Exhibitions continue to hold an outstanding position in the business-to-business communications of German exhibitors. The companies want to invest around 48% of their B2B budgets in domestic and international exhibition appearances in 2020-2021 – exactly as much as they planned one year ago for the 2019-2020 period. This is one of the results of the AUMA MesseTrend 2020, a representative survey of 500 German exhibiting companies conducted by the KANTAR (TNS Emnid) market research institute and commissioned by AUMA – the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.
Trade fair budgets are remaining stable at the same time. The companies want to spend an average of 231,000 euros for 2020 and 2021; for 2018-2019 they invested 232,000 euros. Some 29% of the exhibitors want to spend more for exhibition appearances in 2020-2021, 53% want to invest about the same, and only 17% plan lower expenditures. However, smaller companies make up a disproportionate share of those that want to spend more. By contrast, larger companies with sales of more than 125 million euros plan minor budget cuts more often than smaller firms. This results in hardly any effect on the average level of exhibition budgets.
Those companies spending more on exhibitions are investing primarily in the quality of their appearances, especially in stand construction and size. Those planning less investments are mainly choosing not to appear at certain exhibitions, and are therefore largely maintaining the quality of their existing presentations.Of note is the level at which companies are active at exhibitions in addition to their stands: some 46% indicated on the survey that they attend associated conferences, special shows on individual topics or are involved in other supporting programmes. That considerably increases the benefits gained from the expenditures planned for their exhibition stands.
In the words of AUMA Managing Director Jörn Holtmeier, “Exhibitions remain a constant in the communications of nearly all companies with a B2B approach. They are often in fact the most important instrument, even though their budgets are reviewed now and again. After all, precisely the export sector with its ever increasing degree of complexity requires personal contacts and comprehensive product information, both of which can be accomplished superbly at exhibitions.”
Ever more German exhibiting companies are present not only in their domestic market but also at exhibitions abroad. That is the case for an average of 44% in the years 2020-2021 compared to only 39% five years ago. Of companies with sales of more than 125 million euros, around three quarters are also active at exhibitions in other countries (61% five years ago).
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