Final report

digitalBAU 2022: innovation platform thrills the construction industry

June 2, 2022

  • 330 exhibitors, an increase of more than 20 percent
  • Number of visitors steady at around 10,000
  • digitalBAU goes annual

With its very successful second edition, digitalBAU – which took place from May 31 to June 2, 2022, at the Cologne trade fair grounds – underscored its importance to the construction industry. A total of 330 exhibitors, an increase of over 20 percent, presented their digital solutions for the entire value chain of the construction industry to the approximately 10,000 visitors. Exhibition space grew from one to two and a half halls. The highlights of the comprehensive supporting program were collective expert knowledge in five forums, numerous networking events and the presentation of the German Construction Award (Deutscher Baupreis). Starting in 2023, digitalBAU will take place every year.

“After its premier in 2020, which exceeded all expectations, we are very pleased that digitalBAU 2022 was also a thorough success and was so well received by the industry. We are thus promoting and supporting the digitalization of the construction industry with a platform where players can meet and discuss the latest digital developments and trends,” summed up Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, CEO of Messe München. “Digitalization continues to offer major opportunities and challenges for the construction sector, because it increasingly links the areas of planning, implementation and operations,” added Professor Joaquín Díaz, Chairman of the German National Association for Construction Software (Bundesverband Bausoftware – BVBS). “For this reason, the industry needs corresponding integrated solutions that bring together software, hardware, products, processes and – above all – people.” And Dieter Schäfer, Chairman of Deutsche Steinzeug Cremer & Breuer and Supervisory Board Chairman of BAU, reiterated: “With its forward-looking format where science and technology meet practical applications, digitalBAU is tailored to precisely these needs of companies in the construction IT sector and offers these companies an excellent opportunity to present themselves in the off years of BAU.”

Industry trends and trophies

The exhibition areas of the trade fair focused on the topics of the digital construction site/BIM, digital urban planning, smart building, artificial intelligence and robotics. To round it all out, a comprehensive supporting program that was expanded significantly compared to 2020 offered expert knowledge straight from the source and quite a few networking opportunities like the start-up matching event. In five forums, 180 speakers shared their collective expertise and discussed current developments and trends in the industry. At the Innovation Challenge, ten finalists from a preceding online vote presented their innovative ideas as part of live pitches. A panel of experts ultimately honored the winners in the two categories: Pix4D and Hottscan. The presentation of the German Construction Award ( Deutscher Baupreis) was another highlight that took place at the trade fair for the first time. With this award, Bauverlag distinguishes the most innovative companies in the industry in ten categories.

“Exciting meeting point for innovations”

The exhibitors were thrilled by the caliber of visitors and the opportunity to once again meet each other in person. “digitalBAU has its finger on the pulse of our time,” explained Björn Wolff, COO of Hottgenroth. “Here, digitalization is given a physical stage and a place for personal exchange, so that we can find solutions for achieving our stated climate goals together with our customers.” Professor Ralf-Peter Oepen, Managing Director of BRZ Deutschland, confirmed: “Great exhibition contacts and an interesting, curious audience that is open to new discoveries: digitalBAU is an exciting meeting point for innovations and inspiration.” Yves Padrines – CEO of the Nemetschek Group, which was on hand with ten of its brands and presented its software solutions at seven stands – also positively summed up the three-day exhibition: “It was wonderful for us to again meet with customers face-to-face at digitalBAU. We look forward to the next edition!”

Going annual

Beginning in 2023, digitalBAU will take place every year: the next time as the digitalBAU Conference with accompanying exhibition from July 4 to 6, 2023, in Munich and then again in February 2024 in Cologne. “With this new concept, we are responding to the increased desire for annual exchange that accounts for the rapid innovation cycle for digital solutions in the construction industry,” explained Otto Nowack, Exhibition Director for digitalBAU. Monika Dech, Executive Director at Messe München, added: “Digitalization continues to be a dominant topic in the construction industry, which is why the digitalBAU Conference will be a perfect supplement in the years in which BAU takes place, with its focus on exchanging expertise, lectures and discussions.” Johannes Reischböck, Board Member of BVBS, said: “The last two years have shown the role that personal contact plays in the business success of our members, which is why we are looking forward to the new conference format as part of the digitalBAU Conference 2023.”

digitalBAU 2022 in figures

330 exhibitors from 16 countries, including 72 start-ups, presented their products and solutions (2020: more than 270 exhibitors / 13 countries), with 14 percent of exhibitors coming from abroad (2020: almost 10 percent). Around 10,000 visitors from 41 countries attended (2020: around 10,000 visitors / 56 countries), with visitors from abroad making up around 10 percent of them (2020: nearly 10 percent). After Germany, the most visitors came from Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Belgium.

Related images

The industry was happy to be able to meet again in person after more than two years.
330 exhibitors presented their digital innovations such as a mobile robot for construction sites.
Digital solutions, such as the mixed reality construction helmet shown here, are changing the way people work on construction sites.
180 speakers imparted concenctrated expert knowledge in five forums.