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‘No honeymoon’ period for new German government – the week in events

Your weekly event news roundup from ExpoPlatform – Germany’s new federal government warned there’s no promise of a “honeymoon” when it comes to industry support, UK Prime Minister told there needs to be a “Plan B for Events” after vaccine passports announced – and CEO of UFI Kai Hattendorf sets out his vision for our sector in 2022.

No ‘honeymoon period’ for Germany’s new federal government

The German trade fair industry has demanded industry support “immediately” from the new federal government and warned they can’t promise a “honeymoon” period.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is heading up a new coalition of the Social Democrats and Greens, with Robert Habeck in charge of economic affairs.

Now, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) is calling for clarity on clear regulations for the industry in 2022.

Jörn Holtmeier, managing director of the body, said: “Aid packages worth billions could be done without if the federal and state governments pursued clear and anticipatory policies – also during this pandemic.

“A decision in winter has a pull on summer. Omitting decisions in summer has a double effect on the pandemic winter.

“The situation is dramatic. The economic damage in the trade fair industry will be even higher in 2021 than in 2020.

“As sorry as we are, we cannot grant a honeymoon of 100 days.

“We appeal to Robert Habeck to act immediately.”

Trade fairs are currently banned in three German federal states. 

More than 70% of these shows  were cancelled in 2021, compared to 68% in 2020.

It is estimated the total economic loss since the beginning of the pandemic has now reached 46.2 billion euros.

AUMA has set out five demands for the new Federal Minister of Economics:

  • A special trade fair fund complemented by a security fund for exhibitors and trade fair service providers.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises to be given stronger support with an independent domestic trade fair promotion programme of at least 30 million euros in 2023. The promotion of young, innovative companies also to be expanded.
  • People should to be considered vaccinated if they have already been vaccinated with vaccines recognised by the WHO.
  • A strong effort to promote Germany as an international trade fair venue.
  • The introduction of a general compulsory vaccination against coronavirus in Germany. It also calls for first, second and booster vaccinations to be sped-up and have to be easily accessible.

ExpoPlatform embarks on new partnership with ETT

ExpoPlatform has announced a strategic partnership with the Exhibition Think Tank Club, helping to drive innovation and connect the event industry all over the world.

Exhibition Think Tank (ETT) Club is a global online platform for exhibition professionals to network, debate and continue to help the sector move forward. 

The leading event technology provider will now be Online Platform Gold Sponsor for ETT throughout 2022, representing an “extremely” important source of support for its mission to educate and improve our industry. Find out more.

Matthias Tesi Baur, ETT founder, described the new arrangement with ExpoPlatform as signalling a partnership which will continue for “years to come” and help drive innovation.

He said: “We are really looking forward to partner and to work with ExpoPlatform, also in the years to come.

“For us it’s much more than a sponsorship – it’s really a partnership to discuss a lot of ideas, to discuss the development of the industry and to really find out what the future will hold for us in the different possible scenarios.”

Tanya Pinchuk, ExpoPlatform CEO, added: “We are excited to extend our partnership with the ETT-Club for 2022.

“We enjoy working with Tesi and with the highly professional team behind the initiative.

“Tesi’s strategic thinking and his ability to bring people together creates the incredible opportunity for every exhibition professional to connect and problem solve.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating on all the projects that we have already planned for 2022 to drive our industry forward.” 

Australia set for ‘rebound year’ for business events

An Australian-based business travel management company has set high expectations for the New Year with 90% of corporate bookings wanting an in-person experience.

Confidence in the market Down Under is beginning to flow as borders reopen thanks to relatively high level of vaccination rates.

FCM Meetings & Events said preliminary findings suggest it will be managing a live show ever three days over the next 12 months, with thousands return to live shows.

The business travel management firm said in a statement they were optimistic 2022 would be a “rebound year”.

Simone Seiler, general manager, added: “We chose to keep moving forward day-by-day united as a team, despite all the challenges that came our way.

“We took the chance to realign ourselves and embraced the changing needs of our customers.

“This has not only renewed our confidence as a business and within the market – it has truly excited us about what’s ahead.

“The world is a different place but the one thing we do know is that businesses, both big and small, are desperate to be back face-to-face because we all crave that human connection.”

It comes after largescale venues such as Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) began welcoming back visitors following the easing of restrictions.

Public consumer exhibitions will be returned to the building this weekend, with attendance estimated to have reached up to 7,500 and 5,000 per day respectively.

Peter King CEO of MCEC, said: “What better way to kick off our recovery than to welcome back long-term customers and some new faces too.

“These relationships are our lifeblood here at MCEC and it is so exciting to see our valued partners able to fill our building again.”

‘We need a Plan B for Events’

Demands have been made for a “Plan B for Events” after the UK Prime Minister announced a raft of new restrictions for England.

The country is now one step closer to joining the rest of the four nations in requiring so-called vaccine passports for large venues.

These plans are subject to approval by MPs after being outlined by the Prime Minister last week as public health fears rise over the new coronavirus strain Omicron.

Boris Johnson gave businesses a week to prepare for what has been dubbed Plan B, however our industry has already been well ahead in introducing its own measures.

If proposals are given the the green light, people in England will need to use the NHS Covid Pass to gain entry to:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people
  • Unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
  • Any venue with more than 10,000 people

Similar schemes are already in place in the other UK nations.

Juliet Price, consultant executive director of HBAA beam, said: “Business events and hospitality need Plan B for Events immediately now that Plan B has been confirmed.

“Maintaining the lower level of VAT and extending the Kick Start are essential to sustain newly created jobs.

“Business events and hospitality now need this support immediately to prevent newly created jobs from being lost again.

“There are already clear signs of another knock back to event planner confidence in booking and running live events.

“With the onus on whether to continue with events now with the corporate client, they face cancellation charges – but without event insurance to cover them.

“This will not be a short term hit; the industry will feel the consequences of this knock back well into 2022.”

Five key trends for 2022, by UFI’s CEO

It’s been a bittersweet year for our industry – markets have started to reopen, but not to the capacity many had hoped for.

New variants of coronavirus have also added to the ongoing uncertainty which prevents planners from being able to do what they do best – plan events.

But Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO, told Exhibition World it was time to “look beyond” the challenges of the pandemic and towards the five key trends that will shape 2022:

  • Customer retention
  • Climate change and carbon reductions
  • Data & digital debate
  • A new staffing narrative
  • Tipping points

In this final section he sets out how there has yet to be an outsider come in from the tech sphere and disrupt the industry.

He instead points out how many organisations have managed to embrace this transformation – which we are keen on helping accelerate.

Kai told EW: “So far, we have not seen the Uber disruption moment in our industry, where a digital newcomer rewrites our business model.

“Instead, rather the opposite, our industry has embraced digital solutions, alongside more traditional services, enriching our offerings and value.”

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you.