Olaf Musshoff : “In 2023, we will be holding ten Automechanika shows all over the world”
What results for the 2022 edition? How does the organization see the future? Olaf Musshoff, the director of Automechanika, gives his perspectives in the latest Atlas of International PR distribution...
2,800 exhibitors in 2022, representing 40% fewer international exhibitors, and 78,000 visitors compared with 136,000 visitors in 2018. What’s your analysis of these figures?
Olaf Musshoff: We knew that many visitors and exhibitors would not be able to attend Automechanika Frankfurt due to the geopolitical situation, travel restrictions and the zero Covid strategy in China (Automechanika Shanghai was cancelled). That’s why I was so happy to still see such diversity among our exhibitors, who came from 70 countries, and our visitors, from 175 countries. The atmosphere was good, and we received a lot of positive feedback. It was important that the global aftermarket could meet up again in Frankfurt.
Will nothing be the same again for Automechanika?
O. M. : No. Automechanika will still remain the leading global event for the replacement parts market. Of course, like many other organisers, we have developed digital events, but the physical tradeshow will continue to exist. Digital can be useful to establish contacts in the runup to the show, but nothing replaces in-person meetings. We will continue to work on the trade fair concept, and we are also exploring new subjects, because we see ourselves as an innovation platform for the industry. Professionals can see what is going to matter to them tomorrow or further into the future.
How can an exhibition become attractive and profitable again, given that Covid-19 ended up costing “billions” to all the international organisers?
O. M. : Overall, the last two years have not been easy for us, but things are getting better, and the most important thing is that the business model is still working. The industry needs this show more than ever, especially during these particularly difficult times. We are doing our best to meet our audience’s needs. For example, we offered virtual stands and sponsoring packages to ensure that companies that could not take part with their own stand could at least have a presence.
Equip Auto intends to have a show every year. How will Automechanika reinvent itself to “stay on the radar?”?
O. M. : We keep in touch with our clients even in non-Automechanika years. Last year, we launched a series of online web talks entitled “Let’s talk Business” which we are going to continue through 2023. We discussed the current challenges faced by the industry, and I also recommend that anyone wishing to attend an event next year should consult our calendar on our website www.automechanika.com. In 2023, we will be holding ten Automechanika shows all over the world. I am very pleased that we have managed to synchronise all the dates of European tradeshows. This means that the next Automechanika Frankfurt will be held from 10 to 14 September 2024.