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Expo Real 2020 to become a hybrid summit

New concept with new date, reduced space and digital conference

Messe Muenchen See Abend
Expo Real 2020: The trade fair wants to set positive signals and Boosting business, even with far fewer participants on site. / Photo: Messe München

Munich (June 12, 2006). Expo Real 2020 changes its date and format this year: Europe's largest real estate and investment trade fair in Munich is going hybrid – reacting to the current situation. The date was shifted from October 5 to 7 to October 14 and 15. Messe Muenchen expects the green light from the Bavarian government on June 20. They were already familiar with the new concept and had basically approved it at the core.

The trade fair will offer both a physical and virtual meeting point for the real estate industry under the title of "EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit – hybrid conference for real estate and investment". The format consists of a live conference in the ICM, the International Congress Center Muenchen, and a digital twin that makes it possible to follow the conference online.

The two-day EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit will take place on Wednesday/Thursday, October 14/15, according to the press release issued by the trade fair management on Tuesday evening after the most recent Expo Real consulting committee meeting. According to information from HospitalityInside, this change of date was necessary because the ICM is already occupied by a congress on the original date. However, the ICM is the basis of the new concept.

In the committee meeting, the industry representatives, among them the city of Munich, Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH, Aengevelt Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG, German Council of Shopping Centers and the ZIA and IVD associations signalled their express support for the new format. They spontaneously confirmed their participation.

ZIA sets an example in favour of participation

A few days before, the media had said ZIA would not be present this year. The head association of the real estate industry countered this by issuing its own press statement in favour of Expo Real simultaneously to the dispatch of the trade fair announcement saying: "We are glad that our 'home fair', an important communication platform, can take place in an appropriate form and many members and companies across the industry can benefit from an alternative offer," says Klaus-Peter Hesse, Spokesman of the ZIA management.

After all, the above-mentioned names signal a positive turn after numerous cancellations by even major exhibitors over the past few weeks, among them a great number from retail. "We need to set an example that the industry will go on," is the message of Messe Muenchen.

A new door for exhibitors

Now it remains to be seen how many others will follow this new concept. It could even become quite tight as the space is limited. This is why there is a 24 sqm maximum exhibition space per company in order to grant as many companies as possible the chance to present themselves in the new format. At any rate, a new door is opening up for both the trade fair and companies.

HospitalityInside, initiator of the "World of Hospitality" joint booth born in 2011, expects the WoH to find a place within the new concept according to Managing Director Michael Willems.

Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of Messe Muenchen, appreciated the unanimous vote of the consulting committee: "The courageous are hitting new roads with the EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit. This innovative format is an answer to the special challenges we have to deal with in the face of the corona pandemic. We are offering the industry an adequate platform to exchange information, discuss current matters of interest and start up their business again – all in accordance with the effective hygiene and protection regulations."

Detached from the Oktoberfest

The new Hybrid Summit is based on three columns: conferences allowing participation on site and via livestreams, bookable spaces for exhibitors, so-called "smart spaces" (9-24 sqm) and special shows and areas for particular topics such as the "EXPO REAL Innovation" start-up platform.

Tanja Schneider, Marketing Manager of Expo Real, mentioned further details to on Wednesday. After the city of Munich cancelled the Oktoberfest in May, Expo Real was able to rethink everything from the start. For as long as Expo Real has existed, many exhibitors and visitors also visited the Oktoberfest – which always ended the day before the trade fair started – in order to offer their clients a proper start. At the same time, the corona hygiene and social distancing regulations required new trade fair concepts.

5,000 participants are manageable

This made it clear that, one way or another, this year's numbers cannot exceed those of 2019, when there were over 46,000 participants. With the new concept, Messe München now expects "around 5,000 participants on site, depending on what the authorities allow," it says. The figure of 5,000 is the desired number for the fair. However, the digital concept should enable many thousands more to see what is happening at the trade fair and what is being discussed.

This new limit regarding the number of participants means that it is no longer necessary to open all exhibition halls. The ICM, which is part of the huge exhibition grounds, was the ideal venue for the new volume. A total of 7,000 square metres of exhibition space is available there, 3,500 square metres of which are located in the neighbouring Hall B0. "Enough space to guarantee distancing rules," said the trade fair.

Digital conferences, hospitality included

Conference sessions will be available via online streaming for participants who will not or cannot be present at the conference. This will allow them to participate in conferences on a virtual basis and also to exchange information with speakers and other participants. The integration of international networks is also planned. Partners of Expo Real, for example in Great Britain, the USA or France, can be integrated online into the hybrid summit on current country-specific topics.

In terms of content, the conference programme will be worked out during the coming weeks. It was signalled to Maria Puetz-Willems, Editor-in-Chief of hospitalityInside, who has organised the "Hospitality Industry Dialogue" since 2008, that there would also be hospitality-related topics.

Probably, there will not be all of the eight forums as before, since the fair has been shortened by one day. But all of them will have one central theme: the consequences of the corona pandemic. How does coronavirus affect the various asset classes? What does the digitisation push mean for the industry?

Expo Real 2021

The new experiences gained with regard to the EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit are to be incorporated directly into Expo Real 2021, and according to the trade fair management, the industry representatives agreed on this as well. After all, the digitisation push caused by the corona crisis will continue after the virus is defeated. The trade fair will continue to take place from October 11 to 13, 2021. / map


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