The aim of the BrauBeviale Special Edition is to “encourage each other and get started again”, emphasises Executive Director Andrea Kalrait. Her team is currently bundling all its forces to enable the beverage industry to come together as usual on 10–12th November 2020. However, the trade fair team cannot bring about a restart for business and discussions in November on its own. Of course, exhibitors and visitors are needed for this as well! We have spoken to some of them who will definitely be attending in Nuremberg.
Assessing the situation
A full safety and hygiene concept is in place at the BrauBeviale. Extensive measures have been planned in close cooperation with the Bavarian state government and local health authorities, so that those responsible could give the green light for the BrauBeviale event with a clear conscience. This was also followed very closely by the exhibitors.
Dr Roland Folz, Food & Beverage, Global Business Unit Leader, PENTAIR, Venlo, Netherlands: “We know the BrauBeviale team very well. They are a very responsible team that has continuously looked at the whole picture and followed what government officials recommend. That’s why we have always said that when the BrauBeviale fair takes place, it’ll take place with us there.”
“Yes, we have considered very carefully whether it is indeed possible to participate in the fair and whether it makes sense. We all have to continue learning what life and work can look like after the lockdown. Hosting the BrauBeviale in these new circumstances is another significant step in this learning process. Our decision to take part in BrauBeviale, despite the far-reaching restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is part of our commitment to the industry and to our customers. We can only get through these challenging times together. The necessity and willingness of all participants to look ahead and take the first steps towards a ‘new normal’ at trade fairs has given us confidence. The USP of trade fairs is and remains
the personal exchange between people. This cannot be virtualised,” says Jürgen van Santen from SAMSON AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT in Frankfurt am Main, the experts in control valves.
BrauBeviale is a “ray of hope on the horizon”
Around Easter, at the peak of the COVID-19 wave through Germany and Europe, things were not looking good for trade fairs and other events for some time. What motivated exhibitors and visitors to take part in the Special Edition of BrauBeviale – despite all the uncertainties?
“In view of the difficult economic environment and the many unanswered questions regarding the organisation of trade fairs, we naturally asked ourselves whether a trade fair could seriously take place at all – but it was clear that BarthHaas would be present at the Special Edition of the fair that takes place in our home town, whatever the set-up. These are difficult times for brewers and suppliers, but that is precisely why it is important to send out a signal and seek personal contacts. As a long-standing partner, we want to support BrauBeviale in providing a forum for new ideas and momentum,” confirms Thomas C. Raiser from BarthHaas in Nuremberg.
“The BrauBeviale is a permanent fixture in my calendar! It isn’t just about information on new technologies, it’s also a good opportunity to cultivate existing networks and make new contacts,” says Georg L. Bucher, managing director of the Radbrauerei brewery in Günzburg, adding: “Of course, at first, it was very uncertain how the rest of the year would progress. But the hygiene concept in place at NürnbergMesse gives me confidence. I am looking forward to the 2020 exhibition as it will be more open, familiar and not quite so hectic!
“After the coronavirus crisis, BrauBeviale is a ray of hope on the horizon. I haven’t met any colleagues since March, and I’ve hardly had any contact with the industry in any other way. I’m hoping for some nice, interesting and informative conversations. And, as every year, I would like to find out about the latest developments and trends,” says Victoria Schubert-Rapp, Managing Director of the Karg Brewery in Murnau, in describing her reasons for visiting the fair.
“ACM has been active in the soft drink and brewery sector throughout Europe since 1982. Since that time, we have attended BrauBeviale every year as an exhibitor. Especially in times of crisis, we think it’s necessary to be personally present for our customers and we see BrauBeviale as an important opportunity to do just that,” explains Ing. Eduard Harrauer, ACM GmbH Austria, Vienna.
Different doesn’t necessarily mean worse...
The circumstances for the trade fair appearance will change completely this year due to COVID-19, including a complete replanning of the hall layout, safety and hygiene measures, and fewer exhibitors and visitors. How are the exhibitors reacting to this?
“BrauBeviale has had global aspirations for many years, but I expect that this year’s BrauBeviale will be a little more European than usual. This naturally affects our planning, and we certainly will not have the same manpower there as usual. Naturally, our almost-legendary stand party cannot take place either. That would not be very responsible. However, we will do everything we can to create a great experience for our customers, whilst at the same time complying with the safety precautions,” emphasises Dr Roland Folz from PENTAIR.
“Even though the concept for this year’s event will be a little different, we are confident that the fair will attract numerous trade visitors once again and that our participation will be worthwhile for BrauKon. We have revised our own trade fair concept for 2020 as well; through our participation, we would like to send a signal that we are a reliable partner for our customers”, says BrauKon managing director Christian Nuber.
Europe moves closer together
The exhibitors aren’t just German companies; there are also regular guests from other European countries. What do they think about participating in BrauBeviale 2020?
„Fermentis is attending and supporting BrauBeviale since the beginning, and we are truly convinced of its huge impact on the beer market. This event is for us one of the major yearly appointments with our customers; not only Europeans but more and more international (if we disregard the Covid-19 situation). It is the opportunity to exchange, share ideas, get a feel for market developments and expose our newest innovations in terms of fermentation and beverage characterization solutions to the world of brewers. Of course we cannot forget the situation, but we always want(ed) to see this event happening. Year after year, it has always been a great experience. It will be different, we know that … with probably less participants and customers – but we will adapt ourselves to the situation to make sure it will remain a great appointment. We need to make sure continuity and development is preserved. Hope to see you soon! Cheers”, says Jeanne Gallerand, Marketing & Communication Manager, Fermentis, Frankreich.
“The fair is the most important one for the beverage industry. Our group has been growing with it since the very first editions. It is a meeting point for many decision makers in the industry and the attendance has been growing during the years. It’s the perfect spot for DELLA Toffola Group for presenting the customers our products. The trade fair will be of decisive importance for going through and beyond the crisis.” Of that much is Michela Della Toffola from DELLA Toffola in Italy sure.
“We consider BrauBeviale as our most important exhibition throughout the year to meet our customers from various parts of Europe as well as the world. Since BrauBeviale is close to the Czech Republic we also meet many of our local customers at this fair. It is a great opportunity for us to discuss the results of the harvest and introduce new varieties to the world brewing industry” – Zdeněk Rosa, Vorstandsvorsitzender von BOHEMIA HOP, Žatec, Tschechische Republik.
Thoughts from attendees: “My heart’s set on going!”
For the exhibitors, of course, it is particularly interesting to see what the situation will be like with attendees in 2020. How many will there be? Where will they come from? What will they expect? We have collected a few thoughts from attendees below.
When asked why he is attending BrauBeviale 2020, Robert Widmann, boss at Batzen Bräu brewery in Bolzano, Italy, commented: “because it’s the best trade fair for us brewers. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has unsettled us with regard to freedom of travel. Now that the situation has eased though, of course we’ll be there at this important event,” Widmann continues.
“BrauBeviale has always been a must-visit event for us at EBC and one that we are always happy to attend. Not only is it THE opportunity to find out about new products and industry highlights in great detail, it’s also about maintaining contacts with many specialists from the industry, which is always important to us. I’m preparing myself for seeing a different kind of trade fair and also for a rather more reserved approach when it comes to exhibitors and other fair visitors. On the other hand, I also like to be surprised. After all, a crisis also means that you can throw old habits overboard and replace them with new concepts,” says John Brauer, Executive Officer, The Brewers of Europe/EBC.
“It was clear to me: if it goes ahead, I’ll be there! My heart’s set on going! Industry regulars thrive on cultivating relationships there and having good personal discussions. Especially in these difficult times, it is important for me to be there in person so that I can pick up on the latest news on the grapevine” say Klaus Artmann, owner of Biertraum GmbH and Vice President of the Association of Dipl. Biersommeliers.
“The most important industry event of the year”
The feedback from the visitor survey shows that there is definitely the desire for a meeting in November. Of course, that is, provided that all safety and hygiene rules are observed.
“For AB InBev, the BrauBeviale has always been and still is an important event – for me personally, I would even say it’s the most important get-together of the year for the industry. I have been visiting the BrauBeviale for decades, because it is a unique opportunity to meet with suppliers and colleagues in a very efficient and effective way. I am aware that BrauBeviale 2020 will and must be different from the ‘normal’ format of previous years. Nevertheless, I’m still going to be able to fully achieve my main objectives. With the dates for the event being shortly after the hop harvest, it’s the ideal time for me to explore the characteristics and market developments through personal discussions with the most important representatives of the industry. I expect a good, but naturally very ‘businesslike’ BrauBeviale 2020. I should be able to pursue and achieve my business objectives fully, but I am still bracing myself for there to be many restrictions. I have full confidence in the BrauBeviale management team that the event will be held in the right setting and follow the correct, vital precautions,” comments Dr Willy Buholzer, GPO Director Hops, Anheuser-Busch InBev Procurement GmbH, Rotkreuz, Switzerland.
“As it has done in the past, this year’s fair will provide a very good overview of the market for upcoming investment projects. The avenues are short and discussions can be conducted very efficiently. There have only been very limited opportunities for networking this year, so being at the trade fair will do us good. I wasn’t expecting that the fair would take place. If there is going to be a trade fair after all, then I would like to take the opportunity to attend. It is important to me that the current hygiene rules are adhered to completely”, emphasises Hans-Peter Drexler, Managing Director Technology and Logistics, Schneider Weisse, Kehlheim.
Digitalisation as an opportunity
As part of the Special Edition exhibition this year, the BrauBeviale Forum will be moved online. This is an important step that can only really bring the industry forward in terms of future viability. The attendees that we spoke to see it that way, too.
“By joining the physical fair with the digital world, BrauBeviale’s digital reach will increase enormously and it will become a worldwide event. After all, there are many questions concerning the future viability of the beverage industry right now. BrauBeviale will provide food for thought and answers to these questions. For example, these unusual circumstances will have a lasting effect on the conditions and the behaviours of end customers, and they will reinforce discussions surrounding digitisation – especially data analysis, customer dialogue and brand management,” Klaus Artmann says confidently.
Prospects of success
After all, the circumstances are completely different from those in ‘normal’ years – what makes the exhibitors confident that BrauBeviale 2020 can still be a success for their company?
“We believe that the time is right for a restart for exhibitions and conferences; we hope that many customers see it that way too and take the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with their suppliers and colleagues in Nuremberg,” says Thomas C. Raiser from BarthHaas.
“We want to continue presenting Czech hops to the international brewing public and support this traditional exhibition, even with the restricted conditions this year. We are confident that, since this will be one of only a few possibilities to meet international customers this year, the fair will be a success for the BOHEMIA HOP company,” says Zdenek Rosa.