With its successful premiere, digitalBAU has provided significant impetus to digitization in the building industry. From February 11 to 13, more than 270 exhibitors and around 10,000 visitors created a veritable atmosphere of enthusiasm on the exhibition grounds in Cologne, Germany. All participants involved agreed: Digitization is opening up opportunities along the entire value chain of the construction industry, increasing productivity and efficiency in the construction process and thus ensuring long-term success.
Despite adverse weather conditions in the run-up, digitalBAU exceeded all expectations. Soon after the event opened its doors, Koelnmesse's hall 7, measuring 17,000 square meters, was already very well filled. The decision of the organizers, Messe München and the German Construction Software Association (Bundesverband Bausoftware, BVBS), to stage digitalBAU in the cathedral city of Cologne and thus to establish a second and central location complementing BAU in Munich, proved to be the right decision, emphasized Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Messe München: “The enormous response from the industry underlines the success of our new concept. Together with the industry, we have started a new chapter: digitalBAU promotes dialog between the players along the entire value chain and thus accompanies digital developments, trends and services for the construction industry.”
Prof. Joaquín Díaz, Chairman of the Board of the BVBS, is just as convinced: “Digitization requires completely new answers to the latest questions of the construction industry, which have so far not been addressed by traditional trade fairs. The previously separate areas of planning, execution, operation and building products themselves are moving closer together and, considering continuous digitization, must be viewed integrally. The industry is looking for solutions that lie in the integration of software, products and processes.”
During the panel discussion at the opening of the trade fair, Ina Scharrenbach, Minister for Regional Identity, Communities and Local Government, Building and Gender Equality of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, emphasized: “Digitization brings along new challenges, but, above all, opportunities for the industry. That is why we need open minds that think ahead and thereby shape the construction industry for the future and keep it competitive. With digitalBAU, the industry now has the proper platform for an exchange of ideas and networking.”
This enthusiastic mood was equally perceptible with the other participants of the panel discussion. Whether architects, craftspeople or building contractors, the construction industry recognizes the potential of digital solutions to, for instance, reduce costs and increase efficiency in the construction process. One of the challenges is the implementation of standards. According to the unanimous opinion of the panel, digital solutions are not yet consistent across all trades. Digitization also needs to be addressed much more in the curriculum for vocational training and academic studies.
Matthias Strauss, Exhibition Director of digitalBAU is certain: “From now on, digitalBAU will make a significant contribution to the solution of such issues. This is because the new trade fair now offers a platform to promote the exchange of ideas within the industry, to ask important questions about digital developments—and to discuss them in close consultation with exhibitors and experts in the three specialist forums.” Mirko Arend, Exhibition Group Director for the world's leading trade fair BAU, noted: “It was important for us to respond to the requests of the BAU exhibitors to offer another platform in the time between two BAU trade fairs. As digitization is the predominant topic in the building industry, digitalBAU and BAU now complement each other perfectly.”
The surprisingly large response generated downright enthusiasm among the exhibitors. The Nemetschek Group was represented at digitalBAU with 10 of its 16 subsidiary brands and presented its digital products and solutions. Dr. Axel Kaufmann, CFOO of this group of companies, draws “a very positive conclusion” because “the response of the trade visitors to our offerings and presentations was extremely positive.” Marcel Flir, Head of Product Management at Liebherr, is also very pleased about the large number of visitors to the trade fair: “We were able to establish new contacts at a very high level.” According to Dr. Jochen Fabritius, Group CEO of Xella Group, one of the exhibitors also represented at BAU in Munich, Xella is “extremely satisfied with the results.”
18 finalists, selected in advance by an expert jury, competed for the digitalBAU Start-Up Award. Following the pitches of the companies, in which they presented their business ideas and projects to the jury and the visitors, the three winners were determined: First place went to Lumoview Building Analytics, followed by BIMsystems and Pinestack.
More than 270 exhibitors presented their products and solutions at the premiere of digitalBAU. Around 10,000 trade visitors came to the trade fair. The international share amounts to almost 10 percent. The countries with the highest number of visitors after Germany were (in this order): Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The consistently positive feedback from visitors about this debut is gratifying: According to survey results, 92 percent rated digitalBAU as excellent, very good or good. 91 percent stated that they would also visit the next edition.
The next digitalBAU will again take place in Cologne from February 15 to 17, 2022.
Further information on digitalBAU 2020 can be found at www.digital-bau.de and on the social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Xing. All news and in-depth information about digitalBAU are also available in our new Visitor Newsletter.