How have AUMA members reacted to the pandemic restrictions?
Jörn Holtmeier: For most trade fairs, alternative digital formats were developed. They offered good opportunities to get in touch with potential partners. Some fairs developed hybrid formats to specially cater for foreign participants who couldn’t physically attend due to travel restrictions. However, it is inherently difficult to convince new customers of product quality using only digital and hybrid formats. For that reason, we are all working hard to help brick-and-mortar fairs resume as soon as possible.
Germany drew praise for its early handling of corona. To what extent did this translate into a competitive advantage for its trade fair industry?
Holtmeier: The relatively sound footing of the German economy certainly represents an advantage. Nevertheless, when our neighbors lack purchasing power and scale back investments due to the pandemic, fewer buyers will attend our trade fairs, and those who do come will have smaller purchasing budgets. In other words, cross-border stability is crucial.