Getting ready for the future after crisis
Somewhat delayed, the financial crisis is now having a considerable impact on the international trade fair market. This market grew by an annual average of 4.5% between 1998 and 2007, but stagnated in 2008. However, developments were not the same the world over: while the German trade fair industry realized 7% growth and generated record sales of EUR 2.9 billion, the US market shrank by 3.1%. Furthermore, available exhibition space and thus competition rose steadily. This has resulted in an ongoing consolidation process.
The 20 biggest trade fair companies already have almost 45% of the world market. Media and private equity companies in particular have been able to systematically expand their trade fair activities. The crisis will accelerate the consolidation trend. Especially established markets will profit from this, above all Germany, which has a higher than average number of premium trade fairs. What's more, despite their high quality, German trade shows have among the lowest stall fees worldwide. Transferring established trade fair brands abroad continues to be a success model. Inorganic growth through acquisitions and shareholdings as well as active portfolio management are becoming more and more important.