12 May 2020


The German government has decided to pave a way for exhibitions and trade shows in the country to reopen. Although this announcement is made just after the decision by the VDV to cancel the IAA Commercial vehicles show in Hannover, UFI, the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, has welcomed this decision. As the first German state, North Rhine-Westphalia has decided that it intends to allow topical (i.e. B2B) trade shows and congresses to run from May 30 if (yet to be specified) are met.

In its list of measures on dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Germany has taken the step to segment “mass gatherings”, explicitly highlighting out trade shows and exhibitions as types of events that can be allowed again. While most types of mass gatherings remain banned in the country until the end of August, the 16 German states now have authority to give the go ahead for trade shows and exhibitions, based on a number of preconditions being met – like a limitation of participants, and approved health and safety measures. “We are advocating that not all types of events are equal, and it is encouraging to see that this message has reached the government of one of the world’s most important exhibition markets”, says Mary Larkin, UFI President. “Every exhibition is an organised event – as an industry, we know how to create conditions where attendees can go about their business while taking the necessary precautions for Covid-19.”

UFI published a “Global Framework guidance for the safe reopening of exhibitions and B2B trade events” giving guidance towards both political decision makers and health authorities about how the industry as able to provide a safe environment in the age if Covid-19.

According to UFI globally the exhibition sector generates 68.7 billion euros in direct GDP and contributes a total economic impact of 275 billion euros.

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