Trade fairs remain important in B2B communication

The latest survey proves that trade fairs remain the most important instrument of business – to – business communication. The results of the latest “AUMA MesseTrend 2014” representative survey carried out in the end of 2013 on behalf of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, confirm that exhibitors are rather optimistic about the near future. In the next two years, 57% of them aim to keep their trade fair budget stable and 26% want to increase it. According to AUMA, some 26% of companies aim to increase their trade fair budget for 2014/15, 57% want to keep it at the same level and only 17% plan to reduce it. This indicates that exhibitors are taking a cautiously opti-mistic approach to the future. Even 29% of small exhibitors with sales of less than 2.5 million euros aim to invest more in trade fairs and only 14% plan to spend less. During the Association’s annual press conference in December 2013 in Cologne Walter Mennekes, Chairman of AUMA, highlighted the fact that exhibitors with only one or two participations in trade fairs within a two-year period wanted to expand their involvement. Around 30% intend to spend more on trade fairs and 19% at least want to increase their participation in future, while 71% plan on maintaining the same level of participation. Clearly, these companies have had positive experiences of trade fairs to date. At the same time the survey shows that the number of participations at trade fairs in Germany will remain largely unchanged over the next few years. According to the results of the survey, German exhibitors also focus strongly on continuity in terms of international involvement: over three quarters intend to keep their level of participation the same. The share of trade fair budgets of the total B2B marketing expenditure remains very high, said the AUMA chairman. It is presently at 42%, a level similar to that of the past five years. Small com-panies even spend around 45% of their budget on trade fairs, said Mennekes. He continued: “People who need to target the use of their funds are more frequently opting for trade fairs.” Clearly, people feel confident that trade fairs have an especially high efficiency. Almost 80% of German exhibitors regard trade fairs as an important or very important element of their communication mix. This is only marginally less than the average of recent years, despite growing media competition. Mennekes stated that trade fairs continue to be at the centre of B2B communication for exhibiting companies. In contrast, the importance of advertising in trade publications in the last five years had declined considerably, he said. Organising own events was also judged to be less important today. Source: AUMA – the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry;