Bruno Boroewitsch, CEO of com-a-tec and co-founder of UNITI expo, discusses the fair’s impact on the international landscape and what the event’s return means for companies around the world.
[10 March 2022] – Companies and professionals from all over the world are preparing for UNITI expo’s return on May 17-19, 2022. Once again, Messe Stuttgart will open its doors for everyone who wants to be part of the leading European trade fair for the retail petroleum and car wash industries and build the future of each sector together. On this occasion, Bruno Boroewitsch, CEO of com-a-tec and co-founder of UNITI expo, reflects on the event’s international relevance and its impact on companies around the world.
How has UNITI expo’s international audience evolved through the years?
Bruno Boroewitsch: UNITI expo started in 2014 and in every edition we always had an increasing number of exhibitors and visitors from all parts of the world. In our last edition, we reached the milestone of 467 exhibitors from 37 countries and more than half of the 17,000 total participants came from outside of Germany. It is difficult to make a prediction in the context of Covid but we are expecting a strong international attendance. The industry is really looking forward to the fair after the two-year delay.
How is UNITI expo attracting companies and professionals of the industry outside of Europe?
BB: Currently UNITI expo is the most international fair in our industry and we intend to further develop it to become its global hub. This is why we are running a large marketing campaign, with over 70 international media outlets and associations as partners. We have also developed advertising campaigns in specialized publications around the world and presented the show concept at numerous international trade fairs and conferences in the United States, Africa, Middle East, Mexico, Asia, Turkey and Europe. For this edition we have put a special focus on Latin America and we will have delegations from Argentina and Mexico, two fascinating markets. In the last years we have signed agreements with leading service station associations Cecha (Argentina) and Onexpo (Mexico).
How does a company benefit from being at UNITI expo?
BB: Attendees of the event will have a unique opportunity to interact with UNITI expo’s audience, which consists of the most international and qualified professionals. This makes the networking aspect of the event its most treasured asset, a huge benefit for exhibitors thanks to the presence of potential customers, partners and international distributors interested in generating new business opportunities. With only one trip, visitors can arrange as many meetings as they want throughout the three-day period, which is especially important due to the difficulties for traveling of the past two years. And let’s face it, virtuality won’t replace the feeling of meeting and doing business face to face while enjoying the event’s amenities. The entire exhibition is organized into thematic areas so that attendees can easily find the products they are interested in. We also have an online directory on our website prior to the exhibition so that visitors can prepare beforehand.
How many professionals will attend this year’s UNITI expo?
BB: Most major companies from around the world have confirmed they will be part of the upcoming edition and we currently have 95% of the 40,000 sqm exhibition space booked up. These two key factors speak for the immense support that European and international companies have shown us and it has become our mission to live up to that trust.
Is there an expected number of visitors for this year’s fair?
BB: Last edition a total of 17,000 participants came to Messe Stuttgart from over 120 countries. We are conscious of the impact that the Covid-19 crisis had on face-to-face events but Messe Stuttgart has done an excellent job with its “Safe Expo” concept and its recent refurbishments to protect attendees. Recent events at the state-of-the-art exhibition centre have shown strong results due to the measures and protocols in place. In addition, the situation in Europe is evolving positively, so we are not expecting many restrictions for vaccinated people. National and international professionals have expressed their desire to return to Stuttgart after this long delay. Every day we receive registrations from trade visitors to be part of this year’s UNITI expo.
From the international side, we want to maintain the same ratio as the last edition, half of total attendees from outside of Germany. Many executives and managers of global oil companies, independent fuel retailers and international service companies will be walking the halls of Messe Stuttgart once again.
What are some of the topics that the conference program will tackle this year?
BB: Our goal is to support industries in facing the challenges of the future, that is why we will cover the major topics of each sector in the three forums spread throughout the three exhibition halls. First and foremost we have the International Forum, where speakers from around the world will cover the three key topics: ‘Digitalisation in the fuel retail sector’, ‘Alternative Fuels’ and ‘Trends & Markets around the world’. Secondly, the Car Wash Forum, in which operators will talk about their newest business cases and suppliers will present their latest innovations. And last but not least, the UNITI expo forum, where oil companies will share their new concepts and developments, and celebrities such as TV chefs or sports stars will helm various inspiring presentations.
How important is the international audience for UNITI expo?
BB: With only three editions, UNITI expo has become the leading trade fair in Europe for the fuel retailing and car wash sectors, and the most international event in the world for this industry. We intend to keep growing in line with our quality audience in order to live up to our attendees and partners’ expectations. This will be accomplished by staying true to our mission, which is serving as a link between the convenience, car wash and fuel retailing world while tackling the challenges of tomorrow. Despite the long and delayed break the pandemic forced us into, we intend to continue our biennial format and keep adapting our concerns to address what will be the market’s needs of the future.