Is need for face to face encounters driving growth of trade fairs in 2021?

As restrictions are easing worldwide and people are preparing to return to work, businesses are already looking ahead to 2021.

The need for personal encounters and face to face communication is growing as well as the demand for new products.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire consumer goods industry is facing a difficult year,” says Nicolette Naumann, vice president Ambiente.

“But we already have an optimistic outlook for the future: at 90 per cent, Ambiente is already well filled at this stage. This once again shows that the world's largest consumer goods fair will again be a set date of industry’s agenda for 2021.

“Especially after such a difficult time, trade needs new momentum to boost consumption. Moreover, the need for communication and face-to-face encounters is becoming increasingly apparent. Exhibitors and visitors will find all this at Ambiente.”

Ambiente will take place from 19 to 23 February 2021 in Frankfurt.

Heimtextil, held from 12 to 15 January 2021, is also proving popular with more than 95 per cent of space booked.

“Even though predictions are difficult to make at present, we expect to be able to offer international players in the industry a first-rate, positive environment for their businesses in January 2021,” says Olaf Schmidt, vice president textiles & textile technologies at Messe Frankfurt.

“The fact that more than 95 per cent of the space as compared to the last Heimtextil is now booked makes us feel very optimistic. We of course hope that the number of companies that end up in difficulty because of the crisis will be very low. However, at this early point in time, the very good number of registrations and the concentration of industry participants at the trade fair gives us incredible momentum.

“As far as the pandemic is concerned, we are convinced that people will still want to meet in person to exchange their products―and perhaps more so than ever after this crisis year―and that personal contacts are the best prerequisite for good, long-term business. Virtual offers can of course complement global communication. But personal meetings and the experience of touch, especially in the field of textiles, will remain essential.”

Exhibitors and visitors to Heimtextil can expect to see a change to the program structure with Show, Trend and Conference to be the three main elements of the trade fair.