Asking the exhibitors

Were the exhibitors happy? If not, why not? What can be improved at BAU? After each event the BAU team conducts a survey on quality management. The findings reveal what it is that exhibitors are most concerned about. And in 2017 the issues were: set-up and dismantling, running time, traffic and parking.

The survey took place in February and March. 748 exhibitors participated, which is a response rate of 38 percent – a very high value for an e-mail survey.

Top of the list of criticisms was the time allocated for set-up and dismantling. Many exhibitors complained about these times. But the fact is that “Since BAU 2011 the times for set-up and dismantling have not deteriorated, instead we have in some areas been able to improve,” says Mirko Arend, Exhibition Director of BAU. And, in terms of BAU 2017, because of the construction of the new halls C5 and C6, there was an exceptional situation: “The logistics around the building site presented us with very great challenges, in particular for dismantling in the area of the C halls, and unfortunately we did not handle all of these issues optimally.” The exhibitors affected by this criticized the in part very long waiting times for trucks, especially on the first two days of dismantling. In 2019 the situation is to be improved by the introduction of an IT-supported logistics system. An exclusive pre-parking space for exhibitors in the C halls should also help alleviate the situation further. In addition monitors will be on hand ready to show the truck drivers the shortest route to the courtyards. Despite all the measures, the “set-up and dismantling times will remain a challenge in 2019,” said Mirko Arend.

The running time of the trade fair – six days – also again came in for criticism. The Saturday was superfluous, said some exhibitors. A clear answer from the BAU team: We are not planning to shorten the trade fair to five days. Mirko Arend explains why: “For many smaller and medium-sized companies, the Saturday is the only day when they can visit BAU.” Also, BAU had already reached its capacity limits even given the current running time. “Shortening the running time would further exacerbate this situation.”

Another source of discontent for many exhibitors who took part in the survey, was the traffic situation around the exhibition center. Some reported long waiting times, especially when leaving the site. “In 2017 we did indeed have an especially high volume of traffic, because an above-average number of exhibitors and visitors came by car,” explained Mirko Arend. For 2019 the plan is to rent parking space in the adjacent communities and set up a shuttle bus service to the exhibition center – “The construction machinery trade fair, bauma, already does this with great success.” A further option is to park and switch to the underground railway. Here the aim is to introduce a three-minute service at peak times.

In the quality management survey criticism is welcomed – but it did still leave room for praise. And there are indeed exhibitors – and not just a few – who were totally satisfied. Comments like “Everything was super!” were received. Our answer: Thank you to you, too!