Despite the major airport shutdown in northern Europe, the Bauma Trade Fair, the world’s largest construction show, opened as scheduled April 19 even though 80 of the 3,150 stands were empty as a result of cancelled flights. What saved the Bauma show is that many exhibitors came from European countries that have train connections to Munich, Germany, where the show is held from April 19-25.
With airports just beginning to open after several days of closure, many international visitors were significantly late or unable to attend. Bauma organizers said typically only about 15 percent of show visitors come by air, with many coming by car or train from Germany or other European countries.
Bauma show organizers said for organizational and logistical reasons, it was not possible at this late stage to delay the start or extend the length of the show.
“Quite a number of the exhibitors who are reliant on long-haul flights to get to Bauma are affected by the closure of most European airports, and it is expected they will not be able to staff their stands on time,” said Klaus Dittrich, chairman and CEO of Messe Munchen GmbH, the show organizer. “We are in close contact with Munich airport and the airlines in order to bring these people to Munich as quickly as possible, as soon as the authorities say air travel can resume.”
Messe Munchen quickly hired and trained additional personnel for the start of the show to take inquiries from visitors at stands without personnel.