Press releases

Inclusion: In focus at REHAB

Karlsruhe, December 02, 2020 - On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) will be celebrated. It aims to raise awareness for the concerns of people with disabilities and to strengthen the commitment to their rights. But even more than ten years after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to ensure the equal participation of people with disabilities in all areas of life, came into force in 2009, there is still much to be done in the area of inclusion. The need for action in the school sector, for example, is demonstrated by a study published in November 2020 by the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (Association for Education), in which 45 percent of teachers in Germany state that their school is not barrier-free at all. 56 percent of the 2,127 teachers surveyed believe that inclusive teaching makes sense in principle, but only 27 percent believe that joint school attendance is currently feasible in practice.

At REHAB 2021, which will take place from May 6 to 8 at the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, the topic of inclusion will be examined with regard to various fields of social action: from the promotion and care of children and young people to training and further education, jobs and cultural participation. At the inclusive sports complex, people with and without disabilities can try out various inclusive sports activities together and train with professionals. The exhibitors offer products and services that increase independence and enable participation.

For the first time, local, successful inclusion projects will be honored at REHAB 2021: On May 7 at the trade fair, the city of Karlsruhe will award the Karlsruher Inklusionspreis (Karlsruhe Inclusion Prize) to individuals, companies and associations that are committed to reducing disadvantages for people with disabilities or handicaps and overcoming prejudices. "As a European trade fair for rehabilitation, therapy, care and inclusion, REHAB has always been a platform for the presentation of successful inclusion projects and thus offers the ideal framework for the recognition of exemplary inclusion. The Karlsruher Inklusionspreis (Karlsruhe Inclusion Prize) clearly shows how many Karlsruhe citizens and institutions are committed to helping people with disabilities. Their successful projects as well as the city's commitment to an inclusive society will be made visible to a broad public by the awarding of the prize at REHAB," explains Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe.

Dealing with COVID-19 at the REHAB Karlsruhe

Due to the dynamic situation of the pandemic, it is not yet possible to make any final statements as to which concrete hygiene and distance rules will apply to the safety of visitors and exhibitors at REHAB 2021. Messe Karlsruhe is taking a proactive approach to the issue and observing the course of the pandemic, supported by a medical expert committee headed by Prof. Dr. Martin Hansis, former medical director of the Karlsruhe Municipal Hospital and former member of the hygiene commission at the Robert Koch Institute, and Mr. Frank Eckardt, German Red Cross District Association Karlsruhe e.V., in order to jointly define the necessary safety and hygiene standards. "One thing is certain: we will do everything in our power to ensure the protection of everyone involved by means of a sophisticated safety and hygiene concept that meets the highest standards. Trade fairs that have already taken place throughout Germany are proof that the concepts work," reports Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe.

REHAB Trade Fair Will Be Held in Three Exhibition Halls

Karlsruhe, 16 March 2020 – The barrier-free exhibition grounds of Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre will be the venue for the 21st REHAB – European Trade Fair for Rehabilitation, Therapy, Care and Inclusion from 6 to 8 May 2021. Expenditures in the healthcare system are constantly increasing and the market for aids and medical appliances continues to grow. Trends such as digitization and the overall ageing of society are heightening the demand for the products and services presented at REHAB. Particularly as a result of strong demand from its exhibitors, REHAB 2021 will offer stand space in a third hall for the first time. “The high quality of this trade fair and its visitors assure REHAB’s ongoing growth. We continue to place great importance on optimal distribution of exhibitors in the halls and on the fair’s unique atmosphere. We are pleased to be able to do justice to the fair’s excellent development and to promote its further evolution by opening a third hall in 2021”, explains REHAB’s Project Manager Annika Gehrmeyer. By expanding the exhibition area into three halls rather than the previous two, even more space will be available to present innovations and to promote interdisciplinary sharing among experts from the care-giving sector, the health industry, people with disabilities and their carers. The proven concept of theme-oriented marketplaces such as “Mobility & Daily Living Aids”, “Child & Youth Rehabilitation” and “Cars & Traffic” will be retained and will continue to structure the comprehensive range of products and services presented at the trade fair.

Approximately half of the available exhibition area has already been booked

Although more than a year remains before REHAB 2021 opens its gates, approximately half of the available exhibition area has already been booked. Months in advance of the upcoming fair, numerous well-known manufacturers, dealers and service providers from Germany and other European countries have reserved their stands in Karlsruhe and thus in Baden-Württemberg, which is Germany’s leading state for medical technology. Returning exhibitors include industry giants such as Otto Bock HealthCare Deutschland GmbH, Paravan GmbH and the Danish company Alu Rehab ApS. Manufacturers of children’s wheelchairs such as Rehatec Dieter Frank GmbH, SORG Rollstuhltechnik GmbH + Co KG and Berollka-aktiv Rollstuhltechnik GmbH have likewise confirmed their intention to participate in REHAB, which is held every two years and is the most important platform for high-quality mobility aids and children’s aids from Germany and other European countries. Interested companies can still book stand space at the early-bird rate until 30 June 2020. The Future Pavilion offers opportunities for start-ups and academic institutions to present their innovations, above all in the areas of digitization and robotics.

About REHAB Karlsruhe

Since 1980 REHAB Karlsruhe has been one of the most important trade fairs for rehabilitation, therapy, care and inclusion, and has established itself every two years as the most important platform for high-quality mobility aids and children’s aids from Germany and other European countries. Specialists from all over Germany and neighbouring countries traditionally use REHAB to learn about the latest trends in rehabilitation technology, innovations in the assistive aids industry and new therapeutic options as well as to take advantage of further training opportunities. As a platform for the sharing of information among manufacturers, specialized dealers, therapists, medical professionals, nursing staff, service providers, associations, people with disabilities and their carers, REHAB is a must-attend event on the industry’s calendar. Approximately 18,500 visitors and 468 exhibitors participated in REHAB in 2019. The 21st REHAB – European Trade Fair for Rehabilitation, Therapy, Care and Inclusion will take place at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 6-8 May 2021.

REHAB scores points with further growth
exhibition hall
Approximately 18,500 specialist and private visitors flocked to the exhibition halls at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 16 to 18 May (KMK / Behrendt and Rausch).

Karlsruhe, 23 May 2019 - For the 20th anniversary of REHAB, 460 exhibitors from 21 countries (2017: eighteen countries) presented their latest rehabilitation, orthopaedic and medical technology products, as well as innovations for care and therapy, on a total of 40,000 square metres (2017: 35,000 square metres) of exhibition space. The approximately 18,500 specialist and private visitors who flocked to the exhibition halls at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 16 to 18 May made REHAB the preeminent venue for peer-level encounters between people with and without disabilities. Increasingly many of the visitors, 68 percent of whom were experts, undertook long journeys to come to the fair. “All market participants – from manufacturers and dealers to experts, as well as people with disabilities and their relatives – gather at REHAB every two years. The Karlsruhe location likewise received top ratings”, says Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH, who adds: “This year the exhibition halls were fuller than ever. We achieved increased visitor numbers and a double-digit growth (14 percent) in the total exhibition area. To meet the increased demand, we are already conducting talks on expanding our exhibition space for the next REHAB.”

A diverse selection with a clear structure

Visitors experienced an excellent and informative spectrum of products and services in two barrier-free exhibition halls, an events hall and on the open-air exhibition area. Ninety-six percent of those surveyed praised the quality of the exhibitors and emphasized their satisfaction with the wide range of products on offer. To adequately reflect this multifaceted market, the comprehensive spectrum of products and services presented at the fair was divided into various thematic marketplaces. Exhibitors and visitors alike were delighted with the continuation of this tried-and-tested concept: “I can best describe the marketplace concept as target-oriented. We were surrounded by our specialized trade partners and we found precisely the practical sharing of know-how with specialized dealers that we were hoping for”, explained Eduard Harsch, Area Sales Promotion Manager at Philips GmbH. The thematically structured concept, which facilitates speedy orientation and efficient sharing, received a topmost rating from 91 percent of the visitors.

Exhibitors were able to intensively interact with their clientele (KMK / Behrendt and Rausch).

Exhibitors appreciate the visitor mix and plan to participate again in 2021

Consistently positive feedback was expressed by the exhibitors, who especially praised the visitors and the many successful business deals. “We have a good mix of visitors here and we can intensively interact with our clientele. Our stand is frequented by specialist and private visitors, as well as by people from many different age groups. Some of them ask very specific questions, which shows that many customers are knowledgeable and well-informed. For others, however, the situation and the needs are still new, which is why they want to inform themselves more generally”, reported Marcel Schäfer, Regional Manager of RMT RehaMed Technology GmbH. Michael Pura, Regional Manager of Permobil GmbH, praised both the mix of target groups and the number of visitors: “We are absolutely delighted. Visitor traffic was very good. We not only meet the specialist trade here, but also our retail customers.” The employees of Otto Bock HealthCare Deutschland GmbH were similarly impressed: “Our sales representatives are all highly satisfied. We had plenty of work to do, we enjoyed very good discussions, and we met our target group”, explained Lars Haufe, Market Management Mobility Solutions.

Equally positive feedback was voiced by both first-time and longstanding exhibitors: “This is the first time that we came to REHAB to present our products. We have already concluded some business deals and we are very satisfied with the quality of the visitors”, said Franz-Josef Lasek, Managing Director and Partner at AHA! Effekt-Technik Vertrieb GmbH. Bernd Lohmüller, Marketing Manager at MEYRA GmbH, said: “We have enjoyed coming to REHAB for many years – for decades, in fact. This fair is an absolute ‘must’ for us. And it is unique thanks to its pleasant, informal atmosphere.” Mobilcenter Zawatzky GmbH, which has been exhibiting since the first REHAB in 1980, likewise numbers among of the fair’s first and most loyal exhibitors. The reason is simple, as Managing Director Andreas Zawatzky well knows: “REHAB is a ‘must’ for us.”

The fact that REHAB is a firm date every two years is also evident in the strong interest expressed in returning to participate again: “We are very satisfied with this trade fair. The quality of the discussions was very high, and the audience of specialist visitors, health insurance company employees and retail customers was impressively sophisticated and discerning. We will surely return again next time”, said Patrick Schwarzkopf, Area Manager and Rehabilitation Consultant at Life & Mobility GmbH. REHAB’s project director Annika Gehrmeyer is pleased to report: “Numerous exhibitors have already announced their intention to participate again in 2021 and some of them have already made binding bookings. We have also received many inquiries from businesses that would like to participate for the first time as newcomers at the upcoming REHAB.”

People who wear arm or leg prostheses demonstrated the potentials and limits of contemporary prosthetic technology (KMK / Behrendt and Rausch).

International technological progress in Karlsruhe

REHAB ranks among the foremost trade fairs in the industry. The spectrum on offer at the fair clearly reflects the fact that technological progress is also a major driver of innovation in the field of rehabilitation, therapy, care and inclusion. In addition to solutions for the use of virtual and augmented reality in rehabilitation, the presentations also included smartglasses apps to control wheelchairs, as well as hearing aids that can be connected to smartphones. In connection with the topic of medical and rehabilitation technology, REHAB was also able to exploit the strength of its location in Karlsruhe as a technologically leading region. The renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the acclaimed ETH Zurich collaboratively organized an international CYBATHLON prosthesis series at REHAB. People from six nations who wear arm or leg prostheses demonstrated the potentials and limits of contemporary prosthetic technology for helping prostheses’ wearers accomplish everyday tasks. International academicians and scientists from universities and industrial research institutes presented their latest findings at the accompanying symposium. Prof. Dr. Tamim Asfour, Head of the Faculty for High Performance Humanoid Technologies at KIT, drew a positive conclusion: “We were able to experience what these assistive technologies mean for people with physical disabilities. I am delighted that Karlsruhe has so much to offer, including REHAB as a trade fair on this subject. We have just agreed that we will return for the next REHAB.”

Audience of conference participants
A diverse array of first-class specialized events attracted experts from throughout Germany and its neighbouring countries to Karlsruhe (KMK / Behrendt and Rausch).

Strong supporting programme

The comprehensive supporting programme, which included 88 hours of lectures, live demonstrations and panel discussions, likewise met with widespread approval and earned top ratings from the participants. Demand was particularly strong for lectures in the specialist forum, as well as for demonstrations of products for outpatient nursing and home intensive care at the newly created Joint Pavilion Homecare in practice. People with and without disabilities could try out various sports such as badminton or football at the Inclusive sports complex, where professionals coached and played along with the participants. In the Culture Bistro, top sportswoman Anna Schaffelhuber gave insights into her life as a wheelchair user. A diverse array of first-class specialized events attracted experts from throughout Germany and its neighbouring countries to Karlsruhe. Therapists, specialist retailers, and professional carers eagerly attended workshops on about wheelchair and assistive-device provision led by facilitators from the ROLLETS rehabilitation network. The fair was the ideal venue for the 43rd Conference of the German Association of Bobath-Therapists, which took place within the framework of REHAB and attracted approximately 200 Bobath-Therapists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This also applied to the Regional Care Conference of the TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe, which brought together numerous participants from ambulatory, home stationary and clinical care in the context of REHAB at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre.

The next REHAB will take place from 6 to 8 May 2021 at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre.