Research on trade fairs

Generating knowledge through research

At the Institute for the German Trade Fair Industry we are playing an important role in laying a solid scientific foundation for the trade fair sector. We monitor developments in the industry, analyse current trends and illuminate contexts and connections. We also pursue joint projects with leading research institutes and are superbly networked with institutions of higher learning throughout Germany.

Supplying ideas and support

We maintain close contact with professors and lecturers in Germany who study and teach trade fair-related subjects, serving as consultants and guides. With the help of direct contacts from our network of business experts in Germany, we initiate and support their research and field studies at companies. For seminars and lectures in Germany we provide specific ideas and the corresponding teaching materials.

Promoting future trade fair experts

We are also an important resource for students. We support them with expert advice on trade fair-related presentations, talks and papers, and offer them a comprehensive library on trade fair topics – both online and at our physical location. We place a special priority on providing support for theses and dissertations, with assistance in everything from finding topics to answering detailed questions.

Providing knowledge and results 

A primary aim and integral part of our institute's work is to transfer knowledge and make research results available: valid data, facts and information for decision makers in the German trade fair industry, for professors, lecturers and students in academia, and for journalists and other media representatives. We bring science and business together – to the benefit of both.


Trade fairs as research topics – current projects and publications

At our trade fair institute we do both basic and applied research. We also collaborate on studies with universities, technical colleges and research institutes. Our current projects and publications are listed here. All of the publications can be downloaded – see the “Publications" section.


Research project of the University of Applied Sciences Hanover in cooperation with the AUMA. As a first step, Hannover University of Applied Sciences is investigating which social and economic trends are relevant for the trade fair and event industry. In a second step, it is analysed whether and how these trends should be integrated into curricula at universities and in education and training. Initial results were presented for discussion at a symposium in Hanover in June 2018. The focus was on the question of how the identified trends must change the curricula of universities. Results are expected by the end of 2018. 

EXPERIENCE FAIR : Erlebnis Messe – JulY 2018
What dose of experience does a trade fair visitor need to focus his attention on a trade fair stand, a product or a company? A sociological study on this topic is now available from the Institut für Publikumsforschung (IfP) at SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (hdpk), Berlin. The study entitled "ERLEBNIS MESSE - Dimensionen des Erlebens, ihre Wahrnehmung und Hinweise zu ihrer Inszenierung" applies current research methods from sociology, psychology and communication science in the field of 'Experience'. It is based on nine qualitative expert interviews from 2017 and 533 quantitative surveys conducted at trade fairs and online. The project was led by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wünsch and Prof. Dr. Richard von Georgi and implemented in cooperation with ITB Berlin and AUMA.

Download Scientific Report (PDF, German)

Download der Management Review (PDF, German) 

Overall economic effects of trade fairs in Germany – June 2018

Trade fairs as a marketing instrument for companies also have a positive effect on the economies of the cities, regions and countries in which they take place. The study describes macroeconomic production and employment effects as well as the tax revenue (indirect return) from trade fairs. The study "Die gesamtwirtschaftliche Bedeutung von Messen und Ausstellungen in Deutschland" is in German. A management summary in English is available.

AUMA, Dokumentation 5
Overall Economic Relevance of Exhibitions in Germany Management Summary

AUMA, Edition 49 (German)

AUMA MesseTrend 2018 – February 2018

The nineteenth edition of this study provides representative statements on the behaviour of German trade fair exhibitors. On behalf of AUMA, the market research company Kantar TNS again selected 500 German exhibiting companies and asked them about their previous and future participation in trade visitor fairs. In addition, the population of German companies was redefined at trade fairs. The study is in German, charts in English available as Powerpoint presentation.

AUMA, Edition 48 

The event industry and its personnel – MaY 2017
The project "The event industry and its personnel" was carried out by the University of Applied Sciences Hanover in cooperation with the AUMA. In six subprojects, it first defines the market of the events industry and describes the players in the events industry. The project systematizes the German training and further education offer for the event industry, identifies the actors and systematizes their offers. As part of an online survey (in cooperation with numerous industry associations) and expert interviews with players in the events industry, the project provides insights into which structures characterise personnel demand. In addition, graduates of training, further education and qualification programmes were asked in the context of guideline interviews about their experiences with regard to their qualification profile at their career entry. Two case studies shed light on the situation in Canada and Austria in contrast to the situation in Germany.



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