It's not over until it's over

Published 8/7, 2021 at 17:09

In addition to the internationally focused PDi Magazine, we also publish two Scandinavian and one American title.

Thanks to this, we are continuously in contact with many suppliers and contractors from around the world, meaning that we are well placed to keep an eye on and report on the latest developments globally.

From this international interaction, the feedback I am receiving is that despite the continued strong pressure on the world due to the pandemic that there is a growing sense of optimism in many markets. The countries that carried out the so-called lockdowns early in the pandemic, have after reopening, managed to quickly reach the same levels, or even surpassed those from before the pandemic, producing market momentum once again. Other countries that did not carry out lockdowns, such as Sweden, have kept the wheels of commerce spinning at a decent level throughout, but have not experienced the same sharp upturn in activity when the market opened up after the spread of infection decreased. This applies to last summer, part of the autumn of 2020 and now during the late spring of 2021.

Despite these different scenarios resulting from different strategies, we can state now that it seems as if we are slowly but surely on our way out of the pandemic, with market activity increasing sharply in some regions. Many manufacturers testify to a sharp rise in order intake, which is due to the fact that many contractors have had a fair amount of work even during the tougher part of the pandemic. Now that restrictions are being lifted in many countries, projects that were put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic are being resumed and new projects are being launched. I believe that throughout the rest of 2021 we will see a steady increase that will probably culminate in the latter part of 2022. 

Construction industry businesses and business people as a whole are, after all, marked by the pandemic. Our life patterns changed dramatically when the pandemic broke out and it will take time to mentally get back to what it was like before the pandemic hit us. Trade fair events and conferences are a good example of this. There will be some reluctance to attend these events at least in 2021. Those who still run their events will need to account for both a lower number of exhibitors and visitors. I believe that we must monitor these developments during the autumn, but that there will be no real setbacks. 

If thing looks good, 2022 will be a good year as people and the market return to their industry events. I see it as very positive that the organiser of the leading industry tradeshow bauma, Messe München, chose to move the show dates from April to October, 2022. bauma has such a great influence on the global market that an event as early as April next year could have been fatal both for exhibitors and visitors as well as the organiser itself. 

As the organisers of the DEMCON show in Stockholm, Sweden, we have moved the dates for the show four times and decided that there is no use trying to hold a tradeshow this year. Too many uncertainties remain and time is also too short for preparations. We have now decided to hold DEMCON 24 to 25 November 2022, barely a month after bauma in Munich. 

In Sweden, the restrictions have been relaxed gradually, but for the foreseeable future until late summer, the restrictions will not allow a significant number of visitors to attend a tradeshow or to gather. At the time of writing, the Swedish government is planning to introduce new restrictions from 1 July. Then 300 people will be able to gather indoors if they are seated all the time. Outdoors, 600 people can gather without being seated. With that said, it feels a major step to allow maybe 600 to 800 people indoors without requiring them to sit. 

This is the situation in Sweden right now. I do not know exactly how regulations apply in other countries. We must remember that with pandemic legislation in different countries, the restrictions may change rapidly if the spread of infection increases again. It's not over until it's over.

Jan Hermansson

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