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German Trade Fair Industry’s Recommendations for the Restart of Trade Fairs in Germany

The Federal Government and the Länder are acting decisively and forcefully to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The German trade fair industry supports this action. The protection of all trade fair visitors, exhibitors and employees has always been a priority for the industry. AUMA, as the association of the German trade fair industry, together with the German trade fair companies already drew up proposals in April 2020 for holding trade fairs that take into account the hygiene and safety requirements of the respective federal states. The globally exemplary infrastructure at the trade fair location Germany offers the best conditions to fulfil all hygiene and distance regulations.

In principle, it should therefore be possible to hold trade fairs again as soon as possible under the following general conditions:

  • Securing physical distance by allowing for a general minimum distance of 1.5 m between individuals within the whole compound
  • Observing the hygiene standards specified by the Robert-Koch-Institute
  • Securing tracking of participants

From our point of view, the following conditions and measures will have to be considered when it comes to evaluation and realisation:

Index of capita per square meter

Concerning the number of visitors per square meter, exhibitions are clearly different from other event formats. There is the duration of trade fairs, for instance. Exhibitions usually take place full-time (8-10 hours per day) and span several days. This sets them apart from any other event format.

And there is a significant difference between 50,000 participants gathering for a few hours in one place and the same number of people spreading over a much larger area for several days, in order to do business. During an exhibition visitors will never be in only one spot but will rather be spread spatially and temporally.

Participants can maintain the required minimum distance from each other at German trade fairs and still achieve their business purpose.

The behaviour of trade fair visitors is not geared towards a collective emotional experience but is focused on transfer of information and know how, or a deal. This situation per se does not induce a high ratio of capita per square unit. The recommended minimum distance in accordance with individual health protection can be achieved by the visitors’ behaviour as depicted before as well as in combination with additional organisational measures.

Already trade fair organisers are regulating the visitors’ numbers within the en-trance areas, the halls themselves and the conference rooms by a calculated ratio of people and space. Trade fair organisers have long-term experience in doing so and they are able to apply individual solutions according to the event. By adjusting surface areas or by limiting visitors’ numbers the organisers accomplish the observance of the minimum-distance-rules.

Moreover, it is characteristic for exhibitions that the number of entrances and exits can vary depending on the individual event format. This feature can be utilized actively for a corresponding dispersal of visitors. The observance of the requisite distance can be supported additionally through consistent crowd-management (i.a. guidance system, signage) and, if applicable, by support of trained personnel and technology.

Hygiene standards

Die konsequente Beachtung der jeweils geltenden Hygienestandards bildet eine konzeptionelle Grundlage für jede Durchführung von Messen. Die deutschen Messestandorte verfügen bereits über eine hervorragende Infrastruktur, die schon jetzt höchste Hygienestandards gewährleistet.  Aktuell wäre hierbei folgendes vorzusehen bzw. ist bereits gegeben:

  • Exhibitors are provided advice to include physical distance and potential facilities for personal hygiene into booth-design and planning of their trade fair course of action.

  • Before and during exhibition, starting before setup and journey: active and continuous information of exhibitors, visitors and suppliers about requisite measures concerning protection against infection to be observed by everybody such as:
    • Providing measures for hand sanitation and according facilities
    • Observing acknowledged physical distance
    • Prioritizing of “no-handshake-policy” 
    • Self-discipline concerning hand-touches-face
  • Strict hygiene regulations on site, particularly frequent cleaning of collective facilities and surfaces

  • High number of facilities to wash hands; providing a disinfection system in entrance areas, at info-points and catering areas is already part of trade fairs’ infrastructure

  • Trade fairs are able to provide a good ventilation of all buildings and spaces due to built-in air-condition-systems.


In order to enable targeted contact tracing in cases of suspicion, trade fair organisers take appropriate measures in the run-up to and during the event. All exhibitors, visitors and service providers on the premises are registered with their name and address. Visitor tickets are usually only available online and refer to fixed visiting days. These options are already in use at the trade fair venue in Germany and can be expanded accordingly.


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