German trade fairs increased again in 2018

Photo: AUMA

Lower growth in Germany and growing uncertainties in foreign trade only slightly dampened the German trade fair industry in 2018. Exhibitor numbers and booth space were again up. Above all, exhibitors and visitors from abroad continued to rely heavily on the trade fair venue Germany. This resulted in final calculations of the AUMA - Association of the German Exhibition Industry.

The 178 international and national trade fairs recorded an average of 2% more exhibitors and also 2% larger booths in 2018 compared to the respective previous events. Although these values ​​are considerably below the exceptionally strong result of the previous year (exhibitor +3.7%, area +3.1%); But they confirm a positive trend for the already widely used instrument Messe. Visitor numbers remained stable again at a high level. In total, the 178 trade fairs attracted 9,572,767 visitors and 194,815 exhibitors, who booked 7,130,830 square meters of booth space.

Overall, the boom in digital media did little to affect the trade fairs. AUMA Chairman Walter Mennekes comments: "The fascination of experiencing real colors, shapes and processes speaks in favor of the long-term success of the Messe model."

The capital goods fairs recorded a strong result with significant floor space growth and slight visitor growth, while consumer goods trade fairs often had a slight decline in visitor numbers. The results of the international public fairs were stable on average.

Participations from abroad grew significantly above average by 4.4% - a remarkable result in view of the discussion and also the realization of additional customs duties and the associated uncertainties about the further development of international trade. The number of foreign visitors rose by more than 3%. Nevertheless, the AUMA chairman warns of further protectionism: "Even if no significant consequences were discernible in 2018, announcements also create uncertainty and negative consequences for the economy - often enough in the country of the sender. We therefore call on the Federal Government and the EU to clearly point out the mutual dependencies of the countries concerned in negotiations. "

Forecast 2019

The turnover of the German trade fair organizers exceeded the mark of 4 billion Ero for the first time in 2018 with a relatively strong trade fair program due to the rotation. In the normally weaker trade fair year 2019, sales are expected to be around EUR 3.8 billion. For the current year, AUMA expects the 165 planned trade fairs to show further slight growth in exhibitor numbers and stand space compared to the respective previous events. Visitor numbers are likely to remain almost stable. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the economic conditions do not deteriorate significantly.