More than 65,000 people, a new record, attended the A+A 2015 trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Messe Düsseldorf photo by Constanze Tillmann)

A+A 2015 Trade Fair Continued Record-Setting Ways

More than 65,000 people from 80 countries attended the 30th A+A trade fair last month in Dusseldorf, Germany.

DUSSELDORF -- The 30th A+A trade fair is now in the books, and Messe Dusseldorf's employees have begun planning #31 in the series. More than 65,000 people from 80 countries attended the A+A 2015 trade fair last month, enjoying beautiful fall weather for most of the Oct. 27-30 event and taking in an expo area that filled 11 halls of the fairgrounds. The total attendance was another new record for A+A, and show officials said 280 more exhibitors participated this year than the total number that did in 2013. Trade fair total attendance that year surpassed 63,000, a new high and up from 60,100 in 2011.

Messe Dusseldorf (MD) is still compiling attendees' feedback about the event, even as some of them prepare for other shows both in 2015 and 2016, here in Dusseldorf and around the world. First up is Medica, the biggest event the company stages here, with some 130,000 attendees and 5,000 exhibitors filling all 19 halls of the fairgrounds. Three times larger than 60-year-old A+A, Medica takes place Nov. 16-19 this year.

MD safety shows set for 2016 include TOS+H, the second Turkish Occupational Safety + Health Exhibition, in Istanbul (May 8-11); the tenth OH+S Asia in Singapore (Aug. 24-26); and COS+H in Beijing (September).

Sixty years ago, when the first A+A took place in 1954, there were 74 exhibitors. The total topped 1,800 in 2015.

"We have a very high rebooking rate," said Birgit Horn, director of A+A, adding that about 90 percent of exhibitors return for the next A+A. She said MD still uses a waiting list, and this year some companies didn't get in because many returning exhibitors asked to increase the size of their booths.

"We want a healthy growth of the show. We have to have a proper amount of participants in relation to the number of exhibitors," Horn said. Two things MD does differently than U.S. safety shows is that it seeks to put the largest exhibitors in the middle of its halls, not at the entrances, in order to increase hall traffic; and also it does not start selling the next trade fair's exhibit space during an A+A.

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