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September 6 2021Restart

Coronavirus: The situation of the German trade fair industry

Current information

Trade fairs in Germany

After a standstill of almost 15 months with a short interruption in autumn 2020, exhibitions have again been taking place in Germany since the end of June 2021. By the end of the year, a total of 113 trade fairs are planned, including 57 with international or national significance. According to the organisers' plans, around 380 exhibitions should be held in Germany in 2021. So far, around 70% of the international or national fairs and almost 60% of the regional exhibitions have been cancelled 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 63 digital events have taken place. 

The economy needs exhibitions, because 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.

In 2020, more than 70% of all trade fairs in Germany (368 were planned) had to be cancelled or postponed. For a number of trade fairs, 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. Overall, German trade fair organisers recorded a 70% drop in turnover.

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 exhibitions does not only result in losses for the directly involved actors 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 exhibitions in 2021 already amount to 20.6 billion euros. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the damage amounts to 42 billion euros, 165,000 jobs are at risk and 6.7 billion euros in tax revenue will be lost to the treasury. Further information:

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 cancellation of trade fairs in Germany and other corona-related measures to restrict contacts have resulted 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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