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German exhibition under serious threat

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Germany’s ANSPO show has become the second major European trade event to be cancelled this year.

The future of another European trade show is under serious threat after this year’s event was cancelled.

ANSPO, Germany’s national exhibition, is the second event to be axed in 2014 and follows a similar announcement by the organiser of the Bologna show in Italy – exclusively revealed in Communique Online two weeks ago.

ANSPO had been scheduled for September and hopes were high after it was restructured as a B2B show only, with a consumer show planned for next Spring.

But the President of the BVA, the German tackle association and the show’s organising body, has told Angling International that lack of exhibitor bookings made cancellation unavoidable.

“We simply did not have enough interest from companies wanting to exhibit,” said Jan Willenbruch, who took over as BVA President last year. “We had a very good response from international companies, who are very keen to get into the German market, but not enough interest from German domestic businesses.

“Some of them prefer to run their own low-budget, regional shows to one big national show, despite the fact that it means a lot more travelling for the retailer. In the end I think retailers will get fed up. At ANSPO they can see everything and organise their programmes for the next season, instead of having to visit several regional shows to see their suppliers. It won’t be a surprise if the industry is calling for a national show again in the future.”

A press release circulated this week by the BVA entitled ‘ANSPO – what next?’ says that the loss of large national exhibitors has hit the show heavily and the deficit cannot be compensated for. Unable to guarantee a successful show in these circumstances, the BVA had cancelled ‘with deep regret’.

With Germany’s economy amongst the strongest in Europe, Willenbruch dismissed the cost to exhibitors as the key reason behind ANSPO’s demise. “Cost is always important of course, but the market in Germany is not so tough as in countries like Italy,” he said.

The BVA is meeting in mid-May to review the situation, but Willenbruch is uncertain about the long-term future of ANSPO. “A national trade show has benefits for the whole industry, but it needs the support of the big German players and at the moment it doesn’t have that,” he said.

“ANSPO is not necessarily about taking orders. It is about presenting your company and its products, about brand building and about the trade getting together.”

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