Editorial ES-EMEA 1-2023: Can trade fairs return to their former strength?

January 13, 2023

In 2022 – after the two Corona years – it became apparent that our society and economy had suffered from the effects of the pandemic. And this development did not simply pass the security industry by. In spring, companies tentatively opened their doors again and resumed normal business activities. It quickly became clear that the shortage of skilled workers and labour also had a decisive impact on our sector. 

Nevertheless, the worldwide epidemic has also had a decisive impact on security companies: the degree of digitalisation has at least increased in corporate communication – in external communication and in internal dialogue. Video conferences via Zoom and other solutions are now integrated into the daily routine in the company, save costs and enable a more intensive exchange of opinions. And yet, all market players were happy when events such as trade fairs and conferences were also on the agenda with the opening. Everyone was happy to again cultivate business relationships and develop projects in personal exchange.

The trade fairs, which had been so successful in the past, at which the companies of the security industry exhibited, had not yet found their way back to their old strength, and the global context in which the German security companies had previously operated also suffered considerably. The trade fair events no longer reflected the international security industry and were fragmented. Let’s hope that the coming year will bring more success. But the chances are good.

This is how the new year starts with Perimeter Protection 2023. Messe Nürnberg, as the organiser, is reporting a record number of exhibitors and is now naturally also hoping for corresponding visitor numbers. After all, the range on offer at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre takes into account the top themes of those responsible for security in Germany. Thus, the focus is not only on mechanical and electronic property security. Intelligent, AI-based video technology or security services such as drone protection are also on the agenda. This is a response to the demand for better protection of critical infrastructures (CRITIS), but also for security solutions for the private sector. Other important trade fairs also take place in Nuremberg. What would the German security industry be without Feuertrutz or it-sa, which are key events for the industry?

Other fairs, such as SicherheitsExpo in Munich, have to prove themselves again this year. After a change of ownership and a slight market fatigue, new accents must be set this year to build on the successful pre-Corona period.

PMRExpo is also facing a new beginning this year. The trade fair, which was previously only held at the exhibition centre in Cologne under a different organisation, will in future also be planned and carried out by the management of KölnMesse. A look into the future is also interesting for this special trade fair. This trade fair, which is limited to control centres and communication, could receive a growth impulse by expanding the topics on the basis of the technologies presented here.

Control centres are the basis for a multitude of project solutions in the modern digital world. Thus, the topic of smart cities would certainly be an enrichment for the trade fair taking place in November. It remains to be seen what the hitherto authoritative association would think of such a thematic expansion. It would certainly be worth considering.

Hopefully, the year 2023 with all the different events will be purposeful for the security industry. Because the year 2024 should at least have another leading trade fair in store where innovations of the German and international security industry are shown and find their home. There is no question that the industry needs this.

Dr Claudia Mrozek

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