COVID-19 did not stop more than 107,000 visitors from attending the world’s largest RV trade show. Sales at the recently concluded event eclipsed last year’s numbers.
The 2020 Caravan Salon Düsseldorf demonstrated large trade shows can be held even in times of COVID-19, Messe Düsseldorf and the Caravaning Industry Association (CIVD) said in a press release, adding they are pleased about the positive results.
“With 107,000 visitors, Caravan Salon sends an important signal for the entire trade fair industry in Germany and Europe,” Messe Düsseldorf Managing Director Erhard Wienkamp said. “The world’s most important trade fair for caravanning convinced with its well thought-out hygiene and infection protection concept.”
CIVD President Hermann Pfaff said, “These visitor numbers are a very good result under the circumstances. The fact that there are many newcomers and that the average age has fallen significantly shows that we are currently experiencing an influx of completely new customers. The success of the event is not only measured by the number of visitors, but above all by the number of sales – and these were all even higher than in the record year before.”
Messe Düsseldorf said in the press release caravan exhibitors were “thrilled” about the results of the trade fair and reported very good sales.
“After initial skepticism,” Hobby Managing Director Holger Schulz said, “we are generally very pleased to have presented our products at this year’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. Although the number of visitors was limited, our Hobby sales team was very busy. Our customers… were highly interested and very patient and relaxed at the same time.”
Dr. Holger Siebert, managing director at Eura Mobil GmbH and Trigano Deutschland KG, added: “This Caravan Salon was special – we held the first major trade fair in Germany in difficult times. The atmosphere was relaxed and positive, and the parties involved highly satisfied with the results at the end of the day… . Occupying 161,000 square feet of exhibition space with 20 brands in the segments motor caravan, caravan, accessories and rentals, the Trigano Group had confidence in the trade fair and our decision was right.
“All brands succeeded in increasing their sales,” Siebert continued. “Our premium brand Eura Mobil debuted the new Contura on a Mercedes chassis. The modern entry-level brand Forster was particularly popular among the noticeably younger trade fair visitors this year, especially the starter vans priced below EUR 35,000. The traditional brand Karmann-Mobil was able to profit from the trend towards vans/panel vans on a significantly enlarged exhibition stand. For the first time in Düsseldorf, the Spanish brand Benimar was represented, making an impressive market entry on a 9,600-square-foot stand.”
Knaus Tabbert AG CSO Gerd Adamietzki said, “This year’s Caravan Salon was a resounding success despite all the special circumstances. As one of the most beautiful and currently safest forms of vacationing, caravanning boasts enormous potential – as the trade fair clearly demonstrated… . Caravan Salon 2020 has exceeded our expectations. This is also attributable to the exemplary implementation of Messe Düsseldorf’s hygiene and safety concept.”
Bernd Wuschack, manager sales, marketing and after-sales service at the Carthago Group, agreed: “Caravan Salon 2020 called for a lot of courage in these times of the pandemic. Courage on the part of Messe Düsseldorf, on the part of exhibitors and dealers as well as on the part of visitors. This courage has paid off for all parties involved: The audience behaved in a very disciplined and mindful manner, our specially developed exhibition concept with separate meeting islands met with a very positive response and the hygiene concept of Messe Düsseldorf was successful.”
According to Mike Reuer, managing director at Westfalia Mobil GmbH: “We are pleased we decided to participate at Caravan Salon and display our products here. In line with the hygiene concept there were fewer trade fair visitors in the halls than in previous years – but we saw visitors with an increased and concrete interest in camper vans and buses. The positive result is that direct sales to end users clearly exceeded those from the previous year.
“In our opinion the trade fair company implemented the detailed hygiene concept very well,” Reuer continued. “Visitors were very disciplined, wearing face masks and waiting at a distance to inspect the vehicles. These were placed further apart on our significantly enlarged stand space, thereby easing visitor routing and providing sufficient waiting areas by the vehicles. Conversations on the stand and in the guest area were very relaxed and safe due to the partition screens we had installed between the tables.”
Caravan Salon also went well for the suppliers in the technical equipment segment, exhibitors reported. John-David Pozzi, managing director at Fiamma S.p.A., said: “We are satisfied and can look back on a very successful trade fair. Customers need to see the innovations on the market hands on – therefore I am happy about the return to normality. For the many newcomers in the caravanning sector, Caravan Salon is the ideal opportunity to gather information and gain a comprehensive overview. Of course, there were far fewer people in total, but the quality of the customer contacts was very high with in-depth and long talks. A surprisingly large number of well-informed visitors with specific requests came to our stand.”
Linnepe GmbH Managing Director Nicolaus Hirsch said, “It was absolutely the right decision to be an exhibitor here in Düsseldorf. Caravan Salon gives us ideal opportunities to obtain direct feedback from our end users… . Both manufacturers and visitors felt comfortable and safe, and above all, the consideration and mindful attitude towards fellow attendees was very noticeable and beneficial.”
The 60th CARAVAN SALON will be held from Aug. 27 – Sept. 5, 2021 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.