First recovery in sight for trade fairs in Germany: At least 340 trade fairs are planned between Husum and Friedrichshafen in 2023. Thus, almost 25 percent more trade fairs will take place in the new year than were possible in Germany this year. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, a good 120 trade fairs are scheduled – in 2022, only 18 trade fairs could be held in the same period due to COVID-19 restrictions. Energy efficiency, circular economy and innovative production technologies are the top subjects at German trade fairs in 2023.
Philip Harting, Chairman of the association of the German trade fair industry AUMA:
“The trade fair industry in Germany is slowly regaining its rhythm again. Two years of trade fair bans are still putting a strain on the industry, which accounts for 230,000 jobs. We expect the support of the Federal Minister of Economics, not any new obstacles. Stability will do a lot to benefit the trade fair industry. Then 2023 can be the first better year since the beginning of the pandemic. Then trade fairs can play to their strengths as part of the solution to many problems. Then Germany will once again live up to its reputation as a top location for trade fairs. However, concerns over affordable energy dim the first outlook into the new year.”
Visitor numbers on the rise
AUMA’s projections for 2022 show that 65 percent of visitors are back at German trade fair venues. By summer, the average number was still a good 55 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Since autumn, the figures have been rising. The exhibitor figures are similar: on average, 70 percent are back on average over the year – with a similar upward trend since autumn.
Especially due to the trade fair bans in the first quarter, this year the overall positive effects on the economy from the trade fair industry will be only 55 percent of the pre-pandemic years, according to first figures. In 2019, the industry contributed 28 billion euros to the national economic benefit.
According to preliminary figures from AUMA, in 2022, 280 trade fairs will have taken place in Germany, 130 were canceled, and 60 had to be postponed within the year. The overall economic damage caused by bans, postponements and cancellations of trade fairs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany amounts to more than 56 billion euros, as well as nine billion euros less tax revenue. Nearly 180,000 jobs needed to be safeguarded through cutbacks in working hours.
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