We can’t grant a honeymoon

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  • If the policy were consistent, the aid could be withdrawn
  • Dramatic situation: the damage in 2021 exceeds that of 2020
  • Five trade show requests to federal and state governments

The trade fair industry in Germany demands from the new federal government clear trade fair regulations for the start of 2022. By early spring, some 130 trade fairs are planned in Germany. The majority of them will have a strong international orientation. More than ten exhibitions for 2022 have already been postponed or even canceled. The reason: inconsistent policies.

  • Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA): “Aid worth billions could be avoided if the federal and state governments pursued clear and forward-looking policies – also during this pandemic . A decision in winter has a shoot on summer. The omission of decisions in the summer has a double effect on the pandemic winter. The situation is dramatic. The economic damage in the salon industry will be even greater in 2021 than in 2020.

From today, trade fairs are again prohibited in three German Länder. In some places trade fairs are no longer economically feasible due to all kinds of restrictions. 71% of planned shows were canceled in 2021, against 68% in 2020. The total economic loss since the start of the pandemic now stands at 46.2 billion euros. While last year alone the damage amounted to € 21.8 billion, in 2021 at least an additional € 24.4 billion will be lost.

  • Jörn Holtmeier: “Our industry is the economic sector hardest hit by this pandemic. The marketplace fair is currently experiencing its biggest shock. Never before have well-planned trade fair programs had so little continuity. Never before had trade shows had to be backed by hedging programs. Never before have the various sectors of the economy missed their main trade fairs so much.

230,000 jobs in Germany depend on the trade fair industry. 165,000 jobs are threatened by ups and downs. The return of the international audience is crucial for Germany’s reestablishment as a country of trade shows and as the location for two-thirds of all the major trade fairs in the world economy. Economic recovery is only possible if restrictions on international travel are lifted, if vaccine procrastination ends, and policy allows trade fairs, Holtmeier explained. “As sorry as we are, we cannot grant a 100 day honeymoon. We ask Robert Habeck to act immediately!”

Five demands of the trade fair industry accompany the inauguration of the new Federal Minister of the Economy Robert Habeck:

  • The special exhibition fund must be supplemented by a security fund for exhibitors and service providers at the exhibition. The current program is missing the mark. Investments by exhibiting companies are not covered.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises must be further supported with an independent program to promote national trade fairs of at least 30 million euros in 2023. The promotion of young innovative enterprises must be extended.
  • The Netherlands and Austria are already showing the way. Also in Germany, people should be considered vaccinated if they have already been vaccinated with vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization.
  • A major effort is needed from German missions abroad and the German trade fair industry to promote Germany as a location for international trade fairs. In other countries, there are already specific programs to direct international business visitors to the domestic market.
  • The way out of this pandemic is and will be vaccination. In order to be able to return to stability and predictability, the trade show industry strongly supports the introduction of a general compulsory vaccination against Corona in Germany. The earliest would be best. A complete corona strategy that is easily understood by everyone is also required. The first, second and booster vaccination should be accelerated and should be easily accessible. The heart of this strategy must be accompanied by the coherent implementation and monitoring of government measures.


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