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July 6 2021Covid-19 & Exhibitions

Coronavirus: The situation of the German trade fair industry

Current information

Trade fairs in Germany

According to the organisers' plans, around 380 exhibitions were to be held in Germany in 2021. So far, around 220 exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed to 2022 due to the uncertain general conditions. In many cases, the trade fair organisers have developed substitute formats, especially digital events with company presentations, interaction opportunities and digital congress programmes. So far, around 55 digital events have taken place.

In the meantime, the majority of the federal states have formulated concrete perspectives for a trade fair restart, which are dependent on falling below certain incidence values. These are important first steps on the way out of the trade fair lockdown. Because the economy needs exhibitions: they are excellently suited to win new customers, to make innovations tangible with all the senses and thus to present them convincingly. Find more information here on the Re-start of the trade fair industry and on the AUMA demands for the re-start, some of which have already been met.

In 2020, more than 70% of all exhibitions in Germany (368 were planned) had to be cancelled or postponed. For a number, the organisers have decided to postpone dates to 2021 as well as 2022. Around 50 digital replacement events took place in 2020. Exhibitors were thus able to maintain customer contacts and provide information about innovations.

AUMA offers the dates of the next trade fairs in Germany in its trade fair database at - both of real trade fairs and of digital formats. Further information on trade fairs in Germany and abroad is available from the respective organiser.

Consequences of Corona-related trade fair cancellations

The cancellation of trade fairs not only results in losses for the players directly involved, such as organisers, exhibitors, visitors and service providers, but also has serious macroeconomic consequences. Among others, the hotel industry, gastronomy, transport industry, etc. are affected. According to calculations by the Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry, the overall economic losses due to the cancellation of trade fairs for 2021 already amount to 19 billion euros; 150,000 jobs are at risk and 3 billion euros in tax revenue will be lost to the treasury. In total, trade fair cancellations since March 2020 have led to overall economic losses of 40 billion euros. Further information:

Regulations of the German Federal States on trade fairs

In many federal states of Germany, organising trade fairs is currently still prohibited. However, the majority of the federal states have already formulated perspectives for opening up trade fairs.

Conducting trade fairs in Corona times

After the first lockdown, larger real trade fairs were held again in Germany in September and October 2020. Around 20 events took place without problems and with good success. These included public fairs with international and regional appeal as well as trade visitor fairs with regional to national catchment areas and international participation. Around 270,000 visitors documented the strong interest in the trade fairs.

Trade fairs are business platforms where comprehensive hygiene and distance concepts can be implemented to protect the health of trade fair participants, as the trade fairs held in autumn 2020 also proved. Hygiene and distance concepts at trade fairs in Germany.

Entry requirements for trade fair participants from abroad

Trade fair participants from abroad are allowed to enter Germany as business travellers with good cause despite numerous travel restrictions worldwide. What foreign exhibitors and visitors must specifically consider before entering Germany can be found at here.

Economic aid granted by the German Federal Government

The temporary prohibition of trade fairs in Germany and other corona-related measures to restrict contacts will result in serious losses for many companies in the trade fair and event industry. For this reason, the German Federal Government has been providing extensive support measures, which are being successively supplemented and increased. Here you will find an overview of the state corona aid.

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