Exhibit in Germany with Big Success
To exhibit in Germany can become a real big success for you. For many foreign, especially North American exhibitors participating in German trade shows is – compared to US shows – like a vacation in paradise, but only if you have selected the right local partner.
No unions, no drayage, no robbery catering, rather cost moderate show organizers, less design restrictions and so on.
As you may already know Germany is still the most powerful and important exhibition country in the world. Every year more than 150 international trade shows with 180.000 exhibitors (of which 103.000 are from abroad) presenting their products and services on 6.8 million net sqm show space towards around 10 million business visitors from all over the world. More than 2.7 million attendees travelled from foreign countries to these German shows.
Exhibit in Germany based on audited data decisions
Almost all important international German trade shows (only IAA Motor Show is missing) become comprehensively monitored, audited and certified in a very objective and comparable manner. These data get published on a yearly basis by FKM and you can trust them without any doubts. But you should never trust any figures provided by sales representatives of show organizers before you have rechecked and verified them by third sources. Here you can download for free the actual comprehensive, detailed audit report for 2015.
One main advantage of German exhibitions is the fact that all important venues are owned and operated by local government bodies which also organize the large majority of international shows by themselves. Private profit focused companies like Reed Exhibition, UBM, VDA, Schall etc. actually have only a minor market share which slightly increases year by year.
This fact results in quite efficient, effective organisations with experienced project teams and rather moderate participation fees and technical service costs. Many German organizers also offer their own stand building service to their exhibitors, executed by their own departments or outsourced to sub-contractors. If you want to get confronted with the so-called “German service desert” you may book them. Good luck!
Here is an overview over the ten most important German venues:
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Exhibit in Germany as a foreign exhibitor
Booths at German international exhibitions are generally more high-end quality than elsewhere. The trade show booth design tends to reﬂect the brand value and the exhibited products and/or services.
Since many German trade shows have large dimensions with many different halls and crowds of attendees there will be a strong requirement to visually stand out from the competitor crowd in order to attract qualified prospects.
European exhibitors generally rent a customized looking stand without signing any long term contracts. They simply try to avoid paying for storage and maintenance. Many German stand building style minded contractors use the advantage that the aluminium extrusion structures offer: build the core exhibit structure with rental materials that are maintained and stored at the expense of the stand contractor, and cover the the visible walls with custom components that can be stored or recycled after the show. All components with visual impact like flooring, lighting, and furniture are carefully chosen to make the booth look as individually as possible reﬂecting the company and marketing objectives of the exhibitor.
Since the European Trade show contractors can offer a large variety of components on rental basis, there are no limits for the creativity and imagination of the booth designer. The exhibitor only pays for the one-time use without any mid-or long-term commitment and financial investment.
Primary strategy to exhibit in Germany
There are basically two ways to arrange your participation at a trade show in Germany: either to choose a European exhibit house that arranges everything turn-key, or to organize the participation directly on your own, using an existing exhibit. It is best to use an experienced European exhibition company as a partner for design, manufacturing, and installation.
This would be a good choice if you participate at a show in Germany for the first time. The stand contractor will take care of everything for a reasonable price. If your company has established a branded exhibit design look, then ask your local home exhibit designer to create a conceptual design solution to fit the space. With this design, take your idea to one or two European exhibit houses and ask for a turnkey quote. Your request should include the name of the trade show, the objectives that you wish to achieve, and your budget.
An experienced full service supplier located in Germany or a neighboring country is then able to handle the rest for you. Engineering and fabricating your booth design to follow exactly the specific show regulations. Ordering on your behalf all required the technical show services. Transportation to the venue as well as unloading the stand material. Organizing the build up and dismantling, and then finally handling of your booth material after show.
Secondary strategies to exhibit in Germany
After you have made your basic decision for a specific show you will receive an Exhibitor manual or show book, either as a paper print or digitally. In most cases also available in English. Study carefully all documented regulations and rules concerning max. wall heights, ceiling suspended options, material requirements (fire proof) etc.
You can then develop a booth design with your own local home designer (scale it from the start in cm and not in feet), either based on a system-structure or completely customized.
As a second step you should write a detailed brief, the more comprehensive the better. After this you inquire several local German companies for a flat rate turn-key quote and chose the best fitting one – this must not always be the cheapest.
Exhibit in Germany with a standard shell scheme stand
Another option, if your budget is very tight, could be to rent a standard shell-scheme booth directly from the organizer. This will be the cheapest solution, but definitely not the most visually attracting approach to present your company to the international audience.
If you chose this option, you might consider cladding your rather dull standard wall structure with full wall graphic panels or fabrics produced to enforce your message and cover the shell-scheme structure. But at the end you must ask yourself whether you really can present your company in such an environment.
If you do not choose a standard booth offered by the show organizer, it is best for smaller booths to engage a local trade show booth designer from your home area to create exactly the look you desire. After finalizing the design, select a local European contractor or exhibit house to produce the booth, ship, order technical show services, and then install at show site.
This supplier will then also take care of all required additional bureaucratic forms, applications, statements and approvals that must to be completed in time set.
This would be a much safer approach than doing it yourself. Develop or use existing online checklists to assure that you will not forget any important issues to discuss with your exhibit house before starting to exhibit in Germany.