German trade fairs are slowly resuming

First recovery in sight for trade fairs in Germany: at least 340 trade fairs are planned between Husum and Friedrichshafen in 2023. Thus, almost 25% more trade fairs will take place in the new year than was possible in Germany this year .

In the first quarter of 2023 alone, no less than 120 trade fairs are scheduled – in 2022, only 18 trade fairs could take place during the same period due to Covid-19 restrictions. Energy efficiency, circular economy and innovative production technologies are the main topics of German trade fairs in 2023.

Philip Harting, President of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry AUMA: “The trade fair industry in Germany is slowly regaining its rhythm. A two-year ban on trade fairs continues to strain the industry, which accounts for 230,000 jobs. We expect the support of the Federal Minister of Economics, not new obstacles. The stability will greatly benefit the trade show industry. So 2023 could be the first best year since the start of the pandemic. Trade fairs could then play their part as part of the solution to many problems. Then Germany will once again live up to its reputation as a top location for trade shows. However, concerns over affordable energy cloud the early outlook for the new year.

AUMA projections for 2022 show that 65% of visitors are returning to German trade fair sites. In the summer, the average number was still 55% of pre-pandemic levels. Since the fall, the numbers have been on the rise. Exhibitor figures are similar: on average, 70% return on average over the year – with a similar upward trend since the autumn.

Particularly due to trade fair bans in the first quarter, this year the overall positive effects on the economy of the trade fair industry will be only 55% of pre-pandemic years, according to early figures. In 2019, the industry contributed €28 billion to national economic benefit.

According to the first figures from AUMA, in 2022, 280 trade fairs will have taken place in Germany, 130 have been canceled and 60 have had to be postponed within the year. The overall economic damage caused by trade fair bans, postponements and cancellations since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany amounts to more than 56 billion euros, as well as nine billion euros in tax revenue less. Nearly 180,000 jobs were to be safeguarded through working time reductions.

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