German exhibitors looking to spend more on trade fairs, says new AUMA report

Bau 2019 - Messe München / Loske - AUMA MesseTrend 2019

AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, has produced a new report, AUMA MesseTrend 2019, which reveals the exhibition share of marketing budgets in Germany is increasing appreciably.

The acceptance of exhibitions as part of companies’ B2B marketing is a continuing trend, the report says, with more than a quarter (29%) of German companies active in the sector, keen to invest more money in their exhibition participation, both at home and abroad in 2019 and 2020.

Fifty-six per cent are planning equally high outlays, with only 15% intending to spend less, the survey showed.

On average, companies say they are looking to increase their exhibition budgets by 3% over the next two years as compared to 2017/2018.

Of the companies wanting to spend more on exhibitions, 43% mainly invest in the quality of the presentations, particularly in the booth size. Those who want to spend less will primarily cut individual exhibitions (63%); in other words, for the most part they won’t reduce the quality of the existing stands.

The number of exhibitions German companies plan to participate in remains stable. On average, they will attend 8.6 exhibitions over the next two years; the number in 2017 and 2018 was 8.8. The slight decline applies to domestic exhibitions: 5.2 participations are planned within Germany (5.4); the number of participations abroad remains unchanged at 3.4.

Exhibitors with the highest sales volumes are ahead in terms of the planned number of exhibitions to attend; companies with annual sales of €125m and above are planning to attend an average of 20 exhibitions within the next two years, the survey found.

Overall, exhibitions have expanded their leading role in B2B marketing over the last few years. A total of 83% of the exhibiting companies view tradefairs as important or very important (2015: 81%). That makes exhibitions the second most important marketing tool behind the universal ‘own website’ instrument.

Commenting on the results of the new survey, AUMA Chairman Walter Mennekes said: “Digital media support exhibitors and visitors in procuring information and initiating contacts. Real-life, reliable contact between provider and customer and the product test can’t be replaced by digital instruments. Therefore, expenditures for exhibitions are a wise investment.”

Compared with the first survey 20 years ago, the exhibition budget share of the participating companies’ total communications budgets has grown significantly from 38% in 2000 to 47% in the current survey.

The results also make clear that German companies have increasingly taken part in exhibitions abroad over the last 20 years. In the year 2000, 28% were also active participants in foreign exhibitions; that percentage is now 43%.

The complete study will be made public in mid-March 2019, but only in German language.



AUMA MesseTrend 2019 surveyed 500 representatively selected companies that principally exhibit at B2B exhibitions. TNS Emnid conducted its 20th study on behalf of AUMA during November 2018.

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