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December 10 2021Media Release

German trade fair industry appeals to new Federal Minister of Economics: We cannot grant a honeymoon

  • If policy was consistent aid packages could be waived

  • Dramatic situation: damage in 2021 outranks that of 2020

  • Five trade fair demands directed at the federal and state governments


Berlin, December 10, 2021 | The trade fair industry in Germany is demanding clear trade fair regulations from the new federal government for the start of 2022. From now on until the beginning of spring, some 130 trade fairs are planned in Germany. The majority of these will have a strong international focus. More than a dozen trade fairs for 2022 have already been postponed or even cancelled. The reason: inconsistent policies.

  • Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA): "Aid packages worth billions could be done without if the federal and state governments pursued clear and anticipatory policies – also during this pandemic. A decision in winter has a pull on summer. Omitting decisions in summer has a double effect on the pandemic winter. The situation is dramatic. The economic damage in the trade fair industry will be even higher in 2021 than in 2020.

As of today, trade fairs are prohibited again in three German federal states. In some places, trade fairs are hardly economically feasible any more due to all kinds of restrictions. 71 percent of the planned trade fairs were cancelled in 2021, compared to 68 percent in 2020. The total economic loss since the beginning of the pandemic has now reached 46.2 billion euros. While last year alone the damage amounted to 21.8 billion euros, in 2021 at least another 24.4 billion euros will be lost.

  • Jörn Holtmeier: "Our industry is the most severely hit economic sector by this pandemic. The trading place trade fair is currently experiencing its greatest shock. Never before, well-planned trade fair programmes have had so little continuity. Never before, trade fairs had to be backed by hedging programmes. Never before, the different economy sectors have missed their leading trade fairs so much."

230,000 jobs in Germany depend on the trade fair industry. 165,000 jobs are endangered by the up and down. The return of the international public is crucial for the recovery of Germany as a trade fair country and as the venue for two-thirds of all leading trade fairs of the world economy. Economic recovery is only possible if the international travel restrictions are cancelled, if the vaccination dithering ends, and if politics enables trade fairs, Holtmeier explained. "As sorry as we are, we cannot grant a honeymoon of 100 days. We appeal to Robert Habeck to act immediately!"

Five demands of the trade fair industry accompany the inauguration of the new Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck:

  • The special trade fair fund must be complemented by a security fund for exhibitors and trade fair service providers. The current programme is missing the mark. Investments of exhibiting companies are not covered.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises must be given stronger support with an independent domestic trade fair promotion programme of at least 30 million euros in 2023. The promotion of young, innovative companies has to be expanded.
  • The Netherlands and Austria are already showing the way. In Germany, too, people have to be considered vaccinated if they have already been vaccinated with vaccines recognised by the World Health Organisation.
  • A strong effort is needed by the German missions abroad and the German trade fair industry in order to promote Germany as an international trade fair venue. In other countries, there are already specific programmes to direct international trade visitors to the home market.
  • The way out of this pandemic is and will be vaccination. In order to be able to return to stability and predictability, the trade fair industry strongly supports the introduction of a general compulsory vaccination against Corona in Germany. The sooner the better. A comprehensive corona strategy that is easily understandable for everyone is required, too. First, second and booster vaccination have to be sped-up and have to be easily accessible. This strategy’s core must be flanked by consistent implementation and control of government measures.

AUMA is the association of the German trade fair industry: nationally and internationally, it represents the interests of 72 members. These include all large and medium-sized trade fair companies in Germany as well as associations representing exhibitors, service companies and visitors. 


Picture material

Photo: HINTE Messe und Ausstellungs GmbH / Nico Herzog

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