Trade fair at last – and this time properly: 7,459 exhibiting companies as well as 142,590 visitors flocked to the Düsseldorf Exhibition and Congress Centre by the start of June – good for the sectors of industry involved as well as for business in Düsseldorf and in North Rhine-Westphalia; and a foretaste for the rest of the trade fair year 2022 boasting a total of 14 trade fairs plus eleven partner and guest events. On the occasion of the Global Exhibitions Day (GED) we make an initial assessment and look back at the German “MesseMonatMai” (“Trade Fair Month of May”).
Something was missing. This has become very clear during the current, intense restart of trade fair operations. For today’s 7th Global Exhibitions Day (GED), the international action day of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry UFI, we have already succeeded in posting 96 events at Düsseldorf Exhibition and Congress Centre: including the four first trade fairs of the year – BEAUTY, TOP HAIR, ProWein and EuroCIS –, four guest events – BioWest, INTERBRIDE, BEFA Forum, and Flotte! Der Branchentreff! – alongside 87 congresses, meetings and events organised by our subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress. They all attracted 7,459 exhibiting companies and 142,590 visitors to Düsseldorf.
The majority took place over the past four weeks. During the “MesseMonatMai” (“Trade Fair Month of May”), where the German Association of Trade Fairs AUMA underlined the relevance of trade fairs for the economy, 56 events with 6,847 exhibiting companies as well as 120,955 visitors were hosted at the Düsseldorf home base. Dr. Stephan Keller, Lord Mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Messe Düsseldorf, views this as evidence of the continued high relevance of trade fairs: “The pandemic years have shown us both the advantages and the limitations of digital communication. The business community was shown once again just how valuable personal networking, chance encounters and physical brand and product experiences really are.”
AUMA surveys among exhibiting companies prove: 40% registered economic losses as a result of trade fairs cancelled due to Covid. The reasons are manifold: 76% lamented missing opportunities to win over new customers, 84% the lack of networking with visitors and other exhibitors. The partners of past trade fairs also emphasise the great need to catch up and how happy they are about the restart.
Monika Reule, Managing Director of the German Wine Institute (Deutsches Weininstitut / DWI) the conceptual sponsor of ProWein, said: “The German exhibitors were happy after the 3-year absence to be able to engage in personal conversations with their customers again at ProWein.” Commenting on BEAUTY Dr. Helmut Drees, 1st Chairman of Cosmetic Professional Association (Verband Cosmetic Professional / VCP said: “The quality of talks was first rate and there is a positive sense of departure.” Summing up the results of the concurrently held TOP HAIR – DIE MESSE Schikora, Managing Director of TOP HAIR International GmbH, said: “We have dearly missed face-to-face contact. All the more important was this truly respectable restart – a signal for the industry to depart with power, optimism and self-confidence.”
Photos: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann
Apart from the participating companies the economy as a whole is also benefiting. Trade fairs generally contribute an annual EUR 28bn. to German GNP. Our trade fairs and congresses alone generated average sales of EUR 2.98 bn. annually across all of Germany until the pandemic started – of these EUR 1.66 bn. in Düsseldorf. Add to this 27,692 jobs secured across Germany; of these 16,664 in Düsseldorf. Beyond this, we account for one third of all Düsseldorf overnight stays (annually 1.43 m).
Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, looks to the coming six months with optimism: “After the successful first six months, especially in May, there are many more highlights awaiting us in the well-filled trade fair calendar.” With the international trade fairs for wire, cable and tubes and pipes, wire and Tube (20 – 24 June), the first industrial trade fairs – Messe Düsseldorf’s core business – will take place since the start of the pandemic. Held in parallel with wire and Tube will be METAV, the international trade fair for metal working technologies. The German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken / VDW) will invite to this event from 21 to 24 June. This generates welcome synergies for all machine tool builders involved in these three trade fairs.
An absolute highlight is also upcoming at Düsseldorf Congress in the form of Dokomi (4 – 5 June). Germany’s biggest anime and Japan expo is the first public event held at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre this year and will occupy not only the entire Convention Center Düsseldorf but also four exhibition halls. The 70,000 tickets are already sold out.
By the end of the year, Messe Düsseldorf will have staged another nine No. 1 trade fairs including the public favourite CARAVAN SALON (26 August – 4 September) and the world’s leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, K 2022 which will open its doors in Düsseldorf from 19 to 26 October.