The start to the 2022 exhibition year was a turbulent one – including at the Nuremberg exhibition venue, where FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and HOLZ-HANDWERK 2022, which had been scheduled for late March, were postponed until July in close consultation with exhibitors and partners.
Elke Harreiss, Director FENSTERBAU FRONTALE, offers some insights into what the exhibition team is considering as part of its planning for the one-off “Summer Edition” of this world-leading trade show. She talks openly about cancellations by major exhibitors, and assesses the experiences of the trade show organizers in Nuremberg with events during the pandemic.
Elke Harreiss, the numbers were looking good in the autumn of 2021: Exhibitions were finally being held again in Nuremberg, FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022 had excellent booking numbers, with 85 percent of the exhibition space accounted for, and Covid-19 infection rates were at a controlled level. But preparations were upset toward the end of 2021 by factors such as the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the virus and the simultaneous decision by a number of major exhibitors not to take part in FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022. As happened with many other industry events, the decision was ultimately taken at the beginning of 2022 to postpone FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and the parallel event HOLZ-HANDWERK. Can you share with us where you and your team currently stand with the planning for the summer edition scheduled for 12-15 July this year?
Elke Harreiss: “We are structuring FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022 as a “Summer Edition” with the proven combination of an exhibition and an event programme. At both an organizational and a technical level, every little detail must be considered and transferred to the new schedule, starting with the registration and ordering deadlines for exhibitors in the online Exhibitor Shop, to coordinating the points in the supporting programme with partners, the layout planning for the halls, and reprogramming the visitor ticket shop to take account of tickets already purchased, along with rescheduling and re-producing all the marketing and advertising materials and activities. We are therefore remaining in close contact with our exhibitors to support them with their preparations, just as we are with all our partners, service providers and involved parties here on-site. When it became increasingly unlikely that the event could go ahead on the originally scheduled March dates because of the course the pandemic was taking and the doubts expressed by many of the exhibitors, changing the date at an early stage meant everyone involved could plan for the new dates, and gave us time to get everything in place to finally gather again in person as a sector this year, after a four-year break caused by the pandemic.”
Even though you have postponed the event, some prominent exhibitors have chosen not to take part in FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022 at all. How are you handling this?
Harreiss: “There are actually quite a number of familiar brands that usually define the character of the halls at this world-leading trade show, which we won’t see in this extraordinary trade show year. That’s really a pity, given that we have always been told how important it is to be able to see each other again in person. Of course we understand the desire to be able to plan with the usual level of confidence and the certainty that participation, even on the new dates, will bring a successful outcome. But at the same time, with six months to go before the event, about 400 companies from the hardware, machinery, profiles und glazing product segments expressly decided to participate, which provides us with valuable support. Of course, sales talks are still continuing, since the new dates give exhibitors who were uncertain about participating in March an opportunity to re-think. We are pleased to see every individual exhibitor who is standing by FENSTERBAU FRONTALE as the meeting place for the industry in these difficult times and showing confidence in the ability of NürnbergMesse to successfully hold an exhibition even in unusual circumstances. Exhibitors that would otherwise be away from centre stage can also benefit from greater attention. FENSTERBAU FRONTALE will therefore once again represent a cross-section of the window, door and façade industry in 2022, even if it has to be somewhat more compact than it is commonly the case. One thing the pandemic has shown us is that “common” has no meaning at times such as these, and that we all have to demonstrate a lot of patience and flexibility.”
You mentioned various factors that some exhibitors considered as grounds for not participating. We keep on reading of doubts surrounding the July date. What makes you feel confident that FENSTERBAU FRONTALE can be successfully held this summer?
Harreiss: “Holding FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and HOLZ-HANDWERK in the spring in even years has been an established element in the relevant sectors for decades. All the major players have the upcoming issues double-underlined in their business calendar, and coordinate their production cycles and marketing and sales phases on that basis. It therefore goes without saying that rescheduling events in the format of this trade show pairing is challenging for everyone involved. Finding a replacement date when we can expect the pandemic situation to have eased, and when the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg will be available for about four weeks to cover the events themselves, in addition to the logistically highly demanding setup and dismantling activities, is an almost impossible task, but our colleagues in our planning department have finally achieved it. And, of course, our exhibitors report equally major challenges at their end. But even so, to be able to cultivate business relationships in person once again, experience products first-hand, gather again as a sector, and do all this in a setting in which networking and business can take place in a positive atmosphere – for all these things, rescheduling FENSTERBAU FRONTALE was the safer option. The July date comes with the expectation that the situation will be increasingly stable by the summer, and that our target groups will be able to participate. But of course, we still have to remember that mid-July is a holiday period, and construction sites are being completed in time for the summer break. As a consequence, some businesses may be planning to attend with a smaller team than usual – on the other hand, we are enabling visitors from other regions to participate, which might not have been possible in March. Feedback from participants in the events held at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg since autumn 2021 has been extremely positive, and underlines the fact that the trade show experience can be a success despite the unusual aspects imposed by the pandemic. Visitors for whom the ability to participate in a business context is vitally important make a point of attending, and the exhibitors rated the quality of the interaction at the stands and the business contacts as being very good accordingly. We are therefore looking forward to our one-off summer edition of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and HOLZ-HANDWERK, and the opportunity to meet with the sector once again from 12 to 15 July this year!”
What can participants at this “Summer Edition” of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022 still look forward to?
Harreiss: “You mean besides what we hope will be fabulous summer weather, al fresco trade show parties, and the occasional evening drink with colleagues in Nuremberg’s picturesque old-town district? Well, we’re currently planning agenda items for the supporting programme such as the FENSTERBAU FRONTALE FORUM, the “Green Deal” Special Show, organized in partnership with ift Rosenheim, the 10th Architecture Window Façade Forum and the Architects’ Area, Taste of Windays with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, the Forum “A practical guide to digitisation for craftspeople, guided tours, the award ceremonies for the “Window manufacturer of the Year”, and the “MasterAward”, and once again there will be an exhibitors’ evening. As always, visitors will of course have the opportunity to use their tickets to attend the parallel event HOLZ-HANDWERK, as our colleagues celebrate their 20th anniversary event with a summer party! Let’s all work together to make this “Summer Edition” a unique event, and for anyone who’s still uncertain about holiday planning: The metropolitan region of Nuremberg is always worth a visit in July, with its proximity to Franconian Switzerland, the Altmühl Valley and many historic tourist attractions!”
Save the date
The one-off “Summer Edition” of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE together with HOLZ-HANDWERK will take place from Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 July 2022.
All exhibitors and products at a glance
The exhibitor and product database shows current details of registered exhibitors at any time. It comes with a range of filter options and provides an insight into the variety of products on show at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE: www.frontale.de/en/ausstellerprodukte