Germany’s tradefair industry has demanded a timetable for rebooting business.
While giving qualified support for the federal government and states’ latest moves to revive public life and the economy in general, the tradefair industry has urged the authorities to give a fresh focus on how to restart the country’s exhibition sector.
So far, exhibitions have been mentioned in the same breath as open-air festivals or sports events with a large number of spectators.
“Tradefairs, however, are essential business platforms for rebooting the economy efficiently and sustainably,” says Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – the Association of the German Tradefair Industry. He added that tradefairs could be an important driving force stimulating retailers to buy and maintain Germany’s top position as an export economy.
AUMA also underlined that exhibitions are platforms for presenting innovations and for negotiating deals, particular relevant for small and medium-sized enterprises – the backbone of the German economy.
According to a survey by the ifo-Institute, tradefairs in Germany, especially in the country’s tradefair cities, generate a macroeconomic production effect of more than €28bn annually. In AUMA’s judgement, such stimuli are needed urgently by the respective regional economies, starting from hotels and restaurants and reaching out to retail stores, public transportation and skilled crafts and trades.
The exhibition industry has developed recommendations for a tradefair restart in Germany, said Holtmeier, who added the industry, “expects that exhibitions to be regarded as a separate event format by the German federal government and states when it comes to future decisions. We demand a timetable for the restart that factors the tradefairs’ lead times of two or three months.”
AUMA expects the exhibition business to be resumed as of September and stresses the industry has already developed recommendations for basic parameters in order to get exhibitions re-started.
AUMA is convinced that exhibitions can meet the requirements for protecting the health of all parties involved, adding that tradefairs were in a position to fulfil the Robert-Koch-Institute’s official guidelines for hygiene and physical distance.
AUMA added that it should be taken into consideration that specialised fairs in particular show a much lower headcount per square metre than most other event formats. “Usually visitors are browsing individually through the exhibition halls,” said AUMA, “and they do not gather at one single stage or around a playing field. Additionally exhibition organisers have expert knowledge in crowd management.”