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January 10 2018Exhibition industry

Exhibitors to invest more in the quality of trade fair appearances

​​​AUMA MesseTrend 2018 survey: Exhibitions to expand their leading role in B2B marketing

German business continues to rely strongly on personal communication and real product presentations in its B2B marketing. More than one quarter (28%) of German companies that exhibit at trade fairs want to invest more money in these participations both in Germany and abroad in 2018 and 2019. Another 57% plan to spend at the same level, and only 14% anticipate lower expenditures. On average the companies want to increase their trade fair budgets by 4% for the next two years compared to 2016-2017. This is a result of the AUMA MesseTrend 2018 survey of 500 representative selected companies that exhibit primarily at B2B fairs. Commissioned by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), the survey was carried out by Kantar TNS in November 2017.

Companies that seek to spend more money on trade fairs will invest primarily in the quality of their presentations, especially in their stand size and construction. Those that wish to spend less choose primarily not to attend a certain exhibition instead of reducing the quality of their existing presentations.

Of note is that exhibitors of consumer goods seek to increase their trade fair investments by more than 5%, also given the fact that some consumer goods fairs have decreased in size. For investment goods fairs the increase in investment is approximately 2%.

The number of trade fair appearances by German companies will remain largely stable. It is expected to average 8.2 participations over the next two years. This figure was 8.3 for 2016 and 2017. Companies with higher sales make considerably more trade fair appearances. Those with sales of over 125 million euros produce an average of 24 exhibition stands in two years.

AUMA Chairman Walter Mennekes commented on the results of the MesseTrend 2018 survey: “Why are companies participating so strongly in trade fairs in an era of digitalisation? It has to do with real contacts between producers and buyers, and with testing and assessing real products together. The agreements they reach in this way lay the best foundations for longterm business contacts.”

Overall, trade fairs have expanded their leading role in B2B marketing over recent years. German exhibiting companies currently invest 48% of their B2B budgets in fairs, whereas this figure was just around 40% a decade ago.

The full study will appear in mid-February in the series of publications from the Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry.

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ISM © Koelnmesse GmbH / Thomas Klerx

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