Marketplace with multiplier function

Dominique Schroller

Published on 13.05.2020

Trade shows play a decisive role in the economic management of the crisis. Reed Exhibition has therefore successfully promoted a differentiation of the term major event.

Trade shows are a motor for national and international economic life. They provide a platform to present innovations, make contacts, conclude contracts and do good business. However, the Corona pandemic has also slowed down this industry for the time being. Since the outbreak of the virus, organisers worldwide have had to cancel 2,497 trade shows and exhibitions; in Germany alone, 463 are affected.

Trade shows as a source of inspiration

The German government has banned all major events until 31 August – which previously included trade shows. It is precisely this generalisation that those responsible at the Association of the German Trade Show Industry (AUMA) have opposed and emphatically demanded that different formats be viewed in a differentiated manner. “Trade shows bring together suppliers and demand and have a clear business purpose. They are not recreational events,” emphasised AUMA Managing Director Jörn Holtmeier. In a letter to the politically responsible persons, he pointed out that trade shows are not only important impulse generators for economic life, but that they are also fundamentally different from concerts, sports events or public festivals in terms of the behaviour and interaction of their participants and with regard to the hygienic framework conditions. The initiative is already showing the first signs of success: In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state government has created the conditions for trade shows to be allowed to take place again after 31 May.

More planning security for organizers

Reed Exhibitions expressly supported the position and commitment of the association and played an active role in the political advance at board level. “In our view, trade shows have a key role to play in the reactivation of economic life at national, regional and municipal level”, explains Reed Managing Director Hans-Joachim Erbel. Together with the Association of the German Trade Show Industry, the Trade Association for Trade Shows and Exhibitions (FAMA) and his own lobby group in Berlin, he has been campaigning for some time to ensure that the organisers have planning security and that the central marketplaces for innovations, exchange and solution finding are allowed to open again throughout Germany this year under certain safety and hygiene standards. Hans-Joachim Erbel emphasizes that these are the central instrument of sales policy, especially for medium-sized companies. “Trade shows have a central function when it comes to preparing an initial spark for the start of economic life after the end of the lockdown.

Until this happens, Reed Exhibitions in particular is informing the promotional products industry via a regular newsflash with specialist information and tips on offers of help, has extended the terms of use for offers such as the PSI Product Finder and, in addition to the personal service at the virtual regulars’ table and in the data café, offers opportunities to come into contact with each other and exchange information.