SHK ESSEN has celebrated a successful restart after the pandemic-related break in 2020: From 6 to 9 September 2022, 406 exhibitors from 15 countries presented their range of products and services for sanitation, heating, air conditioning and digital building management. Despite full order books and an unusual trade fair date, around 24,000 visitors took the opportunity to finally experience and compare new products on site again. The focus of the trade fair was on energy-efficient heating systems, indoor hygiene and smart sanitation trends. In addition to the impressive appearances of many brand manufacturers from the sanitary and heating industry, numerous new exhibitors set important impulses for the future in building technology in several expert forums.
“The industry has impressively demonstrated its innovative strength in Essen. At the same time, SHK ESSEN has underpinned its status as one of the leading trade fairs for personal exchange between the trade and the industry. We are delighted about the great response from exhibitors and visitors, which cannot be taken for granted in these challenging times”, explains Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen. Hans-Peter Sproten, General Manager of the SHK NRW trade association, which is the ideational sponsor of the trade fair, has a similar view: “Industry solutions for the energy turnaround as well as energy and water-saving technologies from the sanitary sector – these topics were primarily the focus of the trade fair visitors. The fact that the handicraft companies – despite the currently high workload – informed themselves here on site shows that SHK ESSEN is indispensable for the development of the companies. On top of that, we succeeded for the first time in getting more than 2,000 pupils excited about the future profession of a plumbing and heating installer by visiting the AZUBI Lounge and the rally across the exhibition site – that is a great success for the sector in North Rhine-Westphalia.”
More than two thirds of the visitors were decision-makers
The largest group of visitors was made up of craftsmen, followed by technical planners and experts, wholesalers and architects as well as representatives of manufacturers. 69 percent were decision-makers with purchasing competence. The visitors were mainly interested in heating technology, sanitary installations, air-conditioning and ventilation technology as well as sanitary objects. The conclusion of the trade visitors was positive: 91 percent recommend a visit to SHK ESSEN and 92 percent plan to visit the trade fair again in 2024.
The Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH) also concludes positively at the end of the fair: “SHK ESSEN was an enormous success and was very positively received by the exhibitors. The joy of seeing each other again was clearly noticeable in all halls. In the heating sector, the topics of climate protection and security of supply dominated above all. Interest in technical solutions such as heat pumps, hybrid systems, digital solutions and the current political framework conditions and funding opportunities was correspondingly high. The lecture forum was also better attended than I have ever experienced”, explains Andreas Lücke, Senior Expert at the BDH and Chairman of the Advisory Board of SHK ESSEN. In addition, the two new expert forums for heating with photovoltaics and hydrogen in Hall 2 proved to be real crowd-pullers, where there was always a lot of activity.
6th German Indoor Hygiene Forum and Drinking Water Meeting Place
In Halls 5 and 6, the focus was on barrier-free bathrooms, smart water applications and products made of natural materials, in addition to sanitary installations and objects and water technology. In addition, the 6th German Indoor Hygiene Forum organised by the SHK NRW trade association and the Drinking Water Meeting Point organised by the Federal Association of Companies in the Gas and Water Trade – figawa – were two specialist forums where visitors could find out about air hygiene, drinking water hygiene and pollutants. Volker Meyer, General Manager of figawa, explains: “After a four-year break, SHK ESSEN has once again impressively shown that it is the meeting place for the SHK sector. The current hot topics, such as the implementation of the energy turnaround and the handling of the scarce resource of drinking water, were the focus. Our member companies presented their innovative solutions and products for these challenges.”
Successful premier: start-ups at SHK ESSEN
Whether digitalisation, smart home or energy management systems – the constantly changing SHK industry offers a wealth of opportunities for inventive entrepreneurs to get off to a successful start with a new idea. That is why SHK ESSEN offered start-ups their own stage for the first time this year. A cloud-based software for the skilled crafts and trades, with which projects can be handled holistically from the initial contact to the receipt of payment, is just one example of the innovative products of the around 20 young companies, which presented themselves under the motto “Startups@SHK ESSEN” in Hall 2. The partner of the Startup Area was the VDZ – Wirtschaftsvereinigung Gebäude und Energie (German Trade Association for Buildings and Energy).
Save the date: SHK ESSEN 2024 opens from 19 to 22 March 2024
After this year’s SHK ESSEN was held once in September due to the effects of the Corona pandemic, it will return to its usual time in 2024 and open from 19 to 22 March. Interested exhibitors can find the registration documents online at www.shkessen.de. The industry can already look forward to another highlight this year with GET Nord: the trade fair for electrical, sanitary, heating and air-conditioning in the north opens from 17 to 19 November 2022 at the Hamburg Messe und Congress site.