Josef Guggemos canceled the “Main-Spessart Autumn Fair – the Lohr Regional Fair” scheduled for October 7-9 in Mainlände. In an interview with this editorial team, the organizer of the trade fair from Pfarrkirchen in Lower Bavaria justified the move by a lack of interest on the part of the companies. It would take at least about 100 entries, but it only has a little over 20.
So the long-awaited autumn fair in Lohr finally failed. The city actually wanted to stop the event for cost reasons. The town council’s finance committee said yes in November last year, after Guggemos had assured that the city only had to take on the ideal sponsorship and not have its own attitude.
Guggemos made it clear that it would need about half of the minimum 100 registrations at the moment. “It would be okay, there would be another boost to the trade show, but with only 20 entries I do not need to think about it at all.” That’s why he pulled the strings, so that the registered companies could be reoriented in time. Most of them come from the area.
Smart or not at all
“When I organize a trade fair, I do it well or not at all,” explained the Bavarian businessman. Companies that approached his own repeatedly stated the same reasons for not participating: they lack staff, order books are full and material is scarce. Participating in a trade fair does not make sense to her, “if you have to tell visitors that I will have time for you in two years”.
Heard from an online advertising provider: “It looks similar in Schweinfurt.” Obviously, the season is tough for trade fairs. According to Gugemo, he did not want to make any lazy compromise: “I do not make a fair cucumber cutter after which people say, what was that?”.
“He put in a lot of money to get potential exhibitors.” But a trade fair does not make sense “where 50 exhibitors are around”. He wanted to organize a showcase for the area, “but if the region is not interested …”. According to Guggemos, this also applies to the municipalities of the Lohr region. He would like to win her over for a twinning town hall. There was little interest in that either.
Of course, as a trade show organizer you want to make money, this is normal, but such a trade fair is also a platform to present yourself as a company or community. Companies probably do not need it at the moment: “They are busy processing orders.”
New beginning in two years
Guggemos thinks it’s “quite conceivable” a new endeavor in two years, but one has to wait to see how things turn out and whether a trade show will then be more interesting to companies because they need orders. He also had to discuss it with the city of Lohr.
“We understand the development that led to the cancellation of the autumn report,” said City Hall spokesman Dieter Dows on request. The city of Lohr deeply regrets “the decision that emerged from the terms of our contractual partner”. From the city of Lohr, there is hope that “the autumn fair will be held again in two years under better conditions,” said the city’s CEO.
MSA, Expo and Fall Fair
The first industry and trade exhibition in Lohr after World War II already existed in 1946 in relation to the first week of the Lohr Spessart Festival. However, in the following years it was pushed out of the ever-expanding amusement park and eventually stopped. In 1976, the “Lohraktiv” exhibition attracted about 18,500 visitors.
Stable form got the report two years later. From late July to early August 1978, the “Main-Spessart-Ausstellung” (MSA) was first released as a performance show for the area. For 40 years it was fixed in the calendar every two years, in 2006 it was renamed MSP-Expo. In 2018, the event was moved to the fall around the official holiday on October 3 and the exhibition, which had shrunk to just a few days, was extended to five days. Officially, 36,000 visitors came during this period.
However, in early 2020 known that the city of Lohr was planning a radical cure: the event was to last only two days until the “Lohr Autumn Fair”. The long-time organizer, JWS GmbH from Mörslingen, then left and Josef Guggemos from Pfarrkirchen introduced himself as the new organizer. In 2020, the report had to be canceled due to the pandemic and was scheduled to start in early October 2022.