2020 was supposed to be a very special year for the expo PetroTrans – though in a way different from that imposed by the reality of Corona. For the first time, in the light of the trends in the energy market, the expo GasTrans was planned as a “trade fair inside a trade fair”, adding another strong element to expo PetroTrans, which is well known and popular in the industry. In addition, for the first time this year, three event organisers are working on the extended trade fair concept: the former – AVR and planetfair – and Leipziger Messe as the new partner in the alliance. What began this year, however, will not be prevented by Corona: work is already underway with sights set on the trade fair in autumn 2022.
“This enhances our ability to optimally develop the potential of the trade fair”, the three managing directors Thomas Klocke (AVR), Ingo Klöver (planetfair) and Markus Geisenberger (Leipziger Messe) agree unanimously. Markus Geisenberger is convinced that Leipziger Messe offers an extensive network, especially for expanding the international status of the future trade fair duo of expo PetroTrans and expo GasTrans, and has exactly the expertise to promote specialised events of this kind as well as make them exciting, informative events for visitors from many parts of the world.
“In close collaboration with the industry experts who are represented on the expo PetroTrans exhibitors’ advisory board, we were already well on the way to achieving this goal. Although Corona initially halted the process, we never stopped working on the project”, says Thomas Klocke and his colleague Ingo Klöver adds: “It is certain that the companies in the sector now have other concerns for the time being. Once Corona is no longer the all-important issue, we will take off again with renewed energy and will be well prepared for the next trade fair”.
The trade fair professionals also agree that there is little point in trying to go through with events at all costs. Which is why the expo PetroTrans was logically postponed to autumn 2022.
This has several advantages: In the meantime, there will be enough time to analyse the repercussions of the pandemic on economic life and the sector, and adjust the trade fair concept accordingly. Between now and then, it will also be possible to gain a wealth of new experience with digital trade fair layouts with which the experiential value of the events can be enhanced further.
It is also important to Ingo Klöver that the new event date in 2022 means that the tried and trusted two-year cycle is maintained in the autumn of each even-numbered year. “In consultation with the exhibitors’ advisory board, we have decided not to interfere with the successful running system and therefore not to change the schedule. The expo PetroTrans will therefore be “only” cancelled once while preserving proven traditions. Long-term planning security and the industry’s international calendar of events were further motives. If we had moved the fair to 2021, a subsequent change of cycle into the odd-numbered years would have been unavoidable”, according to his judgement.
Thomas Klocke is confident that the previously successful work can be resumed smoothly. “Corona has not changed anything in the connection between the two clusters of mineral oil and gas. We were off to a very good start and already had important exhibitors and interesting exhibits on board. The expo PetroTrans was therefore making very good headway in any case before the first Corona effects set in, at the end of February. The expo GasTrans too had already grown well beyond the status of a special exhibition and will therefore also be part of the trade fair in 2022”.
Markus Geisenberger emphasises that, in his view, onsite trade fairs remain unique, since they create personal experiences that are impossible in the digital world. “Corona has nevertheless accelerated work on alternatives. Digital formats as an “accompaniment” to physical trade fairs, in addition a combination of physical and digital contents will therefore gain importance. The crucial aspect is that digital elements contribute added value for exhibitors and visitors and help to reach even larger target groups internationally as well as adapt flexibly to current developments”, he says. In this respect, the exceptional situation of the pandemic has on the one hand reinforced the trend, but also shown that: things tried and trusted will also remain so in the trade fair sphere.
In 2020, major prerequisites were created to lead the international trade fair for energy logistics innovatively into the future. Whether there will be an “energy logistics decision-maker’s meeting” between the trade fairs still depends on many background conditions which are still difficult to assess. One thing is certain: many people in the sector would be pleased to have an opportunity again for personal exchange. The imposed “isolationism” somehow already gnaws at the soul.
One thing is already certain: we will all be gathering again for the expo PetroTrans and expo GasTrans in Kassel in autumn 2022.
Good enough grounds for the trade fair team to face the future optimistically.
For 2021, we wish you continued good business and the best of health!
It will be a pleasure to welcome you again shortly as readers of our newsletter. The next issue is scheduled for February 2021.
Until then, we wish you a good start to the New Year!
Ingo Klöver, Managing Director of planetfair
Thomas Klocke, Managing Director of AVR Messe- und Veranstaltung
Markus Geisenberger, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe