Sector is cautiously optimistic for 2016
German trade fairs remained on course for growth in 2015 and, compared to 2014, became even more attractive. According to a preliminary calculation by AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, the 164 international and national trade fairs registered approximately 172,000 exhibitors, which is about 1.5% more than at the respective previous events (2014: 1.5%). The amount of foreign exhibitors once again increased above average by around 4%. The total area of booked stand space in 2015 experienced an increase of around 1.5% (2014: +0.3%), and accounted for nearly 6.3 million sq. m. It was hardly to be expected that an average of 2% more visitors would attend the trade fairs than previously (2014: +0.3%), despite multiple strikes in the transportation sector and strong competition among the media for buyers’ time.
Preliminary results yielded a total of 9.8 million visitors who attended for professional or private reasons. The positive economic outlook and the efficiency of trade fairs as a business tool have clearly led more visitors to take advantage of events relevant to their sectors.
AUMA expects an equally large increase in the most important categories for the 185 trade fairs planned for 2016. This forecast for the development of individual trade fairs corresponds with the results of a survey conducted by AUMA among trade fair organisers as part of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research's (IW) survey, which AUMA was involved in.
According to this survey, trade fair organisers expect total revenues from domestic and international business to be a little higher than 2015 after being adjusted to account for fluctuations in the trade fair schedule.
Trade fair companies’ investment levels are likely to increase slightly, as will employee numbers. The majority of organisers believe that the general mood in the industry is better than that prevailing at the beginning of 2015.