No virus panic among classic fans / good mood, affluent audience and satisfied exhibitors at the world’s largest trade fair for driving culture
Of course, the fair was “at least a bit determined by the concern about the Corona virus,” said Karl Ulrich Herrmann, managing partner of RETRO Messen GmbH, at the end of the fair on Sunday evening. “Thanks to constant and sensitive cooperation with the responsible authorities, we were able to adequately take into account the current health situation and were therefore able to open and run the fair as planned.”
High proportion of trade visitors, long stay
In the end, some classic fans did not dare to go to the Stuttgart exhibition center. The bottom line was that RETRO CLASSICS® had around a third fewer visitors than last year. “In view of the public discussion in the media,” this slump should nevertheless be seen as “manageable,” said Herrmann, especially since the structure of the audience was of the usual high quality. This is confirmed by a computer-assisted, representative survey among the trade fair participants: Almost two thirds of the respondents (63 percent) own at least one classic car, 33 percent had already bought or ordered something at the time of the survey – five percent invested more than 100,000 euros. More than a third were trade visitors among the guests who stayed on the site for an average of five and a half hours.
The international appeal of RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART was evident at the stands: Although there were no large number of Italian guests, the proportion of foreign visitors was again 11 percent. Switzerland (25 percent) took the top spot among the 42 countries of origin, followed by France (21 percent) and Austria (14 percent). Around 1,000 journalists from 29 countries were welcomed in the press center.
Convincing offer with many highlights
The overall positive feedback shows that “we were able to convince again with our offer,” said Andreas Herrmann, who will take over the management of RETRO Messen GmbH from his father on April 1. “Many highlights were particularly well received by the younger visitors.” His assessment coincides with the results of the visitor survey: US Cars (27 percent), NEO CLASSICS® (22 percent) and a visit to the exhibition “ROFGO Gulf Heritage Collection ”(18 percent) – the“ young ”themes of the fair. For 85 percent of the respondents, the offer was almost complete. The large parts market, the significantly expanded vehicle sales exchange and the “beginner’s market” that was held for the first time were also well received by the trade fair visitors, said Andreas Herrmann. Last but not least, as President of the RetroClassicCultur e.V. (RCC), he was delighted with the success of the RETRO CLASSICS® for EDUCATION, a youth initiative supported by the RCC and the Ministry of Culture of Baden-Württemberg – an offer that was taken up by numerous vocational students.
Exhibitors praise the buying mood
Many exhibitors can look back on successful trade fair days in Stuttgart: “We met a very good specialist audience here,” said Mathias Leitner, Managing Director of C.F. Mirbach GmbH & Co KG. “By Sunday morning alone we were able to sell seven vehicles and received so many inquiries that we had enough to do by February. We have achieved our trade fair goals and are already looking forward to 2021! ”Klaus Kienle, owner and managing director of Kienle Automobile GmbH, said something similar:“ We have been represented at RETRO CLASSICS® for many years and are once again very satisfied – also with the influx of visitors. The fair was very successful, we had the best possible space and were able to sell a surprising number of cars. In any case, there was no sign of the Corona virus having an effect. ”Kris Rosenberger, Managing Director and owner of Rosenberger Classics, was also pleased with“ an extremely positive response. We were at RETRO CLASSICS® for the first time and met with great interest here. Our portfolio was very well received by visitors, who were at our stand in sufficient numbers. Everything was fine! ”
Visitors again assign “one” before the decimal point
In the overall visitor ranking, RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART 2020 shone with a one before the decimal point (1.7). Ninety percent of the guests want to recommend the fair to friends, acquaintances and colleagues.
The next RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART will take place from March 18 to 21, 2021 on the grounds of Messe Stuttgart.
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