20,000 SPECIALIST VISITORS AND STRONG ECONOMIC MOMENTUM: Klagenfurt was the timber capital of Europe

With 502 exhibitors from 21 countries, the 55th INTERNATIONAL TIMBER FAIR and HOLZ&BAU held from 29 August to 1 September 2018 at Klagenfurt Exhibition Centre was a great success. 20,000 specialist visitors, 38% of them from abroad, came to Klagenfurt to find out about the topics of “timber construction, sawmills, forestry, transport and bioenergy”. Their decision-making authority was greater than ever before: 91.4% stated that they were the key decision makers, joint decision makers or advised on investments at their company. The hitlist for areas of interest was topped by the topics of “forestry (48%), wood processing (43%) and sawmill technology (32%)“.

For four days the Carinthian provincial capital became the timber capital of Europe. That was not just the tenor of the official opening of the trade fair, but was also confirmed in the subsequent days. “With the success of our specialised trade fairs we are making a strong contribution to the optimism and good mood in the timber sector”, said President of Klagenfurter Messe Betriebsgesellschaft mbH Dr. Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz and CEO Erich Hallegger delightedly. The new focus “Treffpunkt Jagd”, the trade show for hunters, was also well received, and represents an optimal addition to the existing forestry area.



According to the market research company “Der Ladler”, when the specialised visitors were asked about their areas of interest, 48% stated the topic “forestry“, followed by “wood processing and carpentry equipment” with 43%, “sawmill technology” with 32% and the area “transport, stacker trucks and cranes” with 21%.




The highly international makeup of the TIMBER FAIR is apparent not just amongst the exhibitors (21 countries), but also amongst the visitors: 38% of all guests come from abroad, above all from Slovenia followed by Germany, Italy, Croatia and Switzerland. Amongst the domestic visitors, the largest portion, namely 36%, come from Carinthia, followed by Styria with 18%, Lower Austria (11%) and Upper Austria (11%).



How are markets changing, what machinery and equipment are making work easier and what do the legal framework conditions look like? There were expert answers to these and many more questions during the numerous events, such as the “Forestry & Technology“ innovation impetus (organiser: Ossiach Forest Training Institute), the Klagenfurt Timber Construction Meeting (organiser TU Graz and Chamber of Civil Engineers for Styria and Carinthia), the International Timber Day (organiser: Association of the Austrian Timber Industry) and the Carinthian Foresters Day (organiser: Carinthian Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry).


INNOVATION AREA. – At the Klagenfurt TIMBER FAIR, innovations should not just be buzzwords, but also be reflected accordingly in the exhibition sector. The innovation area was set up jointly with the “Furniture & Timber Construction Cluster of Upper Austria” and “Forum-Holzbau”, and enjoyed wide public interest. The offering ranged from bicycles, pools and nails made from wood, forest monitoring by means of drones or the use of robots, to innovative joining elements for timber structures.


COOPERATION & NETWORKING. – Meanwhile networking was a key focus of the B2B Cooperation Exchange of the Economic Chambers, in which this year over 50 international partners and companies took part, and the evening side event “Wood-Lake” at Loretto Castle with more than 300 guests from the timber, forestry and sawmill sector.


GOLDEN SPRUCE AWARD. – The “Golden Spruce” was once again awarded this year for special services to do with trade relations between Austria and Italy. The award was presented to Christoph Kulterer of Hasslacher Holding GmbH. and Domenico Cora of Cory Timber Industries in Vicenza in the framework of the International Timber Day.



It is a well-known fact that “after the trade show is before the trade show”, and the date for the “56th INTERNATIONAL TIMBER FAIR” has already been set: it will take place from Wednesday 2 September to Saturday 5 September 2020. As well as numerous other highlights it will also include the “European Carpenters Championship”.