As it’s the case for every data sample and synthesis, the context is an important information input that can be regarded as “data” itself, and that should be integrated into the understanding of the information represented. Furthermore, collecting and visualizing data might even provide answers to questions we were not aware we had.

We wish you a good reading!

The INDEX™ Team



INDEX™20 exhibition took place for the 13th consecutive time in Geneva and gathered 503 exhibitors from 42 countries.
The INDEX™20 exhibition was planned to be held in March 2020 and had congregated over 700 exhibiting companies for this date. However, this was before the unexpected COVID-19 pandemics that was declared in January 2020, with all its worldwide impact on our lives.

Following this global situation, the INDEX™20 edition planned for March 2020 has been postponed until its final date on 19-22 October 2021.

Several companies who were registered as exhibitors for March 2020 were constricted to cancel their participation for the October 2021 edition.

Nevertheless, the October 2021 edition still gathered over 500 exhibitors who brought with them an incredible and unexpected enthusiasm to meet with their customers, and that along with the visitors made this edition an exceptional success!

Below, we can find a graphic indicating the exact number of exhibitors per country. The countries with more exhibitors were: Italy (113), Germany (80), China (58), and Turkey (43).

Compared with previous editions, the number of exhibitors evolved as indicated in the graphic below. It is to be noted that, while the registered exhibitors for the initial date for the event (March 2020) was the highest recorded in INDEX™'s history, the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemics reflects on the number of exhibitors that finally exhibit in October 2021. Bearing in mind that INDEX™20 could finally take place at the beginning of a recovery stage from the global sanitary crisis, the number of exhibitors can still be considered as high. The graphic below shows the comparative figures across the 5 last editions of the exhibition, including the number of registered exhibitors for the initial date of INDEX™20 (March 2020).

INDEX20 Figures

Below stands the comparison with the final numbers. If the October 2021 final number is under the average number of exhibitors for the 5 last editions of INDEX™ (551), a positive tendency can be read when we take into consideration this very particular context.

INDEX20 Figures


Geographical origin of exhibitors

Reflecting both the evolution of the nonwoven market and the effects of the particular global sanitary context in which the exhibition was held in 2021, we continue to observe a progression in the diversification trend of the geographical origin of the exhibitors overall.

At INDEX™20, there have been exhibitors from Northern and Sub-Saharan African countries, the Americas, different sections of the vast Asian continent and from a variety of sub-regions of the Middle East, together with a span of countries from Eastern and Western Europe. While the number of exhibitors from European countries remained overall stable compared with previous editions, some decrease was seen in the space occupied by exhibitors from the Asia Pacific region. The global sanitary context accounts for this variation. Still, the correspondent number of exponents is the second largest in the exhibition. In sum, the data shows how global the nonwovens industry is now.

Exhibitors from Western Europe once again were a majority at INDEX™20 accounting for 59.8% of the total of exhibitors, compared to 49.5% in 2017.

The following graphic shows the percentage of exhibitors per region on the total number of exhibitors for INDEX™20.

INDEX20 Figures

Please note that, if different sources might define the regions differently (and the countries thus included in them), and that the definition it’s often linked with different cultural constructs about geography and cultural affiliation -among other factors-, we have opted for the most frequently cited classification in encyclopedias and global population main data sources.

Exhibitors from Western Europe once again occupied the greatest exhibition area, the region accounting for 58.3% of the total m2 surface area, compared to 57.5% in 2017.

The following graphic shows the percentage of m2 per region on the total m2 surface area for INDEX™20.

INDEX20 Figures



Which where the main reason for exhibiting at INDEX™20 and how satisfied where the exhibitors with them?

The following graphic expresses the rank of preferred reasons for exhibiting.

INDEX20 Figures



The overall satisfaction with the exhibition INDEX™20 is shown in the next graphic.

INDEX20 Figures


INDEX™20 Exhibitors – Satisfaction with Business Impact

What was the satisfaction with the main aspects related to “Business Impact”? In the following table, we can find the main aspects for evaluating the business results and their correspondent level of satisfaction.

INDEX20 Figures


The overall satisfaction with the Business Impact during INDEX™20 is shown in the next graphic.

INDEX20 Figures


INDEX™20 Exhibitors – Overall Satisfaction with Visitors

Satisfaction with the visitors during INDEX™20 is reflected in the following graphic.

INDEX20 Figures




As an expression of the vitality and the dynamism of the industry, an impressive number of visitors participated at INDEX™20 in Geneva. In total, 9’359 entries were recorded onsite representing attendees from 104 countries, a great figure in the context of the COVID-19 pandemics, compared with the 12’758 visitors from 106 countries that was registered at the previous edition, INDEX™17.

This success gives proof of the resilience and the enthusiasm on all the sectors of the nonwoven industry, that has translated into an array of business opportunities. The positive outcomes of this exhibition were also expressed in numerous of comments about the joy to meet face to face again, after several months of travel restrictions (some of which were still in place), facilitated the opportunity to celebrate meetings, ensure leads, and close deals. As it is, reuniting most levels of the production chain, different sectors and specializations in one venue, was validated as a plus by many visitors.

Let’s look at the main figures that the visitor survey collected after INDEX™20.

Geographical origin of visitors

INDEX20 Figures

The second region, in terms of the number of visitors, is Eastern Europe, followed closely by the Middle East. As anticipated, these percentages are to be considered in the light of the particular context of this years’ exhibition, with travel restrictions and sanitary measures still in place in several countries or regions.

Visitors by company department

If we observe the visitors by the company department, we can see that the biggest percentages were represented by Corporate Management (14.3%), Production (14.0%), Research and Development Sales (13.5%) and Purchasing (13.0%).

INDEX20 Figures


Visitors’ Company principal activity

The principal activities cited by the visitors were: Hygiene (60%), Medical / Healthcare (43%), Cleaning & Wipes (34%) and Filtration (25%).

INDEX20 Figures


Number of visits to INDEX™

To the question: “Is it your first visit to INDEX™?”, 54% (more than half) of the visitors gave a positive answer. Visitors that have previously visited INDEX™, all categories together, represented a total of 45.5% of the visitors.

INDEX20 Figures


Visitors per age group

In the graphic below we can observe that the age group of 45-54 got the biggest percentage: 29.2% of the visitors. The next age group with the most visitors is the 35-44, with 24.9% of the visitors, and the age group of 55-64, with 23.1% of the visitors. These age groups are followed by a short distance by the age group of 25-34, representing 14.5% of the visitors at INDEX™20 this year.

INDEX20 Figures



INDEX20 Figures



As showed in the graphic below, the level of satisfaction with the exhibition for the Visitors amounts to 88% counting both very satisfied and satisfied answers. In the breakout of this survey’s question, the factor that collected more positive answers was “quality of exhibitors”.

INDEX20 Figures


Intention to visit INDEX™23

To the question about the intentions to visit the next exhibition, the survey’s registered a 90% of positive expressions, as showed in the graphic below.

INDEX20 Figures



The next edition of the event, INDEX™23, will take place at Palexpo in Geneva,
from 18 to 21 April 2023.


Magali Fakhry Dufresne
Exhibition Director
Palexpo SA
Route François Peyrot 30
1218 Le Grand Saconnex
Tel : +41 22 761 10 61
E-Mail :


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