There are trade fair grounds (Messe) in over 20 German cities. In a year, over 130 international and national trade fairs take place in Germany. More than 140,000 exhibitors come to display their products. About 45% exhibitors are from foreign countries (largely dominated by EC and other European exhibitors). Asian exhibitors form about 15% of total foreign exhibitors. The German trade fairs attract about 9 million visitors, of which over 1.5 million come from outside Germany. Trade fairs in Germany are specialised and cater to specific products. Participation is expensive by Indian standard and thus adequate preparation and planning are necessary before participation. German trade fairs not only attract German visitors but also visitors from Europe and other continents. This is to be kept in mind while choosing the product range for display.
-For a company participating for the first time in a German trade fair, one can consider participation under official umbrella, i.e. participation through one of the Export Promotion Councils. Exposure to German trade fair market will helpgaining experience for direct participation.
-Space/exhibition area is limited in most of the trade fairs. The deadline for booking space often ends 6-8 months before the commencement of the fair. Many exhibitors book it one year in advance, i.e. next year's booking is done while participating in the current years trade fair. Regarding space allocation, preference is always given to the regular participants.
-Hotel rents are invariably increased when a major trade fair takes place in a city. Accommodation usually gets booked in advance. Prior planning is necessary for booking accommodation, especially if one is looking for reasonably priced hotel/apartments. Hotel authorities invariably ask for advance payment or international credit card number for any booking during fair period. Tourismus + Congress GmbH, Frankfurt can arrange hotel rooms or private accommodation for fairs in Frankfurt (Contact: Tel: 0049-69-21230808, Fax:21240512, TCF.Info@frankfurt-main.de ).
-Catalogue entry: entry of a company's name in the official catalogue of the Messe is possible through payment. Entry with complete details, such as, stand no. and complete product range is an absolute must. German buyers are usually methodical and plan their visit to different stalls from the official catalogue (as per their product interest). This is more so because it might not be possible to visit all the stalls during the fair period.
-In a large trade fair, different halls are meant for displaying different products. One might find it attractive to display all kinds of products in one stall, in order to get maximum exposure. However, it might not be useful, as the visitors coming to a particular stall will only look for the products which are permitted to be displayed in a stall. Moreover, the visitors interested in other products (which are to be displayed in other halls) might not visit your hall as such.
-Stand construction and decoration are very important to attract passing visitors. Economising too much on this might not get enough visitors or business. Every trade fair organiser/Messe authority provides stand construction services. However, this will be slightly expensive and it is possible to find cheaper contractors. Readymade stalls (already constructed) are available in some fairs. Use of these will reduce construction cost.
-Arrangement for timely shipment of goods for display, custom clearance and insurance should be done to avoid last minute problem.
-Every trade fair organiser/Messe authority provides some basic information such as last year's catalogue, available press release, addresses of contractors and other agencies providing different services, possibility of booking of reasonable price accommodation through tourist office etc. Every exhibitor can access this information while booking space or thereafter.
-Other than catalogue entry, publicity at fair ground is possible through posters, display area etc. These are offered at a price and to be booked in advance. These can only publicise the name of the company, stand number and product range.
-Copying of design of display products is strictly prohibited. Every Messe authority permits a few designated photographers to take photograph within Messe ground / halls. Anybody not having such identity card should not be allowed to take photographs at your stand, as piracy might be the motive. Similarly, any exhibitor found copying others' design can be barred from displaying his products, if the Messe authorities receive genuine complaint against him.
-There are some environmental norms and safety measures (regarding inflammability /fire proofing) for stand decoration. These are to be strictly adhered to.
-Limited subsidy is available under IGEP/German aid for official participation in few selected fairs.
- Messe Frankfurt has an office in India. Companies applying for first time participation in Messe Frankfurt may consider contacting Messe Franfurt office in India.