【DE】Late half-time of the fair in Germany: Stormy trade fair autumn begins  


  • 140 trade fairs completed, 140 trade fairs until the end of the year
  • An average of 70 percent of exhibitors are back
  • Corona restrictions discussed again complicate the recovery – billions in loss expected


After the hot trade fair summer with 140 trade fairs, a stormy trade fair autumn is starting for the German trade fair industry these days. With at least 45 trade fairs alone, September alone will be demanding for the 70 trade fair venues and all trade fair trades. In October, at least 45 more trade fairs are on the calendar, a further 40 trade fairs are planned in November: A hitherto unknown tight timing, caused by forced postponements, cancellations and bans on trade fairs in previous years. Meanwhile, uncertainties for the trade fair industry are increasing again due to the explosion of energy prices, inflation and currently discussed new corona restrictions.


Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of the umbrella organization of the German trade fair industry AUMA: “This September marks the delayed half-time of the fair in Germany. The trade fair industry handles an unprecedented trade fair program with all its strength and a lot of commitment. Another 140 trade fairs are planned by the end of this year – including the largest trade fair in the world, bauma in Munich. The past 140 trade fairs since the end of the trade fair bans are successful despite pandemic restrictions at home and abroad. The exhibitors are mostly back. You know: Trade fairs are the tailwind for the economy. However, the trade fair industry itself has to withstand more and more headwinds because energy prices are exploding, inflation is increasing, new corona restrictions are being debated in the winter half-year only in Germany alone. Despite the start of trade fair business, we expect economic losses of over twelve billion euros again this year.”


On average, the number of exhibitors at German trade fairs has reached a level of around 70 percent since April compared to trade fairs before the corona pandemic. The number of visitors is on average around 55 percent of the pre-corona level. The reason for this is long-term corona Restrictions in Germany as well as when entering Germany, for example in the recognition of foreign corona vaccinations. Currently, the exit and entry restrictions of Asian countries in particular are hindering the further recovery of the number of visitors. Also, decisive German embassies and consulates are not able to issue visas to foreign exhibitors and trade visitors for trade fairs in Germany in a timely manner. Visitors and exhibitors from Asia in particular are of enormous importance for the internationality of the world’s leading trade fairs in this country.


Two thirds of all leading trade fairs of the global economy take place in Germany, many of them in the coming months: The world’s largest trade fair for motorhomes and caravans, the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, runs until the end of this week. This Friday, IFA will start in Berlin as the world’s most important trade fair for consumer electronics and household appliances. Next week, the leading international trade fair for the maritime industry SMM will begin in Hamburg. In mid-September, Automechanika, the leading international trade fair for equipment, parts and accessories, opens in Frankfurt am Main.


In the first quarter of 2022, the trade fair quarter par excellence, almost 120 trade fairs in Germany had to be cancelled because they were banned or restricted by the authorities. This alone meant a macroeconomic damage of around nine billion euros – with a minus of 55 billion euros since March 2020. Before Corona, the German trade fair industry contributed to the macroeconomic increase with 28 billion euros annually.


AUMA is the umbrella organization of the German trade fair industry: nationally and internationally, it represents the interests of 70 members. These include all large and medium-sized trade fair companies in Germany as well as associations representing exhibitors, service companies and visitors.


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