【DE】A legendary success story – History of Deutsche Messe AG

Deutsche Messe AG, as a trade fair organizer in the field of capital goods, human resource management as well as consumer goods.


The events and services have been bringing together exhibitors and visitors since 1947. This has helped numerous small enterprises to become world market leaders, while at the same time supporting large-scale enterprises on their road to further expansion. The expertise is as diverse as the portfolio: Trade fairs for capital goods, human resource management as well as consumer goods.


Famous for everything from fish rolls to digital transformation

From legendary beginnings as Germany’s first Export Fair on up to a key role in showcasing the digital transformation. Back when Deutsche Messe was founded in Hannover in 1947, soon after the end of WWII, nobody could predict just how successful its maiden event would be, right from the start.

The area of the fairground originally was an aircraft works. After World War II, the British military government in Allied-occupied Germany wanted to hold a trade fair and sought for a good place, since Leipzig, the traditional fairground of Germany, was unavailable, being in the Soviet occupation zone. The hangars in Laatzen, south of Hanover, were deemed suitable for this purpose, and so the Hanover Fair, then named Exportmesse 1947 was first held in 1947 to promote the economic recovery in the Bizone. The concept proved to be successful, and so a permanent fairground was established, growing over the years.

When the gates closed on the 21-day Export Fair, it had generated as many as 1,934 export contracts worth a total of $31.6 mill. And in the ensuing more than 70 years, the company has continued to make history.

Let’s look back on many years of moving markets, right on up to today’s sweeping era of digitalization and Industry 4.0. Travel from the beginning in 1947 up to today.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the military government in the British-U.S. bi-zone argued that exports rather than resignation offered a way out of economic devastation. Despite dire conditions, the country should mobilize resources and start exporting quality goods. Once back on its feet, the country could pay war reparations and ease the burden on Britain and the USA. As a result of a British initiative it was decided to organize the first Export Fair, and in hindsight it was a blessing that the British overruled the initial objections and skepticism of the Germans. The proposed location – Düsseldorf – had rejected the idea.


The Deutsche Messe chronicle 


The first Export Fair – initiated by the British occupying forces, the birth of a legendary success story symbolized by Hermes


As a result Deutsche Messe- und Ausstellungs-AG was set up in Hannover, and millions worth of investment were pumped into the war-damaged city. The starting capital for the trade fair company alone was 1.2 million Reich marks. The organizers were able to report that the first Export Fair was a great success. Between 18 August and 7 September 1947, a total of 1934 export orders valued at 31.6 million U.S. dollars were taken at the exhibition grounds.


Visitors are delighted to be able to buy fish sandwiches at the fair – available for the first time since prewar times. The Deutsche Messe logo is created, consisting of the Greek god Hermes, the patron of trader and merchants in Greek mythology.


Photo: Deutsche Messe



Photo: Deutsche Messe



The first partition

Just two years after the launch the participating companies were complaining about insufficient capacity at the exhibition venue and that exhibitors had to be sent away. Consequently, the event was split into two: after the General Export Fair in April 1949, manufacturers of engineering products gathered a few weeks later at their own separate event under the title German Industrial Fair. The number of exhibitors rose rapidly.



Foreign exhibitors at the Export Fair

Despite Germany’s continued political isolation, the Export Fair had already gained international attention and by 1950 was attracting exhibitors from 10 different countries, including the USA. Before the new diplomatic service of the young Federal Government had an opportunity to forge international connections, representatives of the Export Fair had already established foreign contacts. As early as 1948, the Hannover exhibition venue boasted the first telephone hotline to New York. In the years that followed, German industry was enjoying the benefits of an economic boom – the wonder years of the post-war German economy had a very positive impact on the fair in Hannover.



Photo: Deutsche Messe



Hannover-Langenhagen Airport links the Export Fair with the rest of the world


Air travel to and from the Export Fair began at an early stage: in 1949 via the British military airbase in Bückeburg, and in 1950 via the Royal Air Force base in Wunstorf. The opening of Hannover-Langenhagen Airport in 1952 was a major step forward. The new airport was created in record time on the site of a former military airfield. Badly damaged during the Second World War, Hannover’s existing airport in Vahrenwald had fallen into disuse and offered no scope for expansion. Guests arriving at the new airport could transfer directly to the Export Fair by helicopter – an exciting new development in the early 1950’s.



Photo: Deutsche Messe



Photo: Deutsche Messe



Size counts – the era of multi-sector trade fairs dawns


Echoing the remarkable boom of the department store chains, universal trade fairs boomed during the economic upswing of the 1950’s. The organizers and exhibitors hoped that Hannover’s trade fair landscape would reflect the growth of the entire industrial sector in Germany and the country’s economic miracle. Only a few years previously the argument weighed heavily in favor of dividing the event. Now it was argued that size – and by definition scope and diversity – was crucial to its success. Hence, in 1954 the decision to split the trade fair was reversed.



The Deutsche Messe “economic miracle” continues

The Munich Hall is dismantled and moved from Brussels in 1958 to Hannover, making it is not only the world’s biggest tradeshow restaurant, with space for up to 3,200 guests, but undoubtedly also the most distinctive one. Here, tradeshow visitors can enjoy an authentic Bavarian – style atmosphere.



Photo: Deutsche Messe



Photo: Deutsche Messe



Over one million visitors annually

By the beginning of the Sixties, Hannover is drawing more than one million guests annually. Since local hotels are completely booked, local residents decide to open their homes to visiting businessmen, providing them with a place to sleep and a seat at the kitchen table.


  Photo: Deutsche Messe





Specialist fair for the office equipment industry the forerunner of CeBIT


The late 1950’s saw the office equipment and technology sector assuming greater importance within the portfolio of the German Industrial Fair. The trade fair also gained significance at an international level, and from 1961 onwards it was the world’s biggest gathering of manufacturers, suppliers and dealers in this sector. However, nobody could imagine the extent to which this event would eventually develop – progressing from a modest array of bulky calculators and communication devices to something quite spectacular. It was in 1961 that the Industrial Fair became known as HANNOVER MESSE. (Only many years later was the German brand name HANNOVER MESSE introduced for universal use in all languages.)



New name, new hall


In the light of the dramatic growth of the trade fair for office equipment and technology – at this stage still a part of HANNOVER MESSE – it was decided to erect a building devoted solely to this sector. Located in the new Hall 1, the Center for Office and Information Technology (CeBIT) boasted an exhibition area of 70,300 square meters – approximately equivalent to 10 football pitches – and impressed by virtue of both size and functionality. In 1984 it even entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest exhibition hall. Parking facilities were created under the hall, while on the roof of the building there was space for 750 system-built houses, which were rented out during the trade fairs.



  Photo: Deutsche Messe



The oil crisis and its consequences


The decision by the OPEC countries to reduce oil production revealed the West’s overdependence on fossil fuels. The resultant Sunday driving bans are deeply engraved in the collective memory of the Federal Republic. The sharp rise in oil prices exacerbated the economic slowdown in the early 1970’s. This had a direct impact on HANNOVER MESSE. Two halls remained empty in1975, and four in 1978. Unfortunately, these halls were not suitable for the presentation of office and information technology. The oil crisis foreshadowed a process of industrial transformation – a process from which HANNOVER MESSE emerged unscathed. Visitor attendance and rented exhibition space remained at levels which were unattainable for competing trade fairs.



LIGNA becomes independent


LIGNA is one of many specialist trade fairs to have originated from HANNOVER MESSE. By the mid-1970’s manufacturers of woodworking machinery and equipment for the forestry industry, who already accounted for a large part of the exhibition area, were clamoring for more space. In view of the sector’s continued expansion, it was decided that a separate event was needed. Now independent, the new event continued from one success to the next. LIGNA is to this day the leading trade fair for the woodworking and timber processing industries.



  Photo: Deutsche Messe




Shift away from consumer goods


The difficult economic climate in the 1970’s manifested itself in the rise and fall of the consumer goods fair “Interfach”. Launched in 1974, this event attracted 900 exhibitors. However, visitor attendance dropped sharply the following year, leading to a decline in exhibitor numbers in 1976. The relevant business sectors then became part of HANNOVER MESSE once again. In 1978 consumer goods were finally eliminated from the HANNOVER MESSE portfolio.


The Fair of Fairs


First Partner Country presentation at HANNOVER MESSE


As its reputation grew the focus of HANNOVER MESSE shifted more to facilitating global business leads and creating a platform for its foreign guests. It was decided to invite one individual country every year to showcase its products in the context of its history, culture and geography. The first designated Partner Country was Brazil in 1980. Since then a Partner Country has been selected every year, including close neighbors such as France, other European neighbors and countries from other continents such as China and Korea – all of them keen not simply to boost business but also to present the nation, its culture and technology to the world.


In the 1970’s HANNOVER MESSE still encompassed 29 industrial fields and areas, but during this decade the individual fairs were to be streamlined and reduced to just 10 keynote themes. Taking place under the bold slogan “The Fair of Fairs”, the event brought together 10 trade fairs, all held at the same time and place, five of which proved to be the biggest trade events for their respective industries or sectors worldwide. The biggest success story was the trade fair for electronics technology, followed by the Center for Office and Information Technology (CeBIT).



  Photo: Deutsche Messe




Consumer fair Infa taken over by Deutsche Messe


The origins of the consumer goods fair Infa actually go back to the 1950’s. At that time, housewives raised demands for an exhibition that catered for mothers and homemakers. As a result the exhibition company Heinrich Heckmann organized the first trade fair for household products and domestic appliances. Nearly thirty years later Deutsche Messe took over Heckmann and at the same time the company’s former home fair, which by now had assumed the name of Infa – Information Fair for Families. In its current form the trade fair attracts around 220,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitors and is one of the biggest of its kind in Germany.


  Photo: Deutsche Messe




A woman takes the helm


In 1982 Birgit Breuel, the Minister of Economic Affairs for the state of Lower Saxony, became the first female chairperson of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Messe- und Ausstellungs AG. In 1986 she was appointed Lower Saxony’s Minister of Finance. In 1990 she transferred to the Executive Board of Treuhandanstalt, the agency responsible for privatizing East Germany’s stateowned enterprises. She was President of this organization from 1991 to 1995. Following this, Birgit Breul returned to Hannover in the role of Commissioner General of the World Exposition EXPO 2000. This event proved to be an enormous boost for the City of Hannover and its trade fair Industry.



A record-breaking year

At the beginning of the 1980’s the economic climate improved perceptibly. This had a positive impact on HANNOVER MESSE and resulted in eight entries in the 1984 edition of the Guinness Book of Records: for the largest number of trade fair visitors (740,000), the world’s biggest trade fair site (969,500 sq. m.), the largest amount of exhibition space (741,000 sq. m.), and the world’s most expansive exhibition hall (Hall 1 – the original home of CeBIT). HANNOVER MESSE also boasted the largest parking facilities, the largest number of exhibitors, the largest number of exhibiting nations and – with a total of 10 tracks – the largest railroad facilities at any trade fair venue. All these statistics pointed to a need to divide up the event. 1986 saw the launch of CeBIT as a standalone trade fair.



BIOTECHNICA – new platform for a new, emerging science


The 1980’s witnessed the emergence of a new, exciting field of science: biotechnology. Interest in biochemistry and microbiology soon moved beyond the realms of research as science yielded important applications in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, seeds and plant stock, food and medicine. With the proportion of professional visitors reaching almost 100 percent, BIOTECHNICA has served as an unparalleled international arena for experts from universities, research institutes and companies since 1988.


  Photo: Deutsche Messe




The foreign operations of Deutsche Messe grew at such a steady pace that they eventually culminated in the establishment of an independent company. What initially started out in 1981 as an operational division of the parent company became an independent company in 1985. The business aim of HANNOVER-MESSE INTERNATIONAL GmbH (HMI) is to establish successful versions of the individual trade events of HANNOVER MESSE at trade fair venues outside Germany.



Photo: Deutsche Messe



CeBIT becomes autonomous – Office Technology separated from Industry


In the early 1980s the fortunes of HANNOVER MESSE soared. In fact, the flood of visitors almost brought the infrastructure of the city and the exhibition grounds to breaking point. When the flow of visitors peaked at 80,000 trade visitors on an individual day, the organizers even ran out of admission tickets. In November 1984 it was therefore decided once again to split the trade fair. As of 1986 the office technology sector was to have its own event, held under the name Center for Office Automation, Information Technology and Telecommunications (CeBIT). Both the parent event HANNOVER FAIR (Industry) and the spin-off CeBIT are market leaders in their own right worldwide.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe




 Photo: Deutsche Messe



New company name

In 1987 the company’s name – Deutsche Messe-und Ausstellungs-AG – was shortened to Deutsche Messe AG, a name that is easier to remember.



Hannover Exhibition Center as the launch pad for the European Monetary Union

In June 1988 the heads of government of the EC member countries met at the Hannover Exhibition Center, when German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) hosted the European Council summit. This meeting outlined the road map for the Single Market of the European Community (EC) as from 1992 and for what was later to become the Monetary Union. Hannover has seen many summit meetings, but nothing as momentous and of such historical import.



Hannover exhibition venue now a hub between East and West

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Hannover assumed greater importance as a hub between East and West. Politicians and representatives from business and industry had long recognized the role of the trade fair as a place for matchmaking and international contacts. However, as Eastern Europe markets began to open up in the early 1990’s, access was afforded to new target groups and the event was now able to reach an entirely new audience. HANNOVER MESSE grew in stature during this period, as no other trade fair venue could facilitate business contacts between East and West as effectively.



DOMOTEX – carpet design from all over the world

From the very outset DOMOTEX was the leading international event for carpets and floor coverings. The debut event in 1989 attracted 531 manufacturers and carpet-makers from across the globe to Hannover, where they showcased a dazzling display of knotted and woven carpets. The trade fair has kept this strong international profile – four out of five exhibitors come from outside the host nation. Nearly three quarters of the visitors occupy positions in management. Not surprisingly, this event now attracts approx. 1,400 exhibitors.


 Photo: Deutsche Messe




HANNOVER chosen as the venue for two leading international events

In 1992 Deutsche Messe announced that it would be hosting two top events in Hannover at two year intervals in each case: the IAA Commercial Vehicles (IAA Nutzfahrzeuge) and EuroBLECH.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe





The first online trade fair

Just seven years after the launch of the world wide web (1989 in Geneva/Switzerland) Deutsche Messe embraced the new technology and introduced GLOBIS, the first virtual trade fair venue.

This system allows visitors to view product information round the clock and marked a revolution in trade fair services. It should be remembered that this was at a time when sending an e-mail cost 10 pfennigs and Telekom in Germany charged by the minute for going online. It was also at this time that the Internet gained in importance as a serious topic at CeBIT.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


World Exposition EXPO 2000

The preparations for the World Exposition EXPO 2000 involved massive investment in the exhibition grounds during the 1990’s. Over DM 1.6 billion went into developing the site and the transport infrastructure to ensure that the location could cope with the huge number of visitors expected. This project placed Deutsche Messe clearly at the head of the international market. At the time Hannover could boast the biggest and most modern exhibition grounds in the world. The ground-breaking architecture of the exhibition halls set new international standards and gained international acclaim.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe




 Photo: Deutsche Messe



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



Boom years for CeBIT

CeBIT goes from strength to strength. At the peak of the Internet boom numerous IT startups flocked to CeBIT and onto the world’s stock exchanges. In 2000 more than 7,800 exhibitors and 750,000 visitors came to Hannover. In 2002 CeBIT set an all-time visitor attendance record of 860,000. As from 2001, CeBIT spin-off events were staged in other regions around the world.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



CeBIT set up in Turkey and China

The first spin-off events of the flagship fair CeBIT were now launched in other regions of the world. The attraction of the Asian economic boom was particularly strong. Not surprisingly, the first major international venture led to CeBIT Asia in Shanghai. This was followed by CeBIT eurasia in Istanbul. At the same time Deutsche Messe, in cooperation with German trade fair companies in Düsseldorf and Munich, opened the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC), a facility with a hall area of 45,000 square meters which within the space of a few years was being heralded as China’s leading exhibition venue.



Deutsche Messe in the age of globalization

Deutsche Messe responded to the challenges of globalization by developing a portfolio of 27 foreign trade fairs. It was a period marked by three major trends: Germany was the world leader in exports, and both the EU and the NATO were expanding as allegiances in Eastern Europe shifted. CeBIT, HANNOVER MESSE, BIOTECHNICA and DOMOTEX remained the flagship events of Deutsche Messe and were capturing an increasingly big market share in China, South East Asia, Australia, India, Brazil, Turkey and the USA.



Key political figures appear at Hannover

Along with Russian President Putin, many other world leaders from the world’s leading economics take advantage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s invitation to appear at CeBIT and HANNOVER MESSE.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



Joint Venture with Fiera Milano

Intent on consolidating its strategic orientation to foreign markets, Deutsche Messe now entered a joint venture with Fiera Milano, Europe’s second leading trade fair organizer. The two companies hoped to gain a foothold in the growth markets of Russia, China and India, and expected to see their market position improve through their joint efforts and shared know-how.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Quality not quantity – CeBIT changes course

The world’s leading trade fair for the digital industry now pressed the reset button and launched a new program. Lectures and specialist events added a new quality to the trade fair and accounted for a further increase in the proportion of professional visitors. CeBIT was shortened from seven to six days. Environmental issues featured for the first time on the trade fair agenda as the keynote theme “Green IT”. The introduction of new content proved to be a good move. Over six days more than 10 million business talks were held, countless investment decisions initiated and orders concluded.


Best business results in company history

With 106 different events attracting over 39,000 exhibitors and a total of 3.22 million visitors for the year, Deutsche Messe is up among the world leaders as an organizer of leading international trade fairs.



Go-ahead for expansion of SNIEC

In spite of the world economic crisis, activities geared to further developing the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) in China went ahead. After completion of the building work at the end of 2010 the venue would offer a display area of 200,000 square meters – plus a 130,000 square meter open-air site. Since the facility first opened in 2001 it has emerged as China’s most important trade show and exhibition venue.


Chinese subsidiary celebrates its first 10 years

Founded by Deutsche Messe in 1999, Hannover Fairs Shanghai Ltd., which now operated under the name Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd., could now look back on 10 successful years.

During this period it made a significant impact on the Chinese exhibition and trade fair market, and now staged up to 15 shows each year in China’s major centers of business and industry concentrated around Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou.


Deutsche Messe Interactive (DMI) is launched

The new subsidiary Deutsche Messe Interactive began offering innovative solutions in the field of digital lead generation.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attends CeBIT


Together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Governor of California) officially opened CeBIT in Hannover.


 Photo: Deutsche Messe




Foreign business expansion and restructuring

Deutsche Messe added 13 new foreign trade fairs to its portfolio of trade fairs outside of Germany. These included the first HANNOVER MESSE franchises in Moscow, organized by Deutsche Messe in collaboration with a local partner. The events on foreign markets proved highly successful, and in order to strengthen the company’s position in the competitive international market the different areas of responsibility were more clearly demarcated: henceforth the subsidiary Hannover Messe International (HMI) – which in future would operate under the name Hannover Fairs International GmbH – was made responsible for all international exhibitions and trade fairs staged outside Germany. This reorganization gave fresh impetus to Deutsche Messe’s growth strategy.


HANNOVER MESSE and the Icelandic volcano

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull on 20 March 2010 had a serious impact on HANNOVER MESSE the following April. Due to the spread of volcanic ash, air traffic was suspended in large parts of northern and central Europe. This prevented many exhibitors and visitors from attending HANNOVER MESSE. Deutsche Messe instantly launched a comprehensive array of remedial measures. Hundreds of exhibitors were transported to Hannover by bus from all over Europe. A group of 150 Turkish exhibitors even took it upon themselves to endure a 50-hour bus ride in order to be at the show. One New Zealand exhibitor needed no fewer than 134 hours to reach Hannover.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Convention Center wins “Location Award”

The best venue for exciting major events: experienced event organizers chose the Convention Center as the winner of the 2010 Location Award. The jury was particularly impressed by the flexibility and scope of the venue, the quality of service, the facilities and their communications infrastructure.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Extensive event portfolio scores outstanding results

With over 50 events during the year – ranging from a medical congress to open-air concerts and sporting events – the Hannover Exhibition Center attracted a steady stream of visitors. In fact Deutsche Messe recorded 2010 as its most successful year for congresses, conventions, events and special functions. One particular highlight was the concert by AC/DC, attended by 80,000 fans who danced the night away around the Hermes Tower and under the Expo Canopy.



Deutsche Messe goes east; southern part of the Hannover venue revamped

The expansion of international business generated strong growth. In 2011 Deutsche Messe staged 108 events in Germany and other countries – more than ever before. The company’s employees were distributed across more than 100 countries, organized in five German and eight foreign subsidiaries.

The list of foreign subsidiaries included Deutsche Messe RUS (established in 2011), which spearheaded business expansion in Eastern Europe in the following years.

Hannover was a hive of activity. Hall 10 at the southern end of the exhibition grounds was demolished. Completed in 1958, this multi-story building served as a landmark for visitors arriving at the site. It was used primarily during HANNOVER MESSE in its earlier years, above all for the presentation of lamps and light fittings.

Hall 10 made its last major appearance at EXPO 2000, where the Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker decorated the facades with pink ornaments. The hall was superseded by a new entrance zone equipped with a state-of-the-art visitor entry system.

Since 2011 the southern entrance has boasted the new 35-meter high Hermes Column. Fifteen large dichroic glass panels shimmer blue and yellow depending on the wavelength and the angle of incidence of the ambient light. Transparent solar modules generate the necessary power. At night more than 1,300 LEDs illuminate the stylized Hermes emblem.



A watershed year – foreign business a driving force behind revenue growth

Deutsche Messe continued to perform well. 2012 proved to be a watershed year – due largely to the growth program initiated in 2009, aimed at unlocking new sources of revenue and profit.

The exceptionally dynamic growth in foreign business made a positive impact on profits. China and Turkey were two major sources of revenue growth. In Turkey, Deutsche Messe acquired the remaining shares in Hannover-Messe Sodeks Fuarcilik A.S., which organizes the heating, ventilation and air conditioning fair ISK-SODEX in Istanbul. This was followed by the purchase of the remaining stake in CeBIT Bilişim Eurasia. In both cases Deutsche Messe succeeded in strengthening its market position.

Trade fair business in Hannover also continued to expand. Formerly a special display at HANNOVER MESSE, Metropolitan Solutions soon became a standalone event taking place in parallel with the world’s largest industrial technology show. Metropolitan Solutions focuses on solutions for tomorrow’s megacities.


Public transport strike – the Red Dot is reactivated

Due to a public transport strike during CeBIT, Deutsche Messe decided to revive the “Red Dot Campaign” of days gone by and asked Hannover’s residents to once again help transport exhibitors to and from the exhibition grounds. Numerous motorists displayed a red dot behind their car windscreens to indicate that they were willing to pick up passengers.


Deutsche Messe acquires a majority stake in spring Messe Management GmbH

Spring Messe Management organizes specialist trade fairs in the field of human resources (HR) management, professional learning, corporate health, job and careers and the public sector. Together with this new subsidiary, Deutsche Messe now ranks as Europe’s largest organizer of HR fairs.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



Highest revenues in the past 10 years

The company’s growth strategy is paying dividends: in 2013 Deutsche Messe reported the highest sales revenues and profits since 2003. The company organized a record number of fairs in foreign markets and achieved the highest foreign sales revenues in its history. In addition, Deutsche Messe had the highest volume of orders on its books since its inception. This mirrored the corporate strategy of Deutsche Messe, which was aimed at maximizing profitability and growth. As a result the company was able to fund the investment in the new Hall 19/20 from its own resources. The recipe for success and growth was apparent: to identify and implement new ideas at the earliest possible stage.


Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 at home in Hannover

Deutsche Messe was the first trade fair company to respond to the two new mega trends Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things by putting the spotlight on digitalization, at both HANNOVER MESSE and CeBIT. Under the programmatic heading “Integrated Industry” HANNOVER MESSE now focused on tomorrow’s smart factories.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



Digital economy – digital trade fairs

Thanks to the ongoing enhancement of established trade fair concepts, Deutsche Messe succeeded in transforming HANNOVER MESSE, CeBIT, CeMAT and LIGNA into driving forces behind the digital revolution – a precondition for sustained and profitable corporate growth.

Digital technology was also transforming the trade fair industry. In 2014 the web pages of Deutsche Messe and its trade fairs attracted seven million visitors. This positive echo is attributable to the company’s strong branding and high-profile presence in search engines, social networks and industry portals.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Deutsche Messe is committed to maintaining and enhancing its digital portfolio. The development and application of digital services is now the joint responsibility of two specialist subsidiaries. Established in 2009, Deutsche Messe Interactive (DMI) provides digital lead generation services for exhibitors. In addition, DMI compiles the electronic exhibitor and product directories for trade fairs such as HANNOVER MESSE, CeBIT, LIGNA, DOMOTEX and BIOTECHNICA.

The subsidiary event it specializes in electronic visitor management. In 2014 event it launched a new web portal and mobile app. This software platform assists exhibitors with their lead management, evaluates business cards and streamlines follow-up activities.



Deutsche Messe in Indonesia

Deutsche Messe has gained a foothold in this new market in its role as the operator of Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) in Jakarta. With 247 million inhabitants Indonesia is South East Asia’s  largest economy and, together with the BRIC countries, is one of the world’s major growth markets.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



Building for the future – a modular concept for the exhibition grounds


A major step in the modernization program for the exhibition grounds (commenced in 2012) was the completion of Hall 19/20 in the spring of 2015 – after a construction period of only 18 months.

Hall 19/20 was officially inaugurated at the beginning of July by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board (Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economic Affairs Olaf Lies), the Mayor of Hannover (Stefan Schostok) and other members of the Supervisory Board and the Managing Board. The hall was designed by the leading firm of architects gmp – Gerkan, Marg and Partners, which had already been responsible for other construction projects at the Hannover exhibition grounds.

Hall 19/20 is part of an extensive site development plan which the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe submitted to the Supervisory Board in 2012. The goal is to enhance the modernity, functionality and flexibility of the exhibition grounds in order to maintain long-term competitiveness. The aim is to create and refurbish around 100,000 square meters of indoor exhibition space by the year 2032. An average of €20 million per year has been earmarked for this purpose.

With the renewal of the exhibition grounds Deutsche Messe is responding to the changing requirements of the marketplace. The number of international flagship fairs remains stable, while on the other hand small and medium-sized fairs, conferences and corporate events offer significant growth potential. In 2014 the Hannover Exhibition Center hosted more than 50 major events, including the Annual General meetings of Volkswagen and MAN.

Hall 19/20 (which cost less than the originally planned €54 million) boasts a modular design. Numerous events can be hosted simultaneously. For daytime light shows and other requirements, the entire exhibition area can be darkened. The hall features modern conference facilities, a restaurant and a bistro with an open kitchen (ideal for live cooking demonstrations).

The next major project is a new structure linking Hall 7 and the Convention Center at the heart of the exhibition grounds.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden at CeBIT Global Conferences

This was one of the highlights at the 2015 CeBIT Global Conferences. The journalist and “gatekeeper” Glenn Greenwald (in the words of CGC moderator Brent Goff) appeared live on stage in Hannover, while the whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke via satellite from Moscow. 40,000 viewers worldwide watched the live stream.


 Photo: Deutsche Messe


Metropolitan Solutions moves to Berlin

In 2015 Deutsche Messe staged the international smart city/green city conference Metropolitan Solutions for the first time in the City Cube in Berlin. The aim is to facilitate direct contacts between urban technology providers and decision-makers in the public sector and the political community. Metropolitan Solutions is an integral part of Berlin’s smart city strategy, which has attracted worldwide attention.



USA as Partner Country at HANNOVER MESSE, with President Obama in attendance

Deutsche Messe’s biggest highlight of 2016 was in April, when President Barack Obama officially opened HANNOVER MESSE together with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The United States of America was the Partner Country of the world’s most foremost trade fair for industrial technology. Never before had Deutsche Messe hosted such a high-ranking guest at one of its events. The media echo was enormous, and the global renown enjoyed by HANNOVER MESSE and Deutsche Messe went up a notch. Despite stringent security measures on site and throughout the city of Hannover, the U.S. President’s visit met with huge enthusiasm and triggered a palpably upbeat spirit. In the end, everyone was thrilled: the 500 American exhibitors and the many other enterprises with business agendas in North America. The USA is committed to revitalizing its industrial base, and the country’s factories need to be set up to handle the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. HANNOVER MESSE is the ideal place to seek and find the necessary technology.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe



 Photo: Deutsche Messe




Deutsche Messe celebrates its 70th anniversary

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Deutsche Messe AG. Over the past seven decades, the company has brought together millions of people at events around the globe, thus paving the way for international business. Thanks to its focus on capital goods shows, consumer goods exhibitions and human resources fairs and a globalization and digitalization strategies, Deutsche Messe enjoys international acclaim. Its service-driven approach is highly valued by exhibitors and visitors alike. The company’s anniversary motto – “70 years of showcasing the future”  – emphasizes what has been its guiding principle since its inception on 18 August 1947: proactively shaping tomorrow’s world.

Deutsche Messe AG has been bringing together exhibitors and visitors since 1947. This has helped numerous small enterprises to become world market leaders, while at the same time supporting large-scale enterprises on their road to further expansion. Their expertise is as diverse as their portfolio: Trade fairs for capital goods, human resource management as well as consumer goods.



 Photo: Deutsche Messe








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【UK】The NEC – one of the world’s top venue management companies

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【UK】Clarion Events – Delivering market-leading customer outcomes & experiences since 1947

Clarion is one of the world’s leading events organisers, producing and delivering innovative and market-leading events since 1947,  and were Read more