Messe München, one of the world’s leading trade fair organizers, expects the exhibition and congress business to pick up again in 2021, ending a phase of privation of physical events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This positive outlook was delivered by Managing Director, Stefan Rummel of Messe München in an exclusive dialogue with CFG. One of the executive’s key and hopeful messages was: "As things stand today, Air Cargo Europe will not be cancelled, but will take place from 04-07MAY21 as part of the Munich-held Transport Logistic trade fair.”
However, the event is still not cast in stone since ultimately everything depends on the further development of the pandemic, Mr. Rummel stressed. “But the prospect that we will run the event as planned is very high.” A final decision on whether it will be an online or on-site event will be announced next February, he said, though he still asks for patience.
Thumbs up for Air Cargo Europe if COVID-19 does not spiral
As an encouraging sign, he mentions the number of bookings for the dual trade fairs Transport Logistic and Air Cargo Europe, which have exceeded original expectations, thus indicating a positive trend. In a press release, the management says that currently 80 percent of exhibitors that had booked a stand in 2019 have confirmed their participation in the upcoming trade show next May. Both events are traditionally held at the Munich exhibition center built on the grounds of the former airport Riem.
To encourage the industry to show up and book a stand, the organizer is offering a 15% discount for customers confirming the booking for the Munich event by 14JAN21. Yet, would video conferences not be more sensible in view of the pandemic? “Personal contacts need to be maintained, renewed, or revived, which is not possible through webinars,” reads a management appeal. This is best achieved through meetings, discussions, and getting to know new customers personally at marketplaces such as trade fairs.
Comprehensive healthcare concept
For risk minimization, Messe München has developed a comprehensive safety and hygiene package that greatly reduces the chance of infection for exhibitors and attendees. The scheme is part of confidence-building measures to dispel fears of catching the virus while attending a trade show, and to give the industry a positive signal concerning health considerations.
A similar risk management concept is also part of a logistics conference scheduled to be held in the USA in the fall of next year, most probably in California, in partnership with TIACA´s Executive Summit. Currently, organizer Messe München is still evaluating different meeting venues such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, or others, but indicates that a final decision will be announced before Christmas. “It will not be a fair in the traditional sense, but a mix of congress and conference programs and a lot of opportunities to network,” says Mr. Rummel. Currently, this show will also take place as planned.
TIACA event reloaded
The same applies to the double event with TIACA in Florida, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 but is rescheduled to be held in Miami in two years’ time.
Asked about the consequences of the corona crisis for his own company, Stefan Rummel says that the loss of sales currently amounts to 210 million euro. “We are currently only earning money with trade fairs in China, attended by domestic companies but also local representatives of international firms.”
A restructuring program was therefore initiated to improve the cost structure, while at the same time expanding the digital competence of the trade fair company. After all, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of online conferences for exchanging views and doing business, a communication tool that will continue to exist in post-Covid-19 times.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.