This week Munich is experiencing thousands of visitors from all over the world. No, it’s not Oktoberfest yet – you haven’t missed that – it’s even better: Two major exhibitions, Automatica (Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics) and Intersolar (for Solar Industry) are opening up, “Connecting Global Competence”, as the slogan of the venue location goes.
According to Messe Muenchen GmbH, more than 30,000 exhibitors and over two million visitors from around the world use their events as communication forums every year. In addition to the industrial fairs they organize, around 250 guest events organized by other institutions can be added per annum. Having formerly worked in electronic components distribution and also for the magazine ELEKTRONIK, I am especially looking forward to November, when electronica, the leading trade show in the world for electronics production and for electronic components, systems and applications will take place.
For many foreigners attending the shows or events, it is the first time they will visit Munich. Especially those who decide to come at short notice are happy to get some help. These are the most common questions I have been asked in the past.
Question: Andra, I want to come to the show next week. Where can I stay? Hotel prices are like crazy…
ANDRA: Well, hotel fares of up to 400 Euros for a standard room during peak season can really be a downer. One good piece of advice I once received from a bauma Project Manager was: For some shows there is a dedicated bus shuttle service, covering hotels from the smaller cities that locals love to go to during the weekends, like the very touristy Garmisch-Partenkirchen for example. Also, Airbnb is getting more and more popular in Munich, and you might find a great and very reasonably priced place to stay, maybe even experiencing the daily life of typical German family.
Question: What should I wear?
ANDRA: Well, that basically depends on the industry and your position. Also whom you are planning to meet. Wear comfortable shoes, especially when you have to cover great distances – the fair ground is huge! Good news is, (tidy) sneakers are getting more and accepted, although I would not recommend those at EXPO REAL for example. If you are used to carrying a rucksack, maybe you might want to double-check if it is still in good shape… If it has seen better days, I suggest you make use of some duty-free-offer on your way here.
Question: I want to meet new buyers. How can I find them?
ANDRA: Almost every event organizer in Germany offers a great variety of tools for you to prepare for the show. You would almost always find an exhibitor database, which is a good start. Check out if an App is offered for download; this is very convenient especially for quick reference during the show. Some events offer online Matchmaking Services, you might even get the chance to connect to other visitors. For more individual research and appointment-setting, please get in touch with me (andra[at]andra-ibf.com).
Question: What about public transportation? Is the fare included in the event ticket?
ANDRA: In most cases it is not included. If you stay for more than two days, and your hotel is in the city centre, I recommend you go for a weekly ticket, 1-3 Ringe (rings) at approx. 18 Euros. Please note that it does not cover your ride to the airport. For the airport ride, you may check out the airport-shuttle-service the Messe offers.
Question: I need to buy a local SIM. Where do I go to?
ANDRA: For international calls, prepaid cards and inexpensive used mobile phones to use with your local SIM, I recommend you go to Hauptbahnhof (main station) and maybe proceed to Schwanthalerstraße (close to Hauptbahnhof). There you will find plenty of such offers.
Question: I love beer – where should I go in the evening?
ANDRA: Well, you are in Munich! You will find many traditional restaurants Im Tal, the area between Marienplatz and Isartor. One of my favourite restaurants is Zum Augustiner (Neuhauserstraße 27). I also like Hofbräuhaus, but you have to be in the mood for it (packed, loud, but reasonably priced and food is o.k.).
Question: I want to buy some souvenirs. Where do I go?
ANDRA: If you go to Hofbräuhaus, there is a small shop at the entrance. There you would find some fridge magnets and bottle openers and stuff. Also on Kaufinger- and Neuhauserstraße between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz you can find some shops selling touristy items. If you are very busy meeting new buyers during your visit, etc. (as I hope you would be…), don’t worry: As always the airport will not let you leave empty-handed…
Have a safe trip, and if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!