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BAU 2021 still on track

BAU 2021 is on track to offer the industry an attractive platform at the Munich Exhibition Center from January 11 to 16. This is the result of the latest meetings of the Advisory Board and Board of Trustees with representatives from leading exhibitors and trade associations. In view of the falling rates of infection and easing of travel restrictions throughout Europe, Messe München believes that the prospects are good for a successful BAU 2021. A 15 percent Corona bonus on the participation price should help the exhibitors with the acquisition of visitors.

Developments over the past few weeks and the positive feedback from the Advisory Board make Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Messe München, very confident: "As in the past, the bookings for BAU are excellent, demand is especially high from abroad. I am also certain that business activity will continue to gather pace over summer and fall. With the 15 percent bonus we want to give our exhibitors the opportunity to invest more in inviting their customers. Visitor numbers will likely be lower this time around. But with our combined efforts the quality and quantity of the visitors will once again be on a high level."

"The brave ones have to fly the flag"
Dieter Schäfer, CEO of Deutsche Steinzeug and chairman of the BAU exhibitor advisory board, stated the following on behalf of the exhibitors: "It's about time that we met our customers personally again, both old and new. The brave ones have to fly the flag. No digital format can replace personal meetings. We need this so that we can jump-start our business. The economy always demands perspectives and a reliable exit scenario. This is what BAU offers us now. We just have to take the first step."

Safety and hygiene concept
Following the decision on May 27 that trade fairs can be held in Bavaria again, the Bavarian state government approved a corresponding protection and hygiene concept on June 23 as the basis for reestablishing trade fair activities. The cornerstones of the concept are: social distancing, hygiene, and traceability of all participants. The hygiene measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning activities and setting up disinfection stands. As regards a possible requirement to wear face masks, a review is scheduled for September before the fall trade fair season begins to determine whether this requirement is actually necessary. In any case, it is permissible to remove the mask during customer meetings that take place at tables—similar to the measure in place for hospitality businesses. "This is the current status, " stresses Reinhard Pfeiffer: "However, we hope that more restrictions will be loosened if the development of the pandemic is favorable."

100,000 m² exhibition space already allocated
Meanwhile, the planning for BAU 2021 is running at full speed. While several well-known companies and brands have decided not to take part in BAU this time, there is still high demand for space, especially from abroad. Eighty percent of the available exhibition space, about 100,000 m² net, have already been allocated. This is the same level as two years ago. About a third of the exhibition space has been booked by international exhibitors. At present, demand is particularly high from Belgium and Poland, but also from countries such as Italy and Spain, which have been especially hard hit by the Corona virus. In view of this level of booking, management assumes that all 18 trade fair halls will be occupied.

New online offers
BAU will also have a virtual presence, continue to develop its online offerings and introduce new ones, especially for all those people who are unable to come to Munich in person.

• The newly developed Connect app has improved chat functions and matchmaking formats.
• Parts of the forum program can be streamed, also presentations and other activities from the Digital Village and from Tradesmen Meet.
• Exhibitors also have the opportunity to reach (potential) customers virtually. The basis for this is the customer data from BAU and the "trusted targeting" technology of Messe München.
• There will also be live images from BAU. In this way, everyone who is interested can at least get a glimpse of what is happening at the fair, even from afar—and can then still travel to Munich at short notice.

Special topic: Corona
The forum program, based on the key themes "Digital Transformation", "The Challenge of Climate Change", "Resources & Recycling" and "The Future of Building", will again bring together top speakers from the whole of Europe. In addition to the key themes, BAU will focus on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as a special topic. What does Corona mean for the construction industry at home and abroad? And what are the consequences for the industry of the digitization impetus triggered by the Corona virus? This and many other questions associated with the pandemic will be discussed and debated at BAU.

Exhibition Director Mirko Arend summarizes: "BAU has always shown that it can be relied upon especially under difficult conditions. For example, during the GFC in 2009, against all odds, it proved to be a constant. It will be the same again this time."

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