Trade fairs in Germany enjoy great popularity among exhibitors and visitors from around the world. At the 157 international and national events in 2017, some 2.5% more exhibitors were registered compared to the respective previous events. Exhibitors booked roughly 2% more stand space. Only the visitor numbers were down slightly, dropping by 0.5%, due to fewer visitors at automotive shows. These are the results of preliminary calculations by AUMA – The Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.
Growth drivers on the exhibitor side, as in recent years, were participations from abroad: they rose by roughly 5%. The reason for this was, among other things, strong economic growth in Germany, which also led to better prospects of exporting to Germany. Another important signal is that the number of German exhibitors has stabilised after recent years in which slight drops in participation numbers were seen, due for example to factors such as mergers and acquisitions among medium-sized enterprises. Evidently more start-ups and companies that previously stayed away are discovering trade fairs as an instrument of personal dialogue about a real product.
On the visitor side, the number of foreign participants rose to the tune of 4% – this too was a reflection of the attractiveness of German trade fairs.
In Germany, trade fairs remain by far the most important instrument in business-to-business communication. German companies spend nearly 48% of their budgets for such measures for trade fair participations in Germany and abroad. This was the finding of an exhibitor survey by market research company Kantar TNS, which was commissioned by AUMA.
For the year 2018, AUMA expects slightly increased exhibitor numbers for the 178 planned trade fairs, with visitor numbers rising again compared to the previous events.
An exhibition organiser survey by AUMA found mood in the industry trending towards optimism. According to the results, a substantial majority of exhibition companies expected higher revenues in 2018. They also anticipated higher employment figures in their companies.
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