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GaLaBau-Fair 2018 – Four inspiring trade fair days in Nuremberg’s full halls


The 23rd GalaBau-Trade Fair in Nuremberg ended with a new visitor record. For the first time, more than 70,000 visitors came to Nuremberg to inform themselves about the new trends regarding design planning, construction and maintenance of green spaces. On the exhibitor side, one in four companies came from abroad, which made it necessary to increase the international exhibition area by a solid 12 percent compared to the previous event. With regard to the exhibitors from Germany, their area was increased by 3 percent. Approximately 10 percent of the visitors who came to late-summer Nuremberg were from abroad.

Event Director Stefan Dittrich is clearly satisfied and said “Four trade fair days with permanently full halls, interesting business talks, numerous highlights and framework programmes are now behind us. The atmosphere could not have been better. From my point of view, this year’s GaLaBau was a great success. We are already looking forward to the next green family meeting here in Nuremberg in 2020."

For the first time, 14 trade fair halls were filled up by a total of 1,253 exhibitors during GaLaBau 2018.

As a non-material exhibitor, also the Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau e. V. (German Federal Association of Gardening, Landscaping and Playground Construction - in short BGL) from Bad Honnef, drew a positive conclusion. "Once again, GalaBau 2018 exceeded our expectations. More than 70,000 visitors is an absolutely spectacular result. This is also reflected by the positive feedback of the exhibitors. It and shows again that Nuremberg is the meeting place of the green industry. It is exclusively at the GaLaBau trade fair where the industry can convince itself of the performance and effectiveness of the sector with complex and comprehensive information about recent innovations, trends and developments in only four days", says Lutze von Wurmb, President of the Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau e. V. (BGL). "For everybody involved, i.e. the exhibitors, the visitors, the Nuremberg Trade Fair and the industry itself this fair has been a great success", he added.

Visitors' survey: Once more high-quality trade fair visitors

The enormous increase in the number of visitors during GaLaBau 2018 is due to both the growth in visitor numbers from Germany (+13.3 percent) and of those from abroad (+3.4 percent). The results of the visitors' survey conducted by an independent market research institute show that the quality of visitors was again remarkably high. Most of the visitors came from companies specialising in green spaces and open air-leisure areas. A gratifying increase could also be registered among visitors from some national technical authorities of the green space industry and other public institutions as well as among the construction and maintenance areas or the management of golf courses. Besides, once more many landscape architects as well as motor equipment manufacturers came to the Nuremberg show. More than half of the visitors hold a management position in their company and the proportion of decision-makers rose to 81 percent. 

On average, the regular GaLaBau visitor is male, aged in the mid-late-thirties, spending approximately 1.4 days at the fair and mainly looking for the industry’s innovations.  Approximately 85 percent of the persons surveyed find that the GaLaBau Trade Fair is considered a model of trendspotting by displaying all trendsetting innovations of the gardening and landscaping sector. More than 60 percent of the fair visitors benefit from the professional training, exchange of experiences and information as well as from maintaining contacts and the opportunity to make new business contacts. Three thirds of all visitors surveyed feel they have benefitted considerably from the positive development in gardening and landscaping and are confident that this trend will continue.

The main interests of the visitors of the 2018 GaLaBau Trade Fair were quite clear: Almost 80 percent of them came to be informed about the latest trends regarding construction and maintenance machinery which are part of their daily work routine. Approximately one third of the visitors focused on plants, plant parts and building materials as well as on other materials regarding the construction and maintenance of green areas. Almost all visitors expressed their satisfaction about the offers provided by the exhibitors and praised the good quality of business talks at the fair stands. 94 percent of them have already marked the date of the next GaLaBau Trade Fair in their diaries.

Also the varied framework programme of the GaLaBau Trade Fair 2018 was very well received among the visitors. Almost 90 percent of them found that the framework programme enriched the extensive product show. The special so-called Garden Dream Rooms and Landscape Talks Area as well as the action area for earthworks and space maintenance, where exhibitors were able to give a live presentation of their machinery, found particular praise.

A total of 1,253 exhibitors from 37 countries travelled to Nuremberg. Apart from Germany (945), they came above all from the Netherlands (66), Italy (50), Austria (31), Belgium (18), Poland (15), France (14), Denmark (14) and the Czech Republic (13).

The audience's real favourites: Special presentations and expert forums

In addition to the inexhaustible product range, the 2018 GaLaBau Trade Fair offered its audience an extensive knowledge pool. Thus, for instance, the special presentation called "Future open spaces" in Hall 1 and the expert forum Landscape Talks in Hall 2 were very well received. Temporarily there were only standing places available. Also, the first GaLaBau jobs forum situated in the Centre Entrance area, was highly popular.

Whereas the landscape architects were especially attracted by Hall 3A where the exhibition stand of the Federation of German Landscape Architects offered a high- quality professional programme.

Statements on the 2018 GaLaBau Trade Fair

Gerold Gubitz (German registered Association for Playground Equipment and Leisure Facilities, Bundesverband für Spielplatzgeräte- und Freizeitanlagen-Hersteller, e.V., BSFH in short):

This year's GaLaBau 2018 ended with a visitor record. For the first time ever, more than 70,000 trade visitors came to the show to inform themselves about products and trends. Fortunately, approximately 10 percent of the visitors who came to Nuremberg were from abroad. From the playground equipment sector's perspective it can be confirmed that the quality of the expert audience was notably high. This time, the number of visitors from specialised authorities and public institutions had increased considerably. Besides, more landscape architects and employees from municipal offices came to Nuremberg. From our association's point of view, this development should be further expanded.

The BSFH presentation of a special show called "Future public spaces - playground adventure from the school yard and up to the park" was especially well received by visitors and exhibitors alike. Above all, it was the conceptual presentation of schoolyard designs which created particularly huge interest among the trade visitors.

On Thursday, lectures and talks as well as expert discussions for landscape architects and the municipalities were jointly organised by BSFH and the trade journal Playground @ Landscape in the Landscape Talks-Forum of the 2018 GaLaBau. As the meetings were very well attended, the space provided was not sufficient for all participants who came to join the event. This shows that our key issue on school yard design in connection with the BSFH-Special Show has fulfilled the interest objectives of the fair visitors.

In addition, the "sector get-together“, organised by Nuremberg Fair, P@L and BSFH, once again attracted great interest and was also well attended by the company representatives.

Tilo Eichinger (eibe Produktion + Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG.):
“We spent some very good days at this year‘s GaLaBau Trade Fair and appreciate both the quantity and quality of the visitors. Nevertheless, we could have done without Saturday. In addition to the garden and landscape designers, for the playground equipment sector, it is the visitors from the towns and municipalities who are of utmost importance. They have definitely been attracted by the Nuremberg Fair this year. In the future, however, we would like to see even more mayors and architects. What I think was missing is the attention from policy as there was no round-tour through Hall 1. The forum was a great success and very well attended as well as the so-called “sector get-together” at the BSFH fair stand which has become a popular meeting point for the entire industry. In summary: A fantastic event!“

Birthe Mallach-Mlynczak (ESF Emsland Spiel- und Freizeitgeräte GmbH & Co KG
"It was a pleasure to be at the GaLaBau-Trade Fair. Mostly experts came to our stand on all four fair days. We were thus able to look after our existing customers and to meet some planners and municipal representatives we didn’t know before. On the first day, many international visitors came to our stand. However, we find that GaLaBau is a trade fair, where you wish to see all your competitors as exhibitors to keep the fair lively!"

Albrecht Rieger (BSW Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk GmbH):
"Compared to the event two years ago, this year we are less satisfied with the number of visitors at our fair stand although the quality of enquiries was considerably high. We were even able to talk and negotiate about specific projects. In sum, we met many architects at our fair stand. However, we would have been pleased to raise some more interest among the visitors from abroad.

Our new fair stand which had been inaugurated at the 2017 FSB trade fair was very well received among the GaLaBau visitors. The combination of the dark floor with the colourful design accents of our products received high praise, not just from design-oriented architects. This year, our main focus was on the activating design of urban spaces and on how our special floor concept could become an important criterion for more exercise. In line with this focus, the company Eiden & Wagner Metallbau GmbH installed a so-called exercise bar at our booth which provided many sporting highlights.

However, we had the most visitors on the second day at our fair stand. We are not sure whether the fourth day of the fair is really necessary.

As a result, we still find GaLaBau is the most important trade fair in the playground sector."

Holger Aukam (Espas GmbH):
"In general, my expectations on the 2018 GaLaBau-Trade Fair have been completely fulfilled. We were able to present our latest production line called espas nature, above all, to municipal decision makers. Even on Saturday, decision-makers came to our stand. We would like to thank Nuremberg Fair for the excellent organisation. Espas will be back next time in 2020."

Klaus Peter Gust (SIK Holzgestaltungs GmbH):
"GaLaBau 2018 - It was really worth it to be part of the show! Compared to earlier times, the motivation to visit a trade fair has considerably increased. This impression appeared to be confirmed on all four days of the show. This time, it was the visitors from abroad who were particularly well represented. The many talks have encouraged us to continue investing energy in the future of our children by creating a more friendly and welcoming play atmosphere for everybody and to improve playground safety."

"A trade fair, where you wish to see all your competitors as exhibitors to keep the fair lively!"

Birthe Mallach-Mlynczak (ESF Emsland Spiel- und Freizeitgeräte GmbH & Co KG)

Andreas Bast (X-MOVE GmbH):
"We presented our products (skate parks, climbing rocks, obstacle courses) by handing out leaflets and showing photos and videos at our fair stand. Although our booth was situated at a "hidden place" between the big players from Berlin and the company "Spielart", we were quite satisfied with the number and quality of visitors who came to our stand. We met many municipal decision-makers, whereas at the same time we would have liked to see more landscape architects. The architects from well-known famous offices were completely absent. In particular, the audience from abroad showed great interest in our products. Half of our booth visitors belong to the international audience. We, too, had fruitful talks with both competing and partner companies. As much as GaLaBau is the right place to do so, we find that the aforementioned "sector get-together " of BSFH and P@L is ideally suited for starting a conversation. We would be glad to have more such evening events during the trade fair in order to exchange ideas with other exhibitors even more intensively. P.S: The high catering costs are really exorbitant compared with the quality offered."

Daniel Mall (Eurotramp Trampoline Kurt Hack GmbH):
"In our point of view, GaLaBau 2018 was a great success. We still find that this is the most important trade fair in the playground sector. We were particularly pleased to see the international diversity. Visitors from more than 30 different countries came to our fair stand. In addition to the possibility to finding new distributors, GaLaBau provides the wonderful opportunity to hold concept and strategic meetings and discussions with representatives and partners of our existing distributor network. However, on Saturday we only saw very few visitors. Thus, we think one should perhaps consider reducing the fair duration to three days, at least for the playground sector. The numerous positive contacts and the feedback of the visitors have encouraged us to come back again in two years for the GaLaBau Trade Fair 2020."

Marco van Riesen (Sport-Thieme GmbH):
"The number of visitors at our fair stand was rather low. We present peripheral devices which are installed next to playground areas, such as table tennis tables or soccer courts. Due to the high degree of prominence of our company, we have only established very few new contacts. From our sector’s perspective, the fair duration is far too long and the last day of the show should be cancelled.

My suggestions: As Halls 1+2, that is to say where the exhibitors from our industry are located, attract in part different target groups compared with the machine or material manufacturers, it is not just the total number of visitors which is interesting to us but also how many of them came to the show to meet representatives of our industry. My impression is that Hall 1 was empty for quite a long time..."

Christian Meyer-Hentschel (Conica AG:
"GaLaBau 2018 - 70 percent international visitors, 50 percent new contacts, primarily from the processing sector. For our company Conica, it was a good opportunity to present solutions to the sports and playground sector, to meet our good customers and inspire some new ones. Nevertheless, we need to keep asking ourselves whether the typical trade fair format still works as a marketplace of the future. However, a targeted fair presentation in the context of such events always provides diverse success opportunities."

Peter Schraml (Massstab Mensch):
"Approximately two thirds of our stand visitors were decision-makers or other municipal staff. While at the 2016 GaLaBau show mainly the region of Eastern Europe was represented, this time most of our visitors came from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In general, many decision-makers have been attracted by the Nuremberg Fair.

One negative aspect is that the parking situation when setting up or dismantling the stands as well as the associated costs and deposits and the unfriendly way exhibitors were treated was quite catastrophic and could rather be compared to modern highwaymen than being customer oriented."

Sara Kern (KristallTurm GmbH & Co. KG):
„From Wednesday to Friday GaLaBau was a great success for us as we were able to establish some interesting new contacts, particularly in the playground sector. Unfortunately, on Saturday it was very quite at our stand and we did not meet any more interesting trade fair visitors.” 

Jens Zumblick (Ulrich Paulig & Co. merry go round OHG):
"Our expectations on the GaLaBau-Fair 2018 were mostly fulfilled. During the first three fair days our stand was very well visited. The number of new contacts was very encouraging. The international feedback was very good, too, as usual. Our main target groups were reached. However, it has almost become a tradition that the last day actually is too long. We found it remarkable that some of the big players were completely absent. Nonetheless, GaLaBau remains being the leading trade fair of this sector."

Michael Philipp (Obra-Design):
„Also this year, many playground equipment manufacturers were represented at the GaLaBau Show. It was particularly satisfying to see the large variety of concepts and designs, which makes each of the manufacturers unique and shows the individual character of this industry. Many prospective customers and decision-makers came from Germany. And we could also benefit from the opportunity to speak to some of our key-account customers.  Like in previous years, there were, of course, also numerous international interested parties present at the fair.“

Melanie Nowak (Westfalia Spielgeräte GmbH):
„The 2018 GalaBau has clearly shown that much importance is attached to quality equipment and professional craft, also at an international level. There were many visitors from all over the world who came to see our playground devices. Above all, they were very interested in further information about recycled plastics. Through the opportunity given by the open space design of our booth and the proximity to other business partners and suppliers, we were able to create an inviting atmosphere.“

Veronika Hein (Kompan GmbH):
„Our stand was highly frequented; temporarily there was no possibility to get through thanks to the high popularity of our live shows which allowed our visitors to see the equipment and devices in action, and was very well received. This year, we have clearly noticed the increasing number of visitors from abroad at our fair stand, which we are very pleased about. GaLaBau definitely does justice to its reputation as the leading trade fair at an international level. Of course, we will be back in 2020. It is already clear that we will definitely enlarge our stand then!“

Ulrich Träger (Nusser Stadtmöbel GmbH & Co. KG):
„As one of the largest manufacturers of street furniture, GaLaBau is one of the most important trade fairs for us regarding contact and image maintenance. It is here where we meet many of our key customers and business partners. In addition, GaLaBau is a crucial platform to establish important new contacts. We are very satisfied with the trade fair and our participation was well worth it. We have already marked the date of the next GaLaBau Show in our diaries.“

Kai Hammerschmidt (KaGo & Hammerschmidt GmbH):
„We were represented as exhibitors for the first time at the GaLaBau fair. So, we could show our latest trade fair innovation: a climbing rock with an additionally incorporated slide, both from the same material. The high level of interest of the fair visitors in our products was overwhelming. Due to the many good business talks held at the fair, we are tempted to come back again next time!”

Katrin Pogan (Öcocolor GmbH & Co. KG)
“An impressive first day! An impressive second day! But suddenly, from Friday afternoon to Saturday, Hall 1 became more and more empty, although it was reported that Friday appeared to be the busiest day of the show. So how will Mr. Dittrich succeed in bringing a large number of visitors to Hall 1 on Friday and Saturday during the next GaLaBau show in 2020? Altogether, many municipal representatives and planners as well as architects were present at the show. Thus, our company Öcocolor had many high-level talks. In addition, we established some new international contacts. In total, we are very satisfied and hope that next time GaLaBau will manage to bring even more manufacturers as exhibitors to the Nuremberg show.”

Please note the date

The next GaLaBau-Fair will be held in Nuremberg from 16 to 19 September 2020 at the Nuremberg exhibition centre.


Photo: Nuernbergmesse, Thomas Müller, Tobias Thierjung, Gerold Gubitz


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