Messe München GmbH
The German commercial real estate industry descends on Munich next week (7th-9th October) for the annual Expo Real trade fair, now considered a must-visit event not just by Germans but increasingly by international real estate investors from all over Europe, along with a traditional contingent from even further afield (US visitors have had a communal stand for years, quite apart from several hardy individuals who’ve traditionally manned their own stands.)
This year’s attendance figures are expected to top 38,000 participants, on a par with last year’s figure, according to Expo Real director Claudia Boymanns, with whom REFIRE spoke last week to get a feel for what’s coming up. More than 1,700 exhibitors will be showcasing their services across 64,000 sqm of exhibition space.
There will be even more joint regional and sector stands than before, with several new country pavilions. The joint pavilions enable smaller companies to have a visible and affordable presence, but in the company of strong regions or cities with an even bigger presence to group members’ common interests. The Russian economic ministry is housing a joint pavilion for nine separate economic regions, while the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg have their own representation over the three-day event.
Ms. Boymanns says that three strong themes will permeate much of this year’s Expo Real seminar, discussion and workshop offerings: Urban Development, Intelligent Urbanisation, and Investment.
At the sector level, Logistics and Hospitality are also due to play a large role; the combined Logistics stand LogReal Campus brings together logistics developers, investors and operators on one large stand, while the big hotel operators have over 200sqm at their own World of Hospitality, featuring operators such as Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental, Kempinski and many others.
With investors still very focused on the availability of financing, Ms. Boymanns points to a range of discussions and workshops dealing with new sources of finance, and several new forums dealing with the investment strategies of sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, occupational pension funds, family offices, high (and ultra-high) net worth individuals, and forums dealing with health care real estate, nursing homes, and other minority but growing segments.
The theme of “Intelligent Urbanisation” is also playing a prominent role at the fair, said Ms. Boymanns, with Germany’s Chamber of Architects teaming up with the German sustainability institute DGNB to put on a separate mini-exhibition in Hall A2. Sustainable city development is also a recurring theme, with a number of forums being hosted and moderated by Professor Greg Clark of the Business of Cities Ltd, renowned guru on city building, investment and urban strategies.
Ms. Boymanns has a last tip for overseas visitors coming to Expo Real – download the new free Expo Real app to your phones before leaving home (avoiding costly roaming downloads), and avail of the on-site quick guide to everything happening at the event.