Closing Report 238,000 trade visitors: Record crowds at BAU 2011

* Visitor numbers leap by 12% – the largest and most important trade fair for the building sector enters a new dimension* An increase from 18 to 25% in international visitors underlines BAU´s position as the world´s leading trade fair for the sector * Proportion of trade visitors from planning and architectural offices rises further to 22%BAU 2011, the World´s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials, Systems, has experienced a tremendous surge of visitors.

Not only has BAU achieved new records for participation, it has also impressively underlined its status as the world´s leading trade fair for the sector. Approximately 238,000 visitors streamed into the New Munich Trade Fair Centre over the six days of the fair – that´s around 12% more than at the last event in 2009. Never before in the 50-year history of BAU has the event seen such a strong rise. In terms of international participation, this top event for the sector entered a new dimension: Almost 60,000 visitors to BAU 2011 came from outside Germany. This boosted the proportion of foreign visitors to 25%, up from 18% in 2009. There was also a further increase in the proportion of planners and architects attending the fair – to 22% this year. Expressed in absolute numbers, that´s more than 52,000 trade visitors from this segment alone!

The visitors to BAU 2011 travelled to Munich from over 150 different countries of origin. Right from the very first day, the halls were packed – all the exhibitors can confirm this. “We were virtually overrun,” was the comment of many exhibitors. From almost all the countries there was a significant increase in the number of visitors. After Germany, the countries from which most trade visitors came were Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, France and Great Britain. Particularly noticeable, too, was the strong rise in numbers from countries outside Europe – for example, India, Japan, the US, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. In some cases here the numbers doubled.

Messe München Managing Director Dr Reinhard Pfeiffer: “BAU has exceeded all expectations. Once again it has made a quantum leap. We are seeing that the rise in visitor numbers is due in large part to the broader international reach of the fair. With almost 60,000 visitors coming from outside Germany, international participation now accounts for an impressive 25%. This is firm evidence to back BAU´s claim to being the leading international trade fair for the sector. Furthermore, BAU was able to once again expand its reputation as the world´s number one platform for architects and planners. In the end what´s important is that our customers – the exhibitors and the trade visitors – are extremely happy and that BAU has been able to provide a first-class platform for business.”

Spectacular stand designs, full-to-bursting halls, serious business negotiations with well informed customers, and stand personnel who were run off their feet coping with the tremendous demand and handling customer inquiries – that was the general picture at BAU 2011. One whole year before BAU 2011 actually opened its doors, the event was almost fully booked, and many companies only made it to the waiting list. 2,058 exhibitors from 46 countries showcased their products and solutions on 180,000 square metres of exhibition space in the halls. The list of participants read like a Who´s Who of manufacturers of building materials, components and systems. With the outlook for business picking up again in the building industry, most exhibitors came to this BAU in an optimistic mood, but they were nevertheless quite amazed at the overwhelming interest in the event and at the leap in the number of visitors from abroad. “In view of the significant rise in the number of visitors from abroad, the decision to position BAU as the ‘World´s Leading Trade Fair’ was absolutely the right one. The quality of the visitors, too, rose once again,” explained Dieter Schäfer, CEO of Deutsche Steinzeug Cremer & Breuer AG and Chairman of the Advisory Board of BAU: “We had a large number of architects coming to our stand.” For Martin Hörmann, Director of Hörmann KG and Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board, BAU went “superbly. It was a noticeably very international trade audience here, in particular from Asia and Eastern Europe.” Echoing the opinion of many of his colleagues, Thomas Lauritzen, Head of Corporate Coordination at Schüco, commented: “That was the most successful BAU we have ever experienced. We were virtually overrun on our stand. And we saw a big rise in the proportion of visitors from abroad, including from outside the EU.”

BAU improved not only in terms of quantity – it also delivered the proof that it is an unmissable event for building experts from all over the world, from planners and architects to the individual building trades: as an information and communication forum, especially as a showcase for new developments and innovations mapping out the future of building, and also as a business platform where specifics are negotiated and agreed. “Our customers really enjoy coming to BAU,” said Dr Uwe Gruber, Managing Director of Mapei. “They are highly motivated and looking specifically for new ideas. BAU is a great place for taking orders. You really see that the customers come with an intention to make decisions.” Many exhibitors pointed out that they develop stand concepts specially tailored to BAU and that they orient their innovations specifically to the fair. Thomas Polonyi of ThyssenKrupp: “Only here do we find such an excellent window on the market.” Once again the exhibitors were all agreed that BAU is the number one worldwide when it comes to reaching the target groups of planners and architects. “Around 70% of our visitors are architects and that´s precisely why we are here: to make contact with architects,” – so said Spaniard Joan Catalin Ilisin of ‘Land Porcelanico’.

These positive comments were also echoed by the findings of a survey conducted at the event by opinion pollsters TNS Infratest. According to this survey, 96% of the visitors to BAU found the event ‘excellent to good’, and 97% said they would come back again. The highest ratings were given to the factors of ‘breadth and depth of the ranges on display’, and ‘the presence of market leaders’. 93% of the visitors agree that BAU is the leading trade fair for the sector. Another finding to emerge from the survey is that those who came to BAU with an intention to make specific investments were then also able to achieve that goal at this business platform. Also almost all the visitors declared that they had been successful in finding out information in preparation for new investments or in paving the way for new business relations. The individual sections of the exhibition were all rated by at least 90% of the visitors as ‘excellent to good’. Particularly high marks went to the sections on aluminium, glass and wood/plastics. The only criticism was regarding the set-up on the outdoor exhibition space. The accompanying programme, above all the forums and the special shows, on the other hand, received top marks from the visitors. Once again it was shown that BAU is a trade fair by professionals for professionals. Trade visitors made up 96% of the total number of visitors. Another finding to emerge from the survey is that the mood in the building sector has much improved. In 2009 only about half of those surveyed thought the economic situation was ‘excellent to good’, but now 82% are looking optimistically into the future.

Exhibitor approval of BAU was so high that little room remains for a further increase. Almost all of the exhibitors – 97% to be exact – rated the fair as ‘excellent to good’, and stated they intended to take part again in 2013. 95% of the exhibitors gave top marks to the quality of the visitors, while 85% (considerably higher than two years ago) praised the international scope among the visitors. As on the visitor side, the exhibitors, too, were significantly more optimistic this time than last time about the economic situation in the sector. 85% of them were hopeful about the future.

BAU was opened on 17 January in a ceremony at which Germany´s Minister of Building, Peter Ramsauer, officially cut the ribbon to launch the event. The Minister emphasised the great importance of BAU and spoke of an expected “marked growth of 1.5 to 1.8%” for the sector in 2011. At Dr Ramsauer´s side at the opening was Mustafa Demir, Minister of Public Works and Settlement of the Republic of Turkey, who had travelled to Munich at the invitation of the German Minister of Building, and who was visibly impressed by the sheer size of BAU and the many spectacular stand designs.

The top themes at BAU this year were sustainable building and building for life. On both themes there were several special shows and many lectures in the forums and congresses, for example in the congress entitled ‘Building for the Future – sustainable, energy-efficient and innovative’, organised by the German Federal Ministry of Building and in the ‘Buildings of the Future’ events series organised by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. An absolute highlight was the solar house designed by the University of Applied Sciences of Rosenheim, which won second place in the Solar Decathlon competition in Madrid. Their design was erected at BAU and presented to a wide trade audience for the first time.

The three forums at BAU attracted enormous interest. In particular the ‘Future of Building Forum’, where international architects like Sir Peter Cook and Françoise Hélène Jourda presented their plans and projects, was at times overflowing with visitors. In the ‘Forum MacroArchitecture’, too, all the seats were generally taken; this forum was about the cooperation between architecture and industry on the one hand and future research in architecture on the other. The ‘Intelligent Building Forum’ covered a wide span from renovation and modernisation projects, through to the construction of modern high-tech buildings such as passive houses and energy-plus houses. The German Ministry of Building presented corresponding projects in its ‘Future of Building’ research initiative.

Once again, BAU was the platform for many award presentations, among them the renowned architectural awards for ‘Aesthetics and Construction’ in cooperation with the journal DETAIL, and the Bauwelt Prize for ‘The First Work’, in cooperation with the journal Bauwelt. Also presented at BAU were:

* The award ‘Built on IT – Building jobs with a future’

* Award for Product Innovations

* Award for Innovation in Architecture and Building

* Building Material Oscars

BAU 2011 also marked the official launch of the ArchiWorld Academy – a new competition being organised by BAU in cooperation with the online portal Archi-Europe. The competition runs over a period of two years and is directed at architecture students from all over the world. 12 top international architects will form the jury. The winners will be announced at BAU 2013. Their attractive prize is a traineeship in the offices of the top architects.

A real winner with the participants in BAU was the ‘Long Night of Architecture’, which was held for the first time in conjunction with BAU. This event was open to all participants in BAU and also to interested citizens of Munich. Over 30 buildings in and around the city of Munich opened their doors on Friday evening for people to come in, look around and find out. Attendance was good throughout, with free shuttle buses running between the different places between 7 p.m. and midnight.

The 20th BAU takes place from 14 to 19 January 2013 at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre.

Glass Exhibitor Testimonials:

Gary Dean, Head of Sales & Marketing, C.R. Laurence Of Europe, Ltd., Great Britain: “This is our first visit to BAU and we have been hugely impressed with the visitor numbers and the quality of the show. Without doubt we will be back; the exhibition is the perfect platform to promote our Stuttgart operation. Normally a 6-day event would seem a long haul; it’s Friday already and we can’t wait for the next group of visitors to crowd our stand.” 

Cătălin Horomnea, Managing Director, Glass Expert srl, Romania: “We were able to make many new contacts, and we have high hopes of lots of post-fair business. For us BAU is very important as a place to gauge the mood in the German building industry and to see what is happening in the world of glass. We were particularly impressed with the perfect organisation of the event by the BAU team.”

Michael Vogler, Management Marketing and Communication, Glas Trösch Beratungs-GmbH: “Our presentation at BAU has been even more successful this time than last. We noticed a significant increase – more reports, more contacts, among them many new customers. We have had a noticeably high number of architects and planners at our stand, as well as building developers. The product range we are presenting here is a speciality: We are currently working together with the designer Lars Contzen, who is putting his colours and decors on our glass – at our stand. The colourful, dynamic design seems also to rub off on the mood: the atmosphere is unique.”

Michael Wiessner, Director, Saint-Gobain Isover: “We are delighted. The response to our stand is excellent, right from the first day it was continuous talks and contacts all the time. This year the President of the Saint-Gobain Group, Pierre-André de Chalendar, came here for the first time, and he was very impressed with the quality of the stands at BAU. This shows how much this fair has grown in value. Exclusively for BAU we have also developed a brand new stand concept with which we can present our brands to best effect. The only thing I didn´t like was the shift in the opening times. Because you still get caught up in the traffic anyway.”

All Exibititor Testimonials

Your press contacts for BAU 2011 are: Johannes Manger and Andrea Hack Tel. (+49 89) 949-20630, Fax (+49 89) 949-20689 e-mail: and

600450 Closing Report 238,000 trade visitors: Record crowds at BAU 2011
Date: 31 January 2011
Source: Messe München

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