Germany's exhibitions sector saw 12 shows in September after a standstill of almost six months, heralding the beginning of a return to business for the show, according to AUMA (Association of the German Trade Fair Industry).
The news is significant with a number of key fastener and tool related trade shows taking place over the next seven months in Germany, including wire in Düsseldorf, Munich's BAU, Eisenwarenmesse International Hardware Fair Cologne and Fastener Fair Stuttgart.
AUMA said the 12 shows took place "without any problems and with good success" and included public fairs with international and regional appeal, as well as trade fairs with regional to national catchment areas and international participation.
"The road to normality is long, but we are making progress"
In the first month after the new start, around 180,000 visitors attended the 12 exhibitions in September. As expected, they did not reach the exhibitor and visitor numbers of the previous events, partly due to the limitation of visitor numbers as a result of the regulations of the German federal states, travel restrictions and the strongly deteriorated economic situation. Nevertheless, many exhibitors and visitors were satisfied with the results, said AUMA, and reported "some surprisingly good business and contacts".
Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA, added: “These are encouraging signals for the other trade fairs planned for this year. Many exhibitors and visitors have been waiting for the new start to get their business going again. The road to normality is long, but we are making progress.”
Exhibitors and visitors consistently accepted the prescribed hygiene and distance rules, according to the association: "It was confirmed that the situation at an exhibition is comparable to many everyday situations, such as that in a shopping centre, which reflects the basic structure of an exhibition hall."
A number of Germany's exhibitions in the fastener and related industries were delayed due to coronavirus restrictions. wire and Tube in Düsseldorf were originally tabled to take place in late March 2020 before being rescheduled for December of this year. Cologne's International Hardware Fair was due to take place in early March 2020, before postponing the show a week before its scheduled dates - it's now due to run 21-24 February 2021.
BAU has tweaked its dates and revised its format to replace its standard show, now running 13-15 January. Core fastener show Fastener Fair Stuttgart is scheduled to run 18-20 May 2021, with organisers Mack Brooks (now part of Reed Exhibitions) stating that 80% of stand space was sold by July of this year.