In round figures, 580,000 visitors from 200 countries arrived in Munich last week for bauma, the world’s largest equipment fair. That’s an increase of more than 9%. After Germany, the top 10 countries of origin among the visitors were Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, U.K., Sweden, the Russian Federation, Poland and the Czech Republic. A total of 3,423 exhibitors — 1,263 from Germany and 2,160 from abroad — from 58 countries presented their products, developments and innovations on a record 605,000 square meters of exhibition space. Exhibitors from outside Germany accounted for 63% of the total — higher than ever before.

“The response from the participants this year was amazing,” said Klaus Dittrich, chairman and CEO of Messe München, bauma’s organizers. “The visitors at bauma always come looking to invest, but this year the exhibitors’ order books filled up much faster than expected. Many exhibitors are talking about a record level of demand at bauma 2016. And that is an extremely positive sign in this current uncertain climate.”

Stefan Heissler, a member of the board of directors of Liebherr-International AG, confirmed this assessment, saying, “Bauma 2016 was a tremendous success for Liebherr. We received many orders from a wide variety of different markets. In some segments our expectations were even exceeded.”

Jürgen and Stefan Wirtgen, managing partners in the Wirtgen Group, also agreed: “Bauma as the leading trade fair has always been a kind of barometer for the industry and from the start it had a very special significance for our company. Our presentation at this year’s bauma is the most successful so far in the history of the company.”

While bauma is mostly a construction event, activity in the mining hall C2 was brisk. Erwin Schneller, managing director for SBM Minerals, reported, “Bauma is very international. We had visitors from Chile to Canada, from China to Russia, from Africa to Norway. My personal highlight was that we signed up some unexpected sales at the show.”

The next bauma takes place from April 8-14, 2019, in Munich.