We visit NYC to discuss the biggest trade show on earth — bauma (April 11-17)

Last week we dropped into the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan (the Paulaner NYC brewery and restaurant to be exact), visiting the marketing and management crew behind the biggest trade show on earth. Simply called bauma (spelled all lower case like that), the global equipment- and construction-focused trade fair happens only every three years in the only place big enough to hold it — the Messe München exhibition center in Munich. Some of the booths for this show are so insanely big (we’re looking at you Terex and Liebherr) that exhibitors started building them in November for the one week show April 11-17.

Covering this show — which usually attracts way more than 500,000 people from all around the world — is basically the decathlon of trade journalism. To experience how awesome and expansive this event is, watch this video:

“This video — don’t try it,” explained Stefan Rummel, new managing director for bauma. “You can’t run bauma in three minutes. Alex Pach [a fairly incredible parkour athlete] is the stuntman that actually did that. It’s a video we prepared for you and for the world because we want to try to get across what bauma is all about — the pulsating emotion that is bauma. When you’re walking across the fair, you can feel this atmosphere there. It’s vibrant, and you can really see how this industry is gathering to show its newest innovations.”

Those innovations will occupy all 605,000 square meters of space at the trade fair center mentioned above. “I think that’s about 120 football fields to put it in some American context,” Rummel said. Some 3,400 exhibitors are expected from every sector of the global construction market with a pretty solid American presence (about 130 exhibitors) — everything from Caterpillar to Bobcat to American Augers (a company that spoke at the event). The top 10 countries of origin among the exhibitors are as follows (after Germany, as per current applications status): Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Austria, France, Sweden and Switzerland. With all of those countries on the show floor, there will be a special focus on the mining market, according to Messe München (the group that runs the show).

“We feel mining is getting more and more important for the construction industry as a whole,” Rummel said. “We have a lot of exhibitors who also have a lot of mining products. In the past, you’d have to know which exhibitor had mining products. Now, we’ve created a logo for that. It’s called Mining Inside, which will help direct you to all the exhibitors who have mining equipment. Over 700 exhibitors have Mining Inside, and this time it will be easy to find them.”

Always striving to maintain its status as the best place to glimpse the future of the equipment industry, bauma now has a new subtitle: “31st Edition of the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment.” That’s a serious subtitle. But that’s not the only new development. The trade show also has a new claim, which we feel is pretty accurate: “The heartbeat of our industry.”

bauma press conference

The bauma press conference at the Paulaner NYC (that’s me in the very left corner).

“The heartbeat of our industry represents that bauma is really the pacemaker of this industry,” explained Rummel. “Exhibiting companies are adjusting their innovation cycles to coincide with bauma. With this subtitle, that should be reflected.”

The bauma logo has also gotten a revamp. The familiar yellow “b” has been kept and expanded to visualize the four sections at bauma: All Around Construction Sites; Mining, Extraction and Processing of Raw Materials; Production of Building Materials; and Component and Service Suppliers.

Looking back, the last bauma, which took place in April 2013 (we were there), set new records in terms of the number of exhibitors and visitors and the amount of exhibition space: A total of 3,421 exhibitors from 57 countries, and 535,065 visitors from over 200 countries converged on Munich for that event. And, taking up 575,000 square meters of space, bauma 2013 was also the largest trade show in the world in terms of exhibition area. Looking forward, you can learn all about the upcoming show at bauma’s website, which underwent a complete relaunch last year with a new responsive design, which we totally dig.

We’ll keep you updated on bauma as it approaches, as CE is a media partner and we’ll be attending the event in full force, blogging from the show floor.

Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment.