Following a four-year break, BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems, returned last week. About 190,000 visitors attended the event from April 17 to 22 at the Messe München exhibition centre. They viewed innovations and trends from the 2,260 exhibitors from 49 countries.
Halfway through the trade fair, visitor numbers almost reached the 2019 level. Token strikes at German airports and in the regional and long-distance public transport system curbed the positive trend however. BAU nevertheless delivered a very successful result despite these general conditions. The BAU Insights 365-days industry platform, set up just two months ago, was also a big hit – up to 40,000 people used the construction industry’s new online portal every day.
Survey shows satisfaction
BAU’s successful comeback is also reflected in the survey run by the Gelszus opinion research institute, in which 93 percent of the exhibitors rated the fair as good to excellent. 91 percent also believe it has the right trade fair character. 90 percent of exhibitors gave top marks for quality, and 89 percent for the internationality of the visitors.
Visitors once again gave best marks for BAU 2023, as 98 percent of the respondents rated the fair as good to excellent.
At the top of BAU’s international visitor ranking are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Poland and Turkey now rank fourth and fifth thanks to strong growth. International visitors on the whole amounted to almost 80,000, which represents 40 per cent of the total number of visitors and therefore a record result. In percentage terms internationality is somewhat higher than the previous record from 2019 (37 percent).
The number of Chinese visitors in particular must be emphasized here. With 1,600 people, China ranks among BAU 2023’s top 10 visitor countries. A positive surprise after the COVID-19 restrictions for traveling outside of China were only recently relaxed.
A positive return to trade fairs
“BAU has once again proven that it is and will remain the most important platform for innovations and premiers in the construction segment," said co-CEOs, Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel. "Despite the four-year enforced interlude, more companies than ever exhibited in Munich. This underpins the very positive reception to trade fairs, in particular leading international trade fairs."
Dieter Schäfer, chair of BAU’s Exhibitor Advisory Board agrees this year’s BAU was extremely successful: “By shifting BAU 2023 to April we did everything right. Fully occupied halls and a high number of international visitors underscore BAU’s relevance. And of course, it was all the more important because the fair was back again after more than four years. In future BAU will take place again as usual in January.”
BAU Exhibition Director Matthias Strauss is already looking forward to the coming events in the BAU Network: “After this successful BAU, the entire team is really excited about the digitalBAU conference & networking premier this July, and of course the next digitalBAU in February 2024.”
The German Construction Software Association appears as a partner with the new digitalBAU conference & networking event, as Chairman Johannes Reischböck explains: “The presentation program as part of the conference will further advance understanding of and know-how for digitisation in the construction industry, and therefore make an important contribution to the sector’s competitiveness in Germany. Our member companies will present their innovations in person here.”
The next edition of BAU will be held from January 13 to 18, 2025, at the Munich exhibition grounds.
The digitalBAU conference + networking (July 4 – 6, 2023, Munich) and digitalBAU (February 20 – 22, 2024, Cologne) also present solutions and products in the construction software area.