Final report

BAU celebrates a successful comeback

April 22, 2023

  • BAU booked out with exhibitor record
  • Very good marks from exhibitors and visitors
  • Internationality with visitors hits record level

Following a four-year break, BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems, is back with an excellent result. About 190,000 visitors informed themselves from April 17 to 22 at the Messe München exhibition center about the innovations and trends of the 2,260 exhibitors (2019: 2,250) from 49 countries (2019: 45 countries). Halfway through the trade fair, visitor numbers almost reached the 2019 level. Token strikes at German airports and in the regional and long-distance public transport system curbed the positive trend however. BAU nevertheless delivered a very successful result despite these general conditions. The BAU Insights 365-days industry platform, set up just two months ago, was also a big hit – up to 40,000 people used the construction industry’s new online portal every day.

“BAU has once again proven that it is and will remain the most important platform for innovations and premiers in the construction segment. Despite the four-year enforced interlude, more companies than ever presented themselves in Munich. This underpins the very positive reception to trade fairs, in particular leading international trade fairs, as also seen in 2022,” is how the Co-CEOs, Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, sum up BAU 2023.

Dieter Schäfer, Chairman of BAU’s Exhibitor Advisory Board agrees this year’s BAU was extremely successful: “By shifting BAU 2023 to April we did everything right. Fully occupied halls and a high number of international visitors underscore BAU’s relevance. And of course, it was all the more important because the fair was back again after more than four years. In future BAU will take place again as usual in January.”

Along with Federal Minister for Construction Klara Geywitz, Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger also had quite a bit to say about the innovations and trends in the construction industry: “The biggest construction and architecture trade fair is a successful platform for planners and construction workers. We especially need the innovations presented here, such as how we can harmonize climate protection and the respective challenges, affordable building and living for example. The fair represents progress, growth and competitiveness and sets the course for the future of building and town/city planning.”

For Felix Pakleppa, Managing Director of the Central Association of the German Construction Industry, after the long-forced break, BAU is sending the construction industry a trend-setting signal: “The greatest challenges and trends of the day are perfectly covered with the key topics of digital transformation, the future of living, resources and recycling, and modular construction. This year BAU therefore also offers a superb platform to present prospects for the future.”

Katharina Metzger, President of the Federal Association of the German Building Materials Trade also believes BAU’s return after more than four years is a major success: “We are more than happy with BAU 2023, because sectors as important as construction cannot afford to be without a trade fair platform for six years. Even if important manufacturers for our specialist dealers unfortunately were not on board this time, we hope that we can rely on the previous attendance of suppliers again in January 2025.”

Andrea Gebhard, President of Germany’s Federal Chamber of Architects, emphasized the importance of being there in person: “BAU 2023 mirrors the construction industry’s current issues. It is the perfect meeting point for architects and planners to talk about both innovative materials of the future and social topics, such as affordable living spaces.”

BAU Exhibition Director Matthias Strauss is already looking forward to the coming events in the BAU Network: “After this successful BAU, the entire team is really excited about the digitalBAU conference & networking premier this July, and of course the next digitalBAU in February 2024.”

The German Construction Software Association appears as a partner with the new digitalBAU conference & networking event, as Chairman Johannes Reischböck explains: “The presentation program as part of the conference will further advance understanding of and know-how for digitization in the construction industry, and therefore make an important contribution to the sector’s competitiveness in Germany. Our member companies will present their innovations in person here.”

Very good marks from exhibitors and strong satisfaction with visitors

BAU’s successful comeback is also reflected in the survey run by the Gelszus opinion research institute, in which 93 percent of the exhibitors rated the fair as good to excellent. 91 percent also believe it has the right trade fair character. 90 percent of exhibitors gave top marks for quality, and 89 percent for the internationality of the visitors.

Visitors once again gave best marks for BAU 2023, as 98 percent of the respondents rated the fair as good to excellent.

Visitors’ internationality hits record level

At the top of BAU’s international visitor ranking are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Poland and Turkey now rank fourth and fifth thanks to strong growth. International visitors on the whole amounted to almost 80,000, which represents 40 percent of the total number of visitors and therefore a record result. In percentage terms internationality is somewhat higher than the previous record from 2019 (37 percent).

The number of Chinese visitors in particular must be emphasized here. With 1,600 people, China ranks among BAU 2023’s top 10 visitor countries. A positive surprise after the COVID-19 restrictions for traveling outside of China were only recently relaxed.

Supporting program – special shows and award presentations

The BAU 2023 offering complements an extensive supporting program. In addition to presentations and discussion rounds with renowned architects in the C2 Forum, with the special shows and conferences, visitors also enjoyed insights into the world of construction. Competitions such as “Auf IT gebaut – Bauberufe mit Zukunft” (Built on IT – construction professions with a future) as well as the Balthasar-Neumann Award and the BaustoffMarkt Oscar used BAU as a stage for their award ceremonies.

The next edition of BAU will be held from January 13 to 18, 2025, at the Munich exhibition grounds.
The digitalBAU conference + networking (July 4 - 6, 2023, Munich) and digitalBAU (February 20 - 22, 2024, Cologne) also present solutions and products in the construction software area.

Further statements on BAU 2023:

Michael Hensel, Senior Vice President at dormakaba GmbH:
“We used BAU 2023 to present our innovations from the past four years. The CO2 neutrality concept, as well integration and solutions in digitization, were especially popular with our customers.”

Guido Hörer, Sales Manager at Erlus AG:
“Our BAU 2023 result is extremely positive. We are really happy with the quality of the visitors at our stand. In short – BAU 2023 was better than ever for us.”

Martin J. Hörmann, Personally Liable Partner, Hörmann KG:
“For us BAU 2023 was the ideal opportunity to present our CO2 neutrality concept to a broad and international audience. The atmosphere with our trade fair team and the customers over the entire timeframe of the event was excellent.”

Gregor Machura, Managing Director at Bauforum Stahl:
“At BAU 2023 we registered enormous interest with the visitors for sustainability solutions in steel construction. Following the long trade fair break, high demand for new products was also clearly visible.”

Julius von Resch, Managing Director at Gretsch-Unitas GmbH:
“We are very happy with the outcome of BAU 2023. The high quality of the visitors made a major contribution to this. We welcomed even more decision makers at our stand compared to previous events. Sustainability solutions were primarily front and center with the discussions.”

Related images

BAU celebrates a successfull comeback
BAU celebrates a successfull comeback
BAU celebrates a successfull comeback
BAU celebrates a successfull comeback