Next year’s bauma, the world’s largest construction equipment trade fair, has been postponed from April until October 24th-30th.
The move follows a number of exhibitors pulling out of the show in recent weeks, along with growing pressure from major exhibitors to make a final/fixed decision a soon as possible on either going ahead regardless, or postponing to new dates.
The key elements of the announcement are published below. We will also provide an update after having spoken to key individuals and are able to assess any particular impact of the decision.
“bauma—the world's leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment—is postponed to autumn 2022. That is the result of many discussions between Messe München and top industry representatives as well as the advisory board. The new date is October 24–30, 2022. Considering the particularly long planning times for exhibitors and organisers at the world's largest trade show, the decision had to be made now. This provides exhibitors and visitors a secure planning basis for preparing the upcoming bauma."
"Initially, bauma was to be held from April 04 to 10th, 2022. Despite the pandemic, both the industry’s response and the booking level was very high. However, in numerous discussions with customers, there was a growing recognition that the April date involved too many uncertainties in view of the global pandemic. The prevailing opinion was that it is currently difficult to assess whether worldwide travel—which is crucial for the success of the trade show—will be largely unhindered again in a year's time.
Especially global exhibitors, who expect customers from all over the world to attend bauma and make correspondingly high investments in stand construction, logistics and hotel capacity, advocated a postponement. They saw the decisive benefit of the trade show—namely to bring together the entire industry and to be a hub for all markets—as being jeopardised if the April date were to be adhered to."
Messe München chief executive Klaus Dittrich said: "With this decision, exhibitors and visitors now have clarity and a secure planning basis. The decision to postpone bauma was not an easy one for us, of course. But we had to make it now, before the exhibitors start planning their participation in the trade show and make corresponding investments. Unfortunately, despite the vaccination campaign that has been launched around the world, it is not yet possible to predict when the pandemic will be largely under control and unlimited worldwide travel will be possible again. This makes participation difficult to plan and calculate for both exhibitors and visitors. Under these circumstances, we would not have been able to fulfil our central promise that bauma, the world's leading trade fair, represents the entire spectrum of the industry and generate international reach like no other comparable event. After all, bauma’s last edition welcomed participants from over 200 countries around the world. Hence, the decision is consistent and logical.”
Joachim Schmid, managing director of the construction equipment within the German Engineering Federation VDMA added: “The decision is tough, but it gives all parties the planning basis they need. The industry will now do everything it can for a strong bauma in October 2022. Even without a health crisis, companies need to overcome challenges such as digitalisation, autonomous construction sites and sustainability, and stay abreast of changes to avoid falling behind. For this, they need bauma as an innovation barometer and networking platform. In next year’s October, we will all meet again in Munich.”
This is a surprise, not a surprise that it has been postponed that has been looking like a 50/50 thing for a month or more, but a surprise that the event did not wait another month or so before making its decision. Do so now is almost certainly the right move, given the costs and the fact that deposits are becoming due. Bauma depends on open and easy air travel, so unlike local shows it needs to wait on the entire world being clear of the virus.
Moving to October, rather than skipping to 2023 is interesting. The weather in October is likely to be less kind, although bauma often has to deal with changeable weather conditions – sometimes in the same week. The days are going to be shorter, and you have Octoberfest to consider- although that usually ends in early October.
One big question that no one can answer is – how keen will people be in 18 months or so to take the long haul flights from Australia/New Zealand, Asia and South America etc...? Will this increase the move to big regional events like Baum China and India etc? Especially given the increasing concerns over the environment.
I for one think that there will still be a keen appetite for the one and only Bauma and they will come in the usual numbers. But we will see.