German trade fair year ready for take-off with strong tailwind

The German trade fair industry is starting the New Year with a strong tailwind, according to the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, AUMA, which reports that at least 180,000 exhibiting companies and 11.5 million visitors were guests at German exhibition grounds in 2023.

The figures represents an increase of around 40,000 exhibitors and almost four million visitors compared to the previous year.

AUMA adds that, following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, international leading trade fairs in Germany particularly have recovered well.  

More than 330 trade fairs are planned in Germany for 2024,  180 of which are national or international trade fairs in various branches of industry.

The schedule of events kicks off with the international trade fair for home and contract textiles, Heimtextil, in Frankfurt (9-12 January), along with the European trade show for the promotional products industry, PSI, in Dusseldorf (9-11 January).

In addition, the world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings, Domotex, kicks off in Hanover on 11 January and no fewer than ten trade fairs will be opening their doors across Germany over the weekend 13-14 January.

With a densely packed first quarter, the trade fair calendar will be particularly busy in early February and throughout the whole of March, AUMA predicts, with a dozen trade fairs running simultaneously at certain times. 

AUMA chair Philip Harting (pictured), says: “Trade fairs bring business to life. In 2023, we were able to celebrate the success of numerous strong trade fairs all across Germany. For 2024, we anticipate further recovery for trade fair organisers. The economy, which in light of increasing global tension and unpredictable political developments, finds itself under enormous pressure, needs its industry trade fairs now more than ever. They are of exceptional importance regarding the transformation of economic life. The Federal Government must play its part in strengthening Germany as a trade fair venue.” 

The major importance of trade fairs was evident in the first, as yet unpublished AUMA survey, conducted among 400 exhibiting companies after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the survey, those polled are planning just as many trade fair appearances this year and next year as they did in the previous two years – provided the political environment does not deteriorate. Forty-three per cent of the companies are even planning to increase their trade fair budget. AUMA says it hopes the complete survey will be published in the coming weeks.  

One noteworthy event in the 2024 trade fair calendar in Germany is the launch of the Drupa, a leading trade exhibition for the print media industry, set to take place in Dusseldorf at the end of May. It will be up and running once again for the first time since 2016. The meeting place for the textile care sector, Texcare International is also set for a comeback – in November in Messe Frankfurt. It  also last took place in 2016 and, like Drupa, Texcare International actually was held every four years until the pandemic struck.


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