Review by Claudia Boymanns, EXPO REAL Exhibition Director
With bustling halls, impressive stand designs, and plenty of interesting meetings and discussions, EXPO REAL 2016 was proof that morale is high within the property sector despite the undeniable uncertainty on the market. The aisles and stands were so full of people that I actually struggled to get from A to B inside the halls. And there were so many stand designs featuring wood and greenery–not to mention the “hanging gardens” on the stands–that at times it felt more like I was in a park.
Brexit and affordable housing
The forums were also very popular among visitors and in particular once Brexit came into play. Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said on the topic: “Holding this referendum in the first place was a complete failure of the political class–both in the UK and in Europe. I think that many of the views which have been expressed by the British people are actually not too dissimilar from many of the views that would be expressed in other European countries as well. Particularly as regards immigration. “The uncertainty around what Brexit actually means is going to continue,” His opponent Dr Gerard Patrick Lyons, Advisor to Boris Johnson, disagreed: “Brexit is a fantastic opportunity for the UK and the economy will do very well in the long run.” You can take a look at some snippets from the panel “Brexit: What is in after out?”.
There was also a lot of interest in the topic of “affordable housing,” with Florian Pronold, State Secretary for the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, campaigning vigorously for a new approach: “The biggest challenge we will face in the future will be creating affordable housing again, through state funding and investments from the private sector.”
Networking in person and online
The trade fair team added the finishing touches. The most exciting had to be the Grand Plaza, the brand-new meeting place for the retail sector. There was always lots going on here and the retail exhibitors gathered in the area were really pleased with the opportunity they were given to enter into discussions with potential partners. We are also extremely proud of our social media activities–on the first day of the event #EXPOREAL was even in second place in Germany’s list of trending topics on Twitter.
And last but not least, we have a few figures for you: This year, 39,101 visitors–that’s 3.3 percent more than last year (37,857)–made their way to Munich from 77 different countries to meet with 1,768 exhibitors–that’s 3.6 percent more than last year (1,707)–from 29 different countries.
All of us here on the trade fair team would like to thank you for helping us make the event such a success. We’re looking forward to seeing you again at the 20th EXPO REAL on October 4–6, 2017 in Munich.