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January 20 2016Exhibition industry

Exhibitors want to invest more money in trade fairs

​​​Survey of exhibitors AUMA MesseTrend indicates a continued high acceptance of trade fairs

​​Exhibiting companies in Germany want to invest more money in trade fair participation in 2016 and 2017 than previously. On average, they want to spend a total of EUR 326,000 over the course of these two years to participate in trade fairs. That is 4.6% more than in 2014/2015. Such an increase has only been exceeded twice in the past ten years. Around 27% of the exhibitors want to invest more in 2016/2017, while 14% would rather invest less. Around 60% plan on spending the same as before. For the goods-producing industry, companies with higher investments in trade fairs make up an even clearer majority: 31% of the companies in this sector plan to invest more, while just 11% plan to invest less. The amount of companies in the trade and service sectors who plan on investing more and less, respectively, in trade fair participation is nearly the same. These figures come from a survey of 500 representatively selected companies. This survey was conducted by TNS Emnid in November 2015 on behalf of AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.

“Certainly, the increased budget for trade fairs is partly also due to an increase in prices. Overlooking this fact, the study shows that trade fairs continue to be a widely accepted marketing tool in the German economy. Companies will only invest more money if it benefits them,” said AUMA chairman Walter Mennekes, comment-ing on the results of MesseTrend 2016. 

Other results support this claim as well. At present, exhibiting companies in the business-to-business sector spend around 44% of their marketing budget on participating in trade fairs. This percentage has remained stable for several years despite the spectrum of marketing tools such as online media becoming larger and larger. It is fitting that 84% of the surveyed exhibitors view participation in trade fairs as important or very important in B2B communications. According to Mr. Mennekes: “This is not self-evident, as most exhibiting companies utilise a wide range of other marketing tools. These are clearly regarded as less important, however. Obviously, personal contact is more valuable than many other things.”

While 90% of the companies surveyed consider their own websites to be an important or a very important tool for basis communication, just 76% give a field sales force the same ranking; it is thus viewed as considerably less important than trade fairs. Only 40% view events and advertising in the trade press as important communication tools.

Around two-thirds of exhibiting companies plan on participating in just as many trade fairs in Germany in 2016/2017 as in the previous years. 19% want to participate more often, while 16% want to take part less often. For the first time in years, there are more companies who plan on participating in more trade fairs in Germany than there are companies who plan less. In recent years, the amount was nearly the same. In foreign markets, many German companies count on continuity: three-fourths want to maintain their current level of trade fair participation. It is noteworthy, however, that just 9% plan on participating in more trade fairs while 17% plan less. Uncertainty about developments in some foreign markets, such as Brazil, India and Russia, may play a role. In contrast, trade fairs in Germany are proving to be more attractive, especially considering the strong presence of foreign trade visitors.

The entire study will be published by the Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry in early February.

​Graphics AUMA MesseTrend 2016​:

Download: JPG file / EPS file

Download: JPG file / ​EPS file

Download: JPG file / EPS file


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