Bau 2013: More international, more professional, more innovative

With over 235 000 trade visitors, Bau, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials, Systems, matched its record figures of 2011, and in terms of visitors from outside Germany, exceeded the 60 000 mark for the first time ever. There was particularly strong growth in the number of visitors from Russia (2 920 visitors), China (1 091) and Japan (750). Around 50 000 of the visitors came from architectural and planning offices. A total of 2 060 exhibitors from 41 countries put on their presentations on 180 000 m² hall space, with no less than a “Who’s Who” of material, building component and system manufacturers.

Bau is also now a real magnet for architects from all over the world, as evidenced by the array of star architects who were guests at Bau this year. One highlight was the panel discussion between the six famous architects Daniel Libeskind, Christoph Ingenhoven, Juhani Pallasmaa, Mario Cucinella, Andrey Bokov and Jean-Michel Jaspers on the subject of sustainability.

A real hit with the audience, in particular the younger generation, were once again the three forums at Bau. Experts from the world of design and construction, among them some really big names in architecture, talked about their view of themes such as Energy 2.0, Parametric Design, ­Engineered Materials and Urban Mining.

The overriding theme at Bau this time was sustainable planning and construction, examined and discussed in all its facets in the forums and special shows, in terms of not only technology and function, but also social and economic impact. Once again numerous prizes were awarded. One highlight was the announcement of the winners of the Archi-World Academy Awards, a competition organized jointly by Bau and the architectural portal Archi-World. The Long Night of Architecture was once again a very special attraction at Bau. With over 20 000 participants, it exceeded the already highly successful premiere of two years ago.

The character of Bau as a business and information platform was reflected also in the survey conducted by market researchers TNS Infratest . According to this survey, 97% (2011: 96%) of visitors rated Bau as “excellent to good” and 95% (97%) said they intended to come back again next time. The highest ratings were given in particular for the breadth and depth of the range of products and services on show, and for the presence of market leaders. 94% (93%) of the visitors regard Bau as the leading trade fair. 94% of the ones surveyed who had come to Bau to pave the way for investment decisions said they had in fact achieved that goal. 92% had made specific purchases. Equally 92% of those who said they had come to find out about new products and innovations, were successful in their search. The proportion of trade visitors this time was 94% (95%). The revival in the German construction market is also reflected in the survey. 83% of those surveyed said they thought the current situation in the sector was “excellent to good”, and 45% believed that it would improve still further in the future.

On the part of the exhibitors, 95% described Bau as “excellent to good”. And 98% of the exhibitors said they want to take part again in 2015. As in 2011, 95% of the exhibitors gave top marks to the quality of the visitors., 43% believe the economic situation is the sector will improve slightly or even significantly in the future.

The next Bau takes place from 19 to 24 January 2015 at the Messe München exhibition center.

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