Using exhibition data

Certified, detailed, structured

The key figures for successful exhibition marketing

The FKM exhibition database contains the statistics for every certified event in Germany and of guest members in Italy and China. It contains detailed information which you need for successful exhibition marketing – structured and right up to date. We have provided this information to industry free of charge for 50 years; it is successfully used by many exhibiting companies and visitors for the purposes of their exhibition planning.

What can you expect when you search the FKM exhibition database? For each exhibition, a structured dataset with all relevant exhibition statistics subdivided into four areas.

Here you can find out all the important information about the exhibition centre, the organiser and its project team, including addresses and telephone numbers. In addition, you will find the main focus in terms of sectors and offerings, services provided by the organisers such as hotel services and exhibitor database, and possible parallel events and sponsors. This section is rounded off by details about rents for stands, access/opening times, entrance prices and press representatives on site.
This second part of the exhibition datasheet is concerned with the key data of the event. Here you are given the figures relating to exhibitors, visitors and the stand space. So that you can properly compare and evaluate the development of the exhibition, the figures from the last three events are set out next to one another here.

Hints & tips
The exhibitor stand space is the entirety of the space which is verifiably used for exhibition stands and is the first of three central key figures for the assessment of an exhibition. You can compare the size of different events on the basis of the square metres figure.

The exhibitor stand space conveys an initial impression of how successful the organiser has been in attracting custom.

The average stand size is a benchmark for your presentation at the exhibition.

Special shows can often be found at public exhibitions, but also at trade visitor events. In doing so, organisers create – often in collaboration with trade associations – an additional space for providing information or attractions for the visitors, for example in relation to events, design exhibitions, research results, presentations of handicrafts or training information.

The gross exhibition space encompasses the entirety of the space used for the exhibition. It comprises the exhibitor stand space and spaces for special shows, walkways and foyers, but not restaurants and offices. The net exhibition space comprises exhibitor stand space and special show spaces and makes up 50-60% of the gross exhibition space.

Events with lots of visitors have correspondingly wide walkways and therefore larger gross exhibition spaces.

Trade visitor fairs with lots of large stands have a comparatively small amount of walkway areas.

Walkway and foyer areas can differ considerably even when the exhibitions have the same exhibitor stand space.
The number of exhibitors, the second central key figure, covers companies which offer products and services on a staffed stand (including joint stands). The number is connected to the size and structure of the sector, in particular with the total number of companies in the relevant sector.

Competing exhibitions may each have a larger or smaller range of products and services offered and may thus be comparable only to a limited extent.

The number and proportion of foreign exhibitors are important indicators of how international an exhibition is. Worldwide, German exhibitions have the largest proportions of foreign exhibitors with their own stands and own staff, or with staff from their own sales offices.

When exhibitors have their own staff on the stand, this guarantees visitors a high level of advisory expertise and increases the attractiveness of an exhibition.

The number of countries from which foreign exhibitors come is a further key indicator of how international an exhibition is. A high number of exhibiting countries shows that the organiser has successfully won custom in Europe and further afield.

For events taking place close to borders, the high number of foreign exhibitors may be concentrated on only a small number of countries of origin.
The number of visitors is the third central key figure. According to the FKM standard, it documents the number of entries to the exhibition site, with no more than one entry per visitor per day being counted. The number of visitors shows exhibitors the maximum number of contacts that can be achieved at their stands – and for international exhibitions a distinction is made between domestic and foreign visitors.

Important when making comparisons: at whom is an event directed – at trade visitors, at trade visitors and private visitors, or primarily at the general public?

Important when making comparisons: competing exhibitions may have different ranges of goods and services and therefore also have different target groups. The organisers will provide you with detailed information.

The number of people entering is determined by electronic entry systems, from the results of a visitor registration system or from manually counting entry tickets actually used. If one and the same entry ticket has been sold for exhibitions that are running in parallel, visitor numbers can also be determined by means of a representative survey of the visitors at the exit.

Part 3 of this dataset contains, primarily for international exhibitions, the origin of the exhibitors, broken down by countries and the corresponding number of exhibitors.
The fourth and last part of the exhibition datasheet is the most extensive. Here you can find the data informing you about the characteristics of visitors. A fundamental distinction is made here between trade visitors and private visitors.

For both groups of visitors, you will in each case receive specific information about what proportion of the total number of visitors they make up and about where they come from. This latter figure is broken down by distance from the location of the exhibition, by continents, countries and German Federal States. In addition, you can find information about the professional status of the trade visitors and the frequency with which they visit this exhibition.

The FKM trade visitor structure informs you for example how the visitors are distributed among the various economic sectors. Further characteristics are the size of their business, the areas of responsibility and professional status of the trade visitors, and an assessment of their purchasing/procurement powers the duration of their stay.

The FKM private visitor structure contains information about age structure, gender and household size, as well as details about purchasing and ordering activity.

Hints & tips
Visitors who state, in the representative survey, that they are visiting the exhibition for business/professional reasons – and in particular at consumer-goods exhibitions they have to prove this on registration – are described as trade visitors. At these exhibitions they usually represent almost 100% of the visitors. At capital-goods exhibitions, the proportion may be smaller because private visitors are also allowed to attend. However, because of the generally highly specialised subject areas, visitors with a professional interest predominate here.

Public exhibitions have proportions of private visitors that are usually significantly greater than 80%. Exhibitors can thus also always reach a smaller proportion of visitors with a professional interest from the relevant sectors at these exhibitions.

An exhibition visitor who attends an exhibition for private reasons is described as a private visitor. But where do they come from? What are their intentions? How can private visitors’ exhibition visits be made use of in post-exhibition business?

The distribution of the visitors among the German Federal States provides information about the national or regional significance of an exhibition. A relatively small proportion of visitors from the home Federal State and a large proportion of visitors from further afield is an indication of the national character of an event.

The Federal States are also pooled into “Nielsen areas”, so that you can compare the regional distribution of the exhibition visitors with those of other marketing instruments.

Almost all national exhibitions have a regional aspect. The proximity between where visitors live and the location of the exhibition is a factor that attracts a disproportionate number of visitors.

Public exhibitions with an unambiguously national orientation have 50%+ visitors from over 100 kilometres away.

Regional public exhibitions with an unambiguously regional orientation have at most 15% visitors from over 100 kilometres away.
The proportion of foreign trade visitors is a central criterion for the international significance of an exhibition. International exhibitions in Germany achieve proportions of 30% on average, and exhibitions which are world leaders achieve even 50% and more.

For events taking place close to borders, the high number of foreign exhibitors may be concentrated on only a small number of countries of origin.

It is true that the proportions of visitors from outside Europe often appear to be relatively small, but visitors from overseas are often particularly well-qualified and are attractive potential new customers.
Here, exhibitors can identify on what level they can speak and negotiate with visitors and how many of the visitors are decision-makers rather than users. This is also important for the selection of the staff for the stand and of the exhibits, as well as for the nature of the presentation.

The number of students and apprentices is becoming increasingly interesting because contacting them regarding an employment later on is developing into a further important function of exhibitions.
Even well-established exhibitions have 20 to 40% of visitors who are first-time visitors. Exhibitors therefore have great opportunities to establish new contacts – with new employees of firms represented on a regular basis, with companies represented for the first time or with first-time private visitors.

Don’t rely on visits from regular customers, who often make up a smaller proportion of visitors than expected.

Take the initiative and speak to potential visitors in advance of the event.
Events targeted at private visitors – with the exception of particular specialist exhibitions – attract visitors from all age groups. Exhibitors with products for which demand is somewhat age-dependent can find guidance here about the volumes of such target groups.
All marketing instruments pursue the goal of selling products and services or initiating business; the same applies for attendances at exhibitions. Many private visitors tend to buy something during the event, and the proportion of people saying “no” is generally well below 50%, often below 20%. Also – apart from a few exceptions – after the event more than half of the visitors are interested in principle in purchasing products or services that they saw there.