Intensive B2B networking and many-faceted market insights: BAU ONLINE’s offering proved to be an important anchor point for the construction industry in turbulent times. 247 exhibitors offered digital live presentations and one-on-one conversations; the conference program explored topics such as digitalization, the challenge of climate change, resources and recycling, housing of the future, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on architecture and the construction industry.
“The strong participation in BAU ONLINE underlines the value our trade fair network has for the construction industry,” explains Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy Chairman of Messe München’s Board. “We offered our customers and partners a bridge to BAU 2023—for which almost all well-known exhibitors have already announced their participation.” BAU ONLINE has “activated the construction industry in an impressive way,” says Dieter Schäfer, Chairman of the Advisory Board of BAU Munich and Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Steinzeug Cremer & Breuer AG. “Digital B2B networking is making a critical contribution to keeping business running in these challenging times. However, this does not change the fact that BAU ONLINE cannot replace the face-to-face BAU trade fair in Munich.”
247 exhibitors from 29 countries participated in BAU ONLINE, offering 1,495 live presentations and 4,316 one-on-one talks. 23 exhibitors additionally supported the event as sponsors. During the three days, a total of 38.325 participants from 138 countries joined in; the platform was accessed a total of 218.756 times. The conference program comprised 31 forums with around 150 experts, providing insights into trending topics. The live stream was broadcast for three time zones (Europe/Berlin, U.S.A/New York, Asia/Shanghai).
“BAU is and will be a constant in our calendar. For Schüco, it was a matter of course to be a Gold Partner at the premiere of BAU ONLINE,” explains Dr. Georg Spranger, Head of Marketing, Schüco International KG. “The new format was very well received both by us and our guests. And, of course, we are already looking forward to BAU 2023.”
Dr. Max Schöne, Managing Director of heroal says: “We were curious to see how the new, digital format would be received by visitors—and are pleased to report that BAU ONLINE 2021 was a success. We were able to hold many valuable discussions with customers and prospects from all over the world and received a lot of positive feedback on our new products and services.” And Volker Höschele, Country Business Director at Bosch Professional Germany, states: “BAU ONLINE offered us the opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas with our distributors and users and to present our new products and innovations—even in these times of social distancing. That is extremely important for us. Our thanks go to Messe München for making such a format possible.”
“BAU has made the best of the situation,” comments Stefan Fischbach, CEO of ASSA ABLOY Sicherheitstechnik. “Especially the live presentations were very well received by our customers. However, virtual presentations cannot replace face-to-face meetings. Hence, we look forward to meeting customers and partners again in Munich in 2023.”
“In the construction sector, we need innovation for climate protection and challenges, such as affordable housing,” explained Anne Katrin Bohle, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, in the online conference program. She continued: “Additionally, the current crisis has shown that construction needs to become even more resilient. Digitalization also aims to support sustainable construction and increase productivity in the construction industry.” Dieter Babiel, Managing Director of the Central Federation of the German Construction Industry, took the same line: “So far, the construction industry as a whole has come through the pandemic well. Nevertheless, we need an entrepreneurial, pioneering spirit and start-ups for progress, growth and competitiveness.”
The pandemic “has accelerated the climate of change,” said Anja Rosen, Architect and Managing Director of agn Niederberghaus & Partner. “Now it's important to perpetuate the pandemic-related resource savings and avoid rebound effects.” For example, by using less space in buildings—and by using this space more than once. It became clear: the building of the future is becoming increasingly technical and complex; early and interdisciplinary planning is essential. Magnus Nickl from Nickl & Partner gave an example: “We don't regard hospitals of the future as singular buildings, but rather as platforms that can always be put together as needed.”
The BAU ONLINE conference program highlighted many important trends in the construction industry—and it became clear “that beyond COVID-19 a simple 'business as usual' is not possible,” says Markus Sporer, BAU Exhibition Management. “The face-to-face BAU 2023 will therefore be more relevant than ever,” explains Matthias Strauss, also BAU Exhibition Management. “Here, the long-term transformation of the construction industry and all of its trades—triggered by the coronavirus—will be demonstrated in a compact way.”
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