The window, door and facade construction sector is preparing for the first live trade show in four years: from Tuesday, 29 March to Friday, 1 April 2022, window and façade manufacturers, carpenters, architects, and suppliers will finally meet again at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE in Nuremberg, after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled on very short notice due to the pandemic.
Elke Harreiss, Director of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE at NürnbergMesse, on the status of preparations for this special edition and the mood among exhibitors and trade show organisers.
Ms. Harreiss, the first trade shows since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic were successfully held at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg in the autumn of 2021. How important are these experiences for the preparations for FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022?
Elke Harreiss: The extremely positive feedback from participants in FACHPACK, it-sa and FeuerTrutz 2021 showed that the trade show experience can be successful despite the special circumstances of the pandemic. Participants were nearly unanimous in their assessments: ‘It almost feels like it did before!’ We’re applying these experiences in the advice we give to our clients. For example, we can now utilise photo and video materials for demonstration purposes, which simplifies the planning process. Still, the preparations are more intense than usual, of course.
How are exhibitors, as well as you and your team preparing for this FENSTERBAU FRONTALE under these special conditions?
The planning process here with us in Nuremberg and with the registered companies are in full swing. The exhibitors have received extensive information from us about the currently applicable, infection-dependent framework hygiene concept for exhibition centres in Bavaria and the currently applicable regulations for stand construction and catering and they are currently preparing their trade show participation on the basis of these guidelines.
It is more important for us than ever this year to provide close support to exhibitors in the planning phase. To this end, we regularly offer webinars to provide advice on the implementation of the applicable regulations and answer specific questions. We often find in these webinars that the ‘hygiene concept bogeyman’ is not as frightful when people take a closer look at it. After all, most of the exhibitors’ stand design ideas can be implemented.
We are encouraged by the fact that some restrictions have already been eased since the first version took effect in August 2021. And so, it can be assumed that the current requirements will change again before FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022. In addition, we are focusing on designing an exciting supporting programme with proven elements such as the FENSTERBAU FRONTALE FORUM, the ‘Green Deal’ special show with ift Rosenheim, the Window-Facade Architecture Forum, guided tours and various topic-specific special shows, as well as some new features.
We are presenting parts of the program online for interested parties who may not be able to attend the event in person in March 2022 due to any remaining travel restrictions.
What is the registration status for FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022, and from where are participants travelling to Nuremberg?
The early signs are encouraging: About 52,000 square meters or 82 percent of available exhibition space have already been booked. 565 exhibitors – half of which are international – have registered for FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022 and we are still receiving new registrations. We are currently even recording bookings from countries outside Europe from which no companies were registered in 2020, for example Argentina. The current status can be found at www.frontale.de/exhibitors-products.
We currently expect that the percentage of participants from Germany will rise by a few percentage points overall and that most international visitors will travel to Nuremberg from European countries. By comparison, 94 percent of all visitors to the last combined trade show FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and HOLZ-HANDWERK 2018 came from Europe.
How do you assess the current attitude towards in-person events in the sector?
We sense a tremendous need to meet people in person and present innovations and products to a live audience. After all, FENSTERBAU FRONTALE as a global industry meeting place has not been held for four long years. Here in Nuremberg, we are delighted that all those who wish to come will be able to use this platform for successful business deals. And so naturally, most of the registered exhibitors and we too are working very hard on the trade show preparations.
We are highly encouraged by the signal we have received, namely that no one in this industry questions the value of an in-person trade show. Those who cannot attend in 2022 are planning to come in 2024!