Ligna‘s organisers acknowledge that this year’s exhibition will be held against the backdrop of a tough and uncertain marketplace. But they maintain the event remains the biggest, highest profile shop window for timber machinery and wood-panel processing equipment sectors and will still attract exhibitors and visitors in their tens of thousands from around the world.

The show is expected to feature over 1,700 stands, with exhibitors drawn from over 40 countries. And over the four-day event – May 26-30 – more than 133,000 visitors from around the world are expected to descend on the Hanover fair complex.

While timber and sheet materials processing technology remains the key focus of Ligna, it has also added to its attraction for visitors over the years by becoming a showcase for latest developments in the actual application of timber and wood products.


In the so-called Lignaplus section this year will be displays from furniture and joinery businesses, the timber frame sector, plus suppliers of veneers and panel products. In addition, there will be the well-established outdoor exhibition of forestry and sawmilling technology.

Another change this year will be Ligna’s inclusion of Hanover’s vast new, ultra-modern Hall 27. The hall itself is described as “light, airy and spacious” and it also enables the exhibition to be contained in a more compact area of the show grounds – which should make the whole experience simpler to plan and less tiring for the visitor.

Also making the visitor’s life easier in 2003, they can now register in advance online by going to the show website


The exhibition will also include a range of seminars and special presentations on technical and marketing issues.

One particular focus will be training and research. The German timber industry federation, the VDMA, will host a seminar on “Careers in Wood”. This will include lectures by experts in the sector and special presentations on product and technical developments for students, apprentices and experienced wood industry professionals.

In the research and training area in Hall 16, research institutes, universities and other bodies will demonstrate their current timber-related R&D projects.

Against the background of growing interest worldwide in the use of bio-energy and the increasing pressure to find alternative ways to dispose of woodwaste, there will also be a special presentation on heating with wood. Organised in conjunction with the Hanover Chamber of Agriculture, this will look at the whole process, from “the environmentally sound and economical production of wood fuel” to its conversion to heat and energy. Near Pavilion 32 a 120m line will be set up featuring the latest automated equipment for chipping woodwaste and offcuts, machinery for producing wood fuel pellets, accelerated fuel drying systems and the full range of burners and energy generating equipment using solid wood, chips and sawdust or pellets.

Manufacturers of the technology will be on hand to answer queries and discuss other waste-to-energy options.

House of possibilities

Another star attraction this year will be the “house of possibilities”, a complete home built in Hall 17 by the German Association of Skilled Trades to demonstrate latest developments in wood based construction systems and interior wood products. The display is targeting architects, specifiers and builders, plus timber and wood products companies.

Wood windows will feature in the house, and they also have their own 600m2 special display in the same hall. The latter will be run by the German timber window industry promotional campaign “Proholzfenster” and will include exhibits from window makers and installers highlighting latest design and technical developments.

Although it will be primarily focused on the domestic market, the German Timber Construction Awards held at the show are also expected to be of interest to visitors from abroad. This year they will feature two new categories. The first is for finished timber and timber frame buildings, with entries invited from architects, structural engineers and self-builders. The other new category is “innovative building products” which is designed to showcase “ecologically sound and innovative wood based systems of wood components for the construction industry”.

There will be 19 UK exhibitors at the show this year, the same number as in 2001. The Woodworking Machinery Suppliers Association is playing host to five machinery businesses on its stand in Hall 12 which will have facilities for companies to conduct meetings with potential customers and display products and services.