Coronavirus: Current information

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February 18 2021International

AUMA calls for a new start concept

In view of the current Corona-induced lockdown, AUMA is calling for trade fairs to be allowed to be held again, along the lines to the time when the retail sector was opened up. All trade fair participants - exhibitors, organisers, visitors and service companies - now need a perspective so that successful trade fairs can also be held for the benefit of the entire economy. To this end, AUMA has formulated the following key points:

  • Trade fairs are central instruments for initiating business, presenting innovations and negotiating cooperations. This applies in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises as the backbone of the German economy.

  • Trade fairs must again be classified as business-oriented events in accordance with the resolutions of 6 May 2020 and must not be assigned to leisure events as in the resolutions of 28 October 2020.

  • Due to long lead and planning times of the organisers and exhibitors, an opening perspective must be formulated at an early stage.

  • Due to the similarity of business processes and spatial structures, a basic permission of trade fairs has to coincide with the opening of the retail trade.

  • Tried and tested standards for health protection at trade fairs exist and only need to be reactivated.

  • Trade fairs offer excellent framework conditions for health protection such as spacious areas to control the flow of visitors, modern ventilation systems and full registration of all participants.

The situation of the German trade fair industry

A large number of the 2020 German trade fairs had to be cancelled because the uncertain general conditions did not offer any planning security for exhibitors and organisers, but also directly due to official orders. For a number of trade fairs, the organisers have decided to postpone dates to 2021 and 2022. More than 70% of all trade fairs planned for 2020 in Germany (a total of 368) were cancelled or postponed. However, in many cases the trade fair organisers have developed substitute formats, in particular digital events with company presentations incl. interaction possibilities and a digital congress programme. Around 50 such events took place in 2020. Exhibitors were thus able to maintain customer contacts and inform them about innovations.

According to the organisers' plans, around 380 trade fairs should be held in Germany in 2021. Already about 110 fairs have been cancelled or postponed to 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic.

AUMA provides up-to-date information on postponements and cancellations of exhibitions in its exhibition database at, but also about the dates of planned digital formats. As soon as we become aware of changes, the data will be updated. Further information on trade fairs in Germany and abroad can be obtained from the respective organizer. For your trade fair planning, please also use the AUMA data on the next trade fairs in Germany and abroad.

The cancellation of trade fairs not only results in losses for the directly involved players such as exhibitors, visitors, service providers and organisers, but also has serious macroeconomic consequences. The sectors affected include the hotel and catering industry, the transport sector etc. According to calculations by the Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry, the overall economic consequences of cancelling trade fairs amounted to 21.3 billion euros for 2020; 176,000 jobs were at risk or on short-time work and 3.43 billion euros in tax revenue were lost to the treasury.

Regulations of the German Federal States on trade fairs

In view of the currently very high incidence figures, fairs are still not possible in all federal states in Germany.

Conducting trade fairs in Corona times

After almost six months of standstill due to corona, major real trade fairs were held again in Germany in September and October 2020. Around 20 exhibitions have taken place without any problems and with good success. These included public fairs with international and regional appeal as well as trade fairs with regional to national catchment areas and international participation. Around 270,000 visitors documented the strong interest in the trade fairs in the first two months after the new start.

Trade fairs are business platforms and are essential to get the economy moving again quickly and sustainably. They cannot be compared with folk festivals, open-air festivals or sports events with high visitor numbers. After all, at trade fairs hygiene and distance concepts can protect the health of trade fair participants, as the trade fairs in Germany now taking place have proven. All information on the Hygiene and distance concepts at trade fairs in Germany.

Entry requirements for trade fair participants from abroad

Since the end of September 2020, an exception has been in force for trade fair participants from abroad, according to which trade fair participants may enter Germany from abroad as business travellers with good cause, despite general travel restrictions. What foreign exhibitors and visitors have to consider before entering Germany can be found 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 in 2020 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 since the spring, which are being successively supplemented and increased. Here you will find an overview of the state corona aid.

+++ AUMA colleagues will only work mobile until further notice. Please use the e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers published online to contact them.+++

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