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Review of SPS Connect and the current situation regarding SPS 2021

26 Jan 2021

2020 is over and with it the first entirely virtual SPS. By 31 December 2020, the SPS Connect platform had played host to a total of 9,121 visitors, seen interactions with 239 exhibitors, facilitated 4,296 business meetings, and delivered a wealth of information about the latest products in the automation industry. In 2021, however, the event is once again set to take place in person from 23 to 25 November in Nuremberg.

SPS Connect 2020 Analysis

Following the cancellation of the physical SPS at the end of August last year, event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH decided on a digital alternative; a concept that focused primarily on the interaction between the automation suppliers and users, and which would be supported by an AI-based matchmaking function. Courtesy of this tool, a total of 22,216 connections were made as well as 837,486 recommendations.

Accompanying this was a lecture program looking at the latest industry topics in combination with related discussions. As Dr. Josef Waltl, Principal Group Program Manager – Industrial IoT/Manufacturing, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH states: “The expert presentations and SPS Connect portal were the highlights of the SPS Connect. Software and the application of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence within the industry have struck a chord with many participants and exhibitors. It could also make an interesting digital companion for the ‘regular’ exhibition, which is always a highlight of our calendar.”

Positive outlook for the SPS 2021

The figures for the SPS Connect demonstrate the considerable importance of an exchange of ideas with other professionals from the industry, even if it has to be online. For 2021, however, organizer Mesago is once again making plans for an in-person event: “Interest for the SPS 2021 in November has been great. Currently, figures for stand space and exhibitor numbers are above last year’s level, despite the ongoing pandemic. This highlights just how important the exhibition is for the automation industry and shows that even a year like 2020 has not changed this significantly,” reports Sylke Schulz-Metzner, Vice President SPS at Mesago Messe Frankfurt. As the organizer explains, a comprehensive range of health protection measures will be taken on site to protect all participants, as had already been planned for the in-person event in 2020. “We’re proceeding with caution,” explains Schulz-Metzner. “We plan to assess the situation periodically throughout the year, and also see how the vaccination program goes, so we can respond accordingly.”

A supplementary digital program is also planned for SPS 2021.

Stay up to date

The event organizer will be posting regular updates at Those interested can check this website for all the information they need to attend.

About Mesago Messe Frankfurt
Mesago, founded in 1982 and located in Stuttgart, specializes in exhibitions and conferences on various topics of technology. The company belongs to the Messe Frankfurt Group. Mesago operates internationally and is not tied to a specific venue. With 160 members of staff Mesago organizes events for the benefit of more than 3,300 exhibitors and over 110,000 trade visitors, conference delegates and speakers from all over the world. Numerous trade associations, publishing houses, scientific institutes and universities work with Mesago closely as advisers, co-organizers and partners. (

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020 after having recorded sales of €738 million the previous year. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at:
* preliminary figures 2020