Significant increase in visitors: SHK+E ESSEN draws a strong final balance

SHK+E ESSEN impressively kicked off the trade fair season for the industry with an expanded range of products and services: around 30,000 trade visitors came to Messe Essen from March 19 to 22, 2024 to find out about innovations in the fields of sanitation, heating, air conditioning and electrics. The focus of the more than 330 exhibitors from 16 countries included heat pumps, hybrid heat pump systems and other heating solutions as well as products for efficient installation. In the accompanying specialist forums and dedicated areas, SHK+E ESSEN also covered a wide range of topics that are currently affecting the industry: from artificial intelligence and drinking water hygiene to the Building Energy Act.

"We are very satisfied with the course of the trade fair. SHK+E ESSEN has more than fulfilled the expectations placed in it and sent out important impulses. We are also pleased that the new electrical range was so well received – we will expand this in future," explains Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen. Frank Hehl, Managing Director of the SHK NRW trade association, which is the conceptual sponsor of SHK+E ESSEN, states: "The visitor numbers speak for themselves. The industry, and above all the installing trade, still has a great need to meet in Essen to exchange ideas personally and professionally. In order to meet trade visitors' desire for a comprehensive trade fair experience, we would be delighted if the sanitation sector, which was underrepresented this year, were to fly the flag again in 2026."

With that extra bit of electrics

The trade fair was launched this year for the first time under the name SHK+E ESSEN. The E stands for the energy sector of electrical engineering, which plays a decisive role in the context of sector coupling. The focus was particularly on battery storage, photovoltaics, wall boxes and inverters. Partner of the trade fair for the heating sector is the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry, whose Managing Director Markus Staudt explains: "With the Building Energy Act, the industry and end consumers now finally have planning security. The law allows for a wide range of heating technology solutions. SHK+E offered an ideal platform for the western German HVAC trade to find out about the range of solutions and related topics such as the new funding framework. The exchange of information is now more important than ever, so that trade and industry can work together to turn paragraphs and laws into built-in heating systems."

The extended and varied supporting program at SHK+E ESSEN included topics such as artificial intelligence in the trade, political framework conditions for heat pumps and the recruitment of skilled workers. The Content Lab in Hall 2 celebrated its premiere, where visitors could find out about the use of social media in the trades, for example. Another focal point was figawa's drinking water meeting point in Hall 6, where new technical solutions for drinking water installations and rising temperatures in water distribution were on the agenda alongside other topics. Volker Meyer, Managing Director of figawa, summarized: "The presentations at the drinking water meeting point, which focused on topics such as the cooling of drinking water and the balance between energy efficiency and drinking water hygiene, met with great interest from plumbers and specialist planners. SHK+E ESSEN has shown that the industry can offer solutions to the current challenges associated with the changing climate."

New in the program: the role of hydrogen in municipal heating network planning

On the initiative of the SHK NRW trade association and Messe Essen, a dedicated event on the role of hydrogen in municipal heating network planning was held for the first time at SHK+E ESSEN. On March 20, several experts explained at the Congress Center West why hydrogen is essential for the German energy transition and talked about the prospects and design of a hydrogen market.

The visitors to SHK+E ESSEN were mainly practitioners from the HVAC and electrical trades as well as technical building services planners and representatives of the wholesale trade. 73% were decision-makers with purchasing and procurement expertise (2022: 69%). The trade fair audience was primarily interested in heating technology, followed by sanitation installations and drinking water. Around 90 percent of visitors were completely satisfied or satisfied with the range of products and services at SHK+E ESSEN.

Reunion in Essen in the year 2026

The next SHK+E ESSEN will take place from March 17 to 20, 2026 at Messe Essen. Interested exhibitors can find the registration documents at www.shke-essen.de.