Messe München: future of bauma and trade shows is ‘hybrid’

By Andy Brown21 April 2021

bauma Munich is the world’s largest trade show

The trade shows of the future will be characterised by hybrid events, with a mixture of online and face-to-face activity, according to Messe München Chairman and CEO, Klaus Dittrich.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the majority of trade shows following Conexpo, which took place in March 2020, have either been cancelled, postponed or reimagined as online only events.

A number of OEMs, such as Volvo CE, JCB and JLG have stated that they will not attend bauma 2022, citing changing customer behaviour and the ability to communicate with customers and dealers online.

Klaus Dittrich said that, “Digital encounters are not a hundred percent substitute for face-to-face exchanges. In my view, the foreseeable future of trade shows will therefore be characterised by hybrid events, a mixture of online and face-to-face events.”

“Our customers welcome an increased offering of digital platforms. But at the same time, they signal that they will continue to rely on face-to-face trade shows in the future. A survey conducted by the ifo Institute in October 2020 revealed that well over half of German exhibitors plan to continue with trade visitor-oriented trade shows to the same extent in the future. However, almost 40% also said they would scale back their participation in trade shows.”

Dittrich added that Messe München has been working on digital products for many years and have successfully carried out a large number of online events. The company plan, “to exploit the opportunities” of digital transformation – which the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated.

For the next bauma Munich show – the world’s largest trade show – which will take place in Munch on April 4 to April 10, 2022, Dittrich confirmed that the physical aspect of the show was “core” and “cannot be presented online in the same way.”

However, he did say that, “we will also supplement and expand bauma with digital offerings. This will enable customers from all over the world to participate in bauma even if they cannot or do not want to travel to Munich themselves.”

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