The Bauma World Trade Fair, the world’s largest construction equipment convention, was held in Munich recently, breaking past attendance and exhibition records. About 410,000 attendees, tops in the show’s history, attended, approximately three times the size of ConExpo, held in Las Vegas every three years. The weeklong trade fair, known officially as bauma + mining, was held at the New Munich Trade Fair Center March 29 to April 4.
International visitors represented 31 percent of the attendance, up from 27 percent at the 2001 show, with attendees from 171 countries. There were 2,801 exhibitors, up from 2,341 in 2001, 52 percent coming from outside Germany. There were exhibiting companies from 48 countries, six more than in 2001.
The sheer size of the show astounded visitors, with about 500,000 square feet of exhibition space covered. Some exhibits were particularly large. For example, Caterpillar occupied an entire hangar -- the fair is on the grounds of the former Munich airport -- with its indoor exhibit alone, and many companies had extensive outdoor demonstration areas. Many companies offered their own entertainment to draw people to their displays, and offered ample helpings of food and beverages to visitors.
Exhibitors typically sell large volumes of equipment at the show, and this year manufacturers in general expressed satisfaction with customer activity. “We had considerably more visitors than at the last bauma, which was also reflected by the number of orders we received,” said Ulrich Meyer, managing director of Volvo Construction Europe. “We had increases in the double-digit range.”
Exhibitors were pleased that a high percentage of attendees were decision-makers for their respective firms. According to a survey conducted by independent market-research institute TNS Infratest, 79 percent of the attendees were in decision-making capacities. Its surveys also indicated a growing optimism about economic conditions in their various countries, with 29 percent optimistic about economic growth on a worldwide basis, up from 17 percent at the 2001 trade show. Forty-six percent responded positively about prospects for growth in the construction industry, up from 30 percent in 2001.
The next bauma + mining trade fair will be held in Munich April 23-29, 2007.