Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director, Messe Munchen GmbH
With its new positioning as the world's leading trade fair for the sector, BAU is pushing ahead with boosting its international profile. With international marketing activities for the fair stepped up, BAU also plans to establish itself in India in a big way. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director, Messe Munchen GmbH, elaborates on the themes for BAU 2011 and India's relevance in BAU in a tête-à-tête with Shriyal Sethumadhavan. Excerpts…
What is your vision for BAU?BAU is considered as the world's largest fair for systems, materials and architecture. It's a comprehensive fair where you get to see all the innovations. At one end we have the exhibitor's stand and at the other we have supporting programmes, wherein architects, engineers, planners, experts, and ministries discuss the future of building. We aim at becoming more and more international and attracting more than 40,000 visitors from abroad. Two years ago, we witnessed about 5,000 visitors from Asia and from India we have had over 137 visitors. But, I believe this number can be increased and that is what we are looking at.
What is it that makes BAU different from the other fairs in Europe?You have so many fairs in Europe for doors, floors, roofs, etc. But there is no show that offers all of these under one single roof. And that's what sets BAU apart from the rest as we hold the ability to attract right from architects to engineers to planners.
We have a broad international scope. Our visitors come from more than 150 countries. For BAU 2011, we expect to have exhibitors from around 45-50 countries. Of these exhibitors for the first time we have three from India.
What are the key themes that BAU 2011 will focus on?For 2011, we have identified the key themes for the future. One is ‘sustainable building’. This is a priority seen in the construction business more or less in all sectors. Another interesting topic is 'building for life'. It's where you plan and build apartments for all. Our next theme 'research and innovation' also plays a big part at the fair. Also, a part of our theme is 'education and training' through which we aim at promoting the building industry and real jobs in the sector.
We also have special shows like ‘green envelope’ that are dedicated to sustainable buildings with windows, facades and doors. We will expose our visitors to cost-effective, flexible, barrier-free, ‘building for life’. We have planned a competition concerning solar houses called 'Solar Decathlon Europe'. Focusing on future innovations will be our show on 'intelligent building' and finally our show on 'tensile architecture' will reveal how tensile and foil products can be a part of innovative style of architecture.
You plan to establish BAU in a big way in India. Can you elaborate on this?We can only congratulate India for its economic increase. The building sector in India rises every year with astonishing figures. Hence the Indian market is important for us and we aim at attracting more visitors from here. As this objective is fulfilled, the rest will follow.
How do you think India's participation will benefit Europe and the other way round?Through BAU, India would enter a big market where there will be visitors from all around the world. Indian companies will get exposed to not just innovative materials, but also new ideas concerning planning. And that's the reason for our union with the Builders’ Association of India. They would help us get more delegates.
The other way, Bau would definitely benefit from India is that India is among the main markets in the world, and that's the kind of participation our exhibitors look for.