Following Germany’s Prime Ministers’ Conference on 22 March, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) has urged Germany’s politicians to meet exhibition industry expectations and deliver a longer-term vision for the sector’s relaunch.
“We need perspectives beyond the rhythm of the German Prime Ministers’ Conference,” the AUMA managing director Jörn Holtmeier MD said in a statement on 23 March.
“The German exhibition industry – exhibiting companies, organisers and the exhibition service providers – had expected the Prime Ministers’ Conference to provide a perspective for its relaunch,” the AUMA MD said, adding that, “Once again, however, the opportunity has been missed to send a signal not only to the organisers, but also to the exhibiting companies, which depend on their industry platforms, especially in economically difficult times.”
Tradefairs are not set to return in Germany at least until the end of May in the best scenario, with a new three-week lockdown set to extend into the Easter holidays as Covid cases surge again in the EU. As of 20 March, the infection rate had risen above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany and 9% of the population had received a Covid vaccine shot.
Holtmeier added: “The federal and state governments cannot always make decisions with a time horizon of three to four weeks. They also have an obligation to find solutions for sectors that have long lead times for their services.”
The AUMA MD said the exhibition industry, in particular, with its high overall economic importance for Germany as an export nation, needed planning security.
“We need a plan from the politicians for the re-start that takes into account the positive effects of the vaccination and testing strategy that are already foreseeable today,” he said, not least because organisers and companies were already making decisions that affect the second half of 2021.
More than 80 exhibitions are planned for the third quarter of 2021 alone in Germany. Holtmeier said their realisation must not be jeopardised by a lack of political decisions. AUMA also pointed out that the industry has made important contributions with its recently presented package of eight health protection components.
Photo: © Koelnmesse/Ralph Richter