Germany's trade fairs moving to Asia

Germany's trade fairs moving to Asia

4th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

As the domestic market dwindles, German trade fairs are moving to potentially much more lucrative areas, including China, India and Russia.

Germany's trade fairs are increasingly moving overseas as domestic demand stagnates and emerging economies attract more investors.

China and India are the markets with the greatest potential, followed by Russia and United Arab Emirates, according to the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA).

The number of German-organized overseas fairs climbed to around 220 this year from 200 in 2006 and is expected to have grown to more than 230 next year, AUMA says.

Booming business abroad

In India, the new Bangalore International Exhibition Centre has recently opened in the subcontinent's IT metropolis, bringing competition to established fairgrounds in New Delhi and Mumbai.

The Bangalore centre is the first in India to be marketed internationally by Deutsche Messe AG, operators of big-name events like the Hanover Fair and CeBIT information technology exhibition.

The German company begins its activities in India on December 4 with three fairs covering industrial segments that are also included in the world famous Hanover Fair.

There is the Industrial Automation INDIA, the MDA INDIA, a fair for motion and drive technology, and the logistics exhibition CeMAT INDIA. All three fairs are open to visitors until December 7.

The Hanover-based Deutsche Messe AG has up to now concentrated its overseas activities in China and Turkey. But India has become "a very interesting" market, according Messe AG board chairman Sepp Heckmann.

The company is a relative latecomer in the Indian market, where rival German trade fair operators from Frankfurt and Dusseldorf have been active for a long time.

"We are not competing with other trade fair companies in order to achieve the pole position on the Indian market," says Heckmann. "It's not about being first, it's about pursuing the best strategy."

"Whereas the other companies are involved in consumer goods such as textiles, we are concentrating on the investment goods industry. It is here we see an enormous growth potential in the coming years."

Deutsche Messe AG has annual revenues of 250 million euros (368 million dollars), more than 10 per cent of which comes from overseas operations. The company hopes to see this share increase to more than 20 percent in the years ahead.

New strategies

The German trade fair operators are adopting a double strategy in their attempts to expand in overseas, says to Marco Spinger, head of AUMA's global marketing.

This involves a rapid expansion of trade fairs abroad in the hope there will be a spin-off for the big fairs in Germany. Organisers believe they can persuade exhibitors at foreign trade fairs to take a chance and show their goods in Germany.

Spinger says the expansion overseas has not had a negative effect on the trade fair industry in Germany:

Overseas trade fairs have "a door-opening function" for German firms who exhibit their goods in India or China and gain access to rapidly expanding markets there, he said.

DPA with Expatica

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