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bauma – A trade show demonstrates its grandeur

April 17, 2013

On Sunday evening, when thousands of excavators, dump trucks and tractors all honk their horns one last time, it means that the largest trade fair in the world has come to an end: bauma 2013 in Munich. It is a trade fair of superlatives where, quite simply, everything is larger than life.

Thousands of cranes tower into the Bavarian sky, carefully positioned to ensure that they don’t collide, even in the event of a storm. A giant dump truck that needed 15 heavy transport vehicles to get to Munich. Enormous mining excavators that weight more than 200 tons. Fan clubs that empty the shelves in the shops of their favorite construction machinery brand. And jackhammers that hammer to AC/DC. bauma is a trade fair of superlatives, and with 570,000 square meters of exhibition space – which equals some 80 soccer fields – it is the largest trade fair in the world.

This is where the German export sector does business
“This is my ninth bauma, and the goose-bump factor is as strong as ever,” says Georg Moller, Exhibition Group Director. And no wonder: Whether it comes to space, the exhibition stands or the exhibits, everything here is gigantic. At the same time, all the construction equipment somehow makes the little kid in each of us happy. “But above all, it is a gathering for the “Who’s Who” of the construction machinery industry,” explains Moller. German manufacturers of construction machinery generated 12.5 billion euros in sales in 2012, and exports accounted for 73 percent of those sales. bauma is where manufacturers conduct a great deal of new business. That is why they spare no expense when it comes to making sure that they are presented in the best possible light at this large-scale exhibition.

It is an industry that stands for engineering skill at its finest. The winners of the bauma Innovation Award include Herrenknecht and its “Pipe Express". Like a mole, the tunnel-boring machine made of steel drills though the underground at a rate of nearly one meter per minute and is revolutionizing the laying of pipes and cable. Until now, the use of open trenches left deep and wide scars in the ground. However, this new technology preserves nature and minimizes construction-site costs.

The world comes to Munich
“bauma is the world’s leading trade fair for the construction-machinery sector. Add to that our regional spin-offs in China and India, and the premiere of our newest event in South Africa in September,” explains Klaus Dittrich, Chairman/ CEO of Messe München. Particularly in new markets, exhibitors appreciate the tried-and-tested partnership and service made in Germany. “At the same time, we are strengthening the leading position that we enjoy among our competitors and our venue at home. Munich is where manufacturers present their innovations for the first time.” That, in turn, attracts more exhibitors and more visitors from around the world. For example, from China: Twelve years ago, only eight Chinese manufacturers exhibited at the fair in Munich. In 2013, there are 323 – which puts China at Number 3 in the exhibitor-ranking list, after Germany and Italy.

Everything at the fair is meticulously coordinated because the crowds are so gigantic: Despite TSV 1860 Munich’s home soccer match at the Allianz Arena, parking there is reserved for guests attending bauma. The subway is operating at shorter intervals than during the Oktoberfest. Over the course of seven days, more than 450,000 visitors will make their way to bauma. At the trade-fair center, some 25,000 people await them: They include the employees of 3,400 exhibitors, the Messe München organization team as well as security, catering and service personnel. “This event is a logistical achievement of the highest order,” says Moller.

Sun and an Alpine panorama
Even the weather in cooperating: Sunny and 24 degrees (Celsius) on opening day. That might make it impossible for the European champion in ice sculpting to carve a lasting work of art out of a block of ice. But the five businessmen who are hoisted into the air on a sort of Pegasus wing by a crane are enjoying the view of Munich and the Alpine panorama. They happily wave to the helicopters, blimps and hot-air balloons that are also roaming the air space to take in the unrestricted view. “This trade fair is simply an event to be remembered, and it brings all of its participants together to form a big bauma family,” says Moller. “And when they all honk their horns at the end, it is a promise that we will meet here again in three years.”

Facts and Figures
- The 30th bauma from April 15 – 21, 2013 is the largest trade fair in the world (570,000 square meters)
- International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment
- More than 3,400 exhibitors from 57 countries
- More than 450,000 visitors from more than 200 countries
- Top 3 exhibitor countries: Germany (1,366), Italy (481), China (323)

Additional information and photos are available at