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June 22 2020Media Release

Strong trade fair programme planned for 2021

  • Trade fair restart in Germany from September 2020

  • AUMA Chairman Philip Harting: Trade fairs will give impulses to many industries

  • More exhibitors and stand space in the 2019 exhibition year

The exhibition organisers in Germany are planning a particularly extensive range of trade fairs for 2021: Around 190 international and national events are on the programme, 20 of which have been postponed from 2020 to next year due to the corona pandemic. In addition, there are almost 160 exhibitions with a regional catchment area, so that according to the current status, almost 350 events are to be held, which have been listed by AUMA - Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.

For 2020, around 145 exhibitions are still on the agenda from the end of August, including 75 of international or national relevance. 30 of the 145 events were moved from the first half of the year to the second half due to corona reasons. According to AUMA Chairman Philip Harting: "Trade fairs will again give impulses for purchasing and procurement to many industries, by presenting innovations and through personal trust-building communication".

However, the implementation depends in individual cases on the progress made in the corona relaxation of the federal states, but also on the possibilities and willingness of the exhibiting and visiting companies to send their employees to the fairs.
The AUMA Chairman: "Exhibitors and visitors expect safe and promising general conditions. However, the size and quality of the exhibition centres offer very good conditions for implementing the necessary hygiene and distance regulations".

Based on AUMA recommendations, the exhibition companies draw up hygiene and safety programmes - individually for each event - in accordance with the requirements of the authorities.

Many exhibition organisers have developed new formats for this autumn with modified concepts and newly defined visitor target groups. These are very important initiatives, also with the aim of intelligently linking the real trade fair experience with complementary digital formats. Harting: "We need reference projects that show: trade fairs also work under difficult conditions". The experience gained would help all those involved to plan the following trade fairs. The atmosphere at the exhibitions will not yet be the same and the number of participants will probably not reach the previous levels in many cases. But, said the AUMA Chairman: "We are getting used to new conditions in everyday life, when shopping and soon also on holidays". Meanwhile, there had been good progress in the opening of the borders within Europe, and international air traffic was gradually gaining momentum again. These are important prerequisites for successful trade fairs in autumn. It will still need some time before the exhibition business returns to normal, but the economy cannot wait until the conditions are ideal again.

Trade fairs in Germany 2019

According to AUMA calculations, the German exhibition organisers can look back on an overall successful year 2019. Last year's 163 international and national trade fairs recorded 180,472 exhibitors (+1.2 % compared to the respective previous events), 6.7 million m² of stand space (+0.8 %) and 9.9 million visitors (-1.9 %). In view of the somewhat clouded economic situation in the course of the year and declines in the area of automotive exhibitions, this was a very solid result. The interest of foreign exhibitors and visitors, especially from Europe, was again above average. The revenue of German exhibition organisers reached around 4 billion euros - almost as much as in 2018, a year of strong trade fair activity.

Picture material

Trade Fairs in Germany 2019 - Key Figures - Development Compared to Previous Events

Philip Harting, Chairman of AUMA / © AUMA

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