FKM – the Society for the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics – has just published its 50th annual report on certified exhibition statistics. It consists of exhibitor, stand space and visitor numbers, collected according to consistent standards and certified by a public accountant, for 188 exhibitions in Germany. For almost 80% of the exhibitions there are also standardised visitor structure data available, providing information about the sector of industry, area of responsibility and regional origin of the visitors.
FKM was founded at the end of 1965 and began operating in 1966. The founder members were the exhibition companies in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Offenbach and the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Not only did these organisers define terms like exhibitor and visitor for the first time, but they also decided that compliance with their standards should be monitored by a public accountant. No fewer than 22 exhibitions were audited in that first year. The then managing director of the Cologne exhibition company Carl Ferdinand von der Heyde was elected chairman, and served in this role until the end of 1974. The German exhibition industry was thus setting international standards. It was only in France that similar efforts had been made.
FKM has standardised and audited data of trade and private visitor structures since 1973; they were developed in close cooperation with the exhibiting industry. They offer exhibitors a direct answer to the question as to whether their target group is represented at an exhibition or not – which is one of the main prerequisites for making attendance at an exhibition successful.
50 years of FKM – a success story
On the occasion of the publication of the 50th annual report, the current FKM Chairman Wolfgang Marzin said: “FKM went into business with six members. Today, 52 exhibition organisers of all sizes are partners of FKM. Their common goal has remained the same as it was at the start, namely to give exhibition customers confidence and help them to make rational, sound decisions about taking part in exhibitions. We have achieved a great deal in our field in the last 50 years. The development of FKM is a success story that is far from at an end.”
In addition to the German partners, two international guest members, the Verona Trade Fair Company and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, had 18 trade fairs certified.
The 2015 FKM report can be downloaded at Media Centre.