Held Aug. 29–Sept. 6 at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre in Germany, CARAVAN SALON, the world’s largest RV trade fair and consumer show, drew 107,000 mobile travel and leisure enthusiasts to the event’s 59th edition. Spanning 762,000 square feet, the show was the first major trade fair to take place in the western German city since the COVID-19 lockdown.
Produced by Messe Düsseldorf in partnership with the Caravaning Industry Association (CIVD), the annual event features vehicles and equipment, technology, trends, tents, mobile homes, camping equipment, camping and caravan sites, as well as travel destinations and tour operators.
Though the show was notably smaller than it was in 2019 — when 268,000 attendees and 645 exhibitors spanned 2.3 million square feet of indoor and outdoor expo space — Messe Düsseldorf officials still lauded the show as a success for the German and European trade fair industry.
“The world’s most important trade fair for caravanning convinced [it could be executed safely] with its well-thought-out hygiene and infection protection concept,” said Erhard Wienkamp, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf. “The entire team at Messe Düsseldorf and CIVD, as well as all employees of our exhibitors, turned this trade fair into a fantastic experience with great commitment and a lot of passion… that was ever-present over the past 10 days.”
Besides harboring a positive atmosphere, the event also attracted more first-time attendees and young families than in years past, signifying an influx of new customers, added Hermann Pfaff, president of CIVD.
“These visitor numbers are a very good result under the circumstances,” Pfaff said. “The success of the event is not only measured by the number of visitors, but above all by the number of sales — and these were all even higher than in the record year before.”
Despite the drop in attendance compared to typical years, many CARAVAN SALON’s 350 exhibitors said they were happy with the quality of customers, many of whom were focused, well-informed and looking to buy.
“After initial skepticism, we are generally very pleased to have presented our products at this year’s CARAVAN SALON in Düsseldorf,” said Holger Schulz, managing director of Hobby. “Although the number of visitors was limited, our Hobby sales team was very busy.”
The show’s extensive hygiene and safety program for all attendees, exhibitors and show staff included online ticketing, spacious entry and waiting areas, wider aisles, mandatory face masks, social distancing requirements and plentiful hand sanitizer stations throughout.
“Visitors were very disciplined, wearing face masks and waiting at a distance to inspect the vehicles,” said exhibitor Mike Reuer, managing director at Westfalia Mobil GmbH. “These were placed further apart on our significantly enlarged [exhibit] space, thereby easing visitor routing and providing sufficient waiting areas by the vehicles. Conversations were very relaxed and safe due to the partition screens we had installed between the tables.”
CARAVAN SALON will return to the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre for its 60th edition Aug. 27–Sept. 5, 2021.
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