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97% of companies want “and need” in-person trade shows

Global print trade show organiser Messe Frankfurt says survey of 59,000 companies has found an overwhelming majority support in-person trade fairs. “This is a clear vote of confidence for in-person events."

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Wolfgang Marzin
    "A clear vote of confidence":
Wolfgang Marzin, Messe Frankfurt

“Companies expressed clear approval of the additional digital benefits offered by hybrid trade fair formats during the pandemic in particular, however: people want – and need – in-person trade fairs,” said Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt.

“This is a clear vote of confidence for in-person events,” Marzin said. “Only 3 percent of respondents wanted to see events move entirely online. In fact, 67 percent of our customers would like events to take place solely in person, with another 30 percent expressing a preference for hybrid formats. In total, 97 percent of our customers remain convinced that in-person events are an essential component of trade fairs.

“We first conducted this survey back in 2020, and not only were our customers eager to share their views, but there was also a sharp rise in confidence been the first and second surveys. Many of our customers saw their financial situations improve markedly during this time. There has also been an increasing readiness to take part in trade fairs nationally and internationally, both today and in future. Both of these factors have made us very optimistic here at Messe Frankfurt. Our customers are still here.”

59,000 companies took part in the survey. The goal was for local sales partners to contact Messe Frankfurt’s customers during the coronavirus pandemic, inform them of trade fair cancellations and support their efforts to participate in current and future trade fairs.

“Customers were asked not only to answer the questions posed by our sales partners, but as part of the second survey this spring they were also called on to participate in a more in-depth market research survey,” said Mirko Schubert, vice president International Sales Management at Messe Frankfurt. “The fact that more than 70 percent of customers surveyed provided us with qualified feedback is a sensational result that breaks all of our records.”

The survey result is good news for PacPrint organisers Visual Connections and the Print & Visual Communications Association (PVCA), who last month were forced to postpone Australia’s major print and sign trade show because of Covid-19 restrictions. The new PacPrint dates are June 28 - July 1, 2022.