Study of German trade shows by Promosalons Germany

As part of the international promotion of French trade shows, Promosalons and Paris Region Entreprises (PRE) asked the German office to conduct a study on trade shows in Germany. The goal was to inform French operators in the sector how they should position themselves in a highly competitive market.

Promosalons launched the study, entitled “Trends in German trade shows in Germany and around the world”, in 2006 and repeated it in 2009. Now it is an integral part of a campaign that Promosalons and PRE have been conducting for more than a year to promote French and Paris trade shows globally.

The analysis is designed to provide the network’s member shows and institutional partners with information on France’s main trade-show competitor in Europe. It collects data and statements from managers of the main German exhibition centres to offer more insight into the operations of this major competitor.

The study is based on extensive statistical data provided by Auma (the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry) and acts as a starting point for reflection on the present and future situation of the German trade fair industry.

The study deliberately avoids making any comparisons with French trade shows because data and situations are very different between the two countries.

The study’s results were presented in Paris on 27 October to Sabine Enjalbert, Executive Director of PRE, Corinne Moreau, Executive Director of Promosalons, and some 50 business leaders, French trade show executives and Promosalons institutional partners. During the presentation, Dominique Cherpin, from Promosalons Germany, discussed the study’s key findings, which included the following:

  • Trade shows in Germany have a very distinctive eco-system because many German exhibition centres run at a loss and rely heavily on investment from government authorities (for infrastructure and promotion).
  • German exhibition centres generated revenues of €3.1 billion in 2013 and have invested €177 million in their infrastructure.
  • The trade-show culture in Germany is very strong: over 89% of German companies regard trade shows as a key communications tool.
  • 304 trade shows were held in Germany in 2013 attracting 16 million visitors. Of those, 139 were international, attracting 10 million visitors (2.6 million of them from overseas) and 166,000 exhibitors (96,000 of them international).
  • Despite the high number of German trade shows, most of their international orientation is Europe-focused: 63% of visitors and 52% of exhibitors come from the EU. That said, the shows continue to capture new markets. This year visitors from China (12,305) outnumbered those from Italy (11,123), which is traditionally the source of the highest number of visitors.
  • 32% of german trade shows are duplicated outside germany. In 2014, more than 20 german organisers launched some 300 trade shows abroad, although not all of that investment ended up producing a return: of a total of 211 shows organised abroad in 2009, 90 had disappeared by 2013, i.e. 43%.

Download the Study in french: "Trends in German trade shows in Germany and around the world".