【DE】Messe Stuttgart looks optimistically into the future

Around 35 events until the end of the year / Without the incorporation of debt capital through the crisis / Trade fairs remain places of personal encounter

Messe Stuttgart looked back on 2021 during the annual press conference and gave an outlook for the second half of 2022. Looking back shows how in 2020 how strong the negative impact of the corona pandemic on the company was. After the most difficult years in the company’s history, Messe Stuttgart looks confidently at the coming months.


“Since the end of March, trade fairs have been allowed to take place again in Baden-Württemberg. As a result, we can finally advance our projects again, says Roland Bleinroth, Managing Director of Messe Stuttgart. “Even if the trade fairs were still completely prohibited in the first quarter, our teams are now highly motivated and look forward to the upcoming events.”


Messe Stuttgart presents new events

Messe Stuttgart plans to hold a total of around 35 events by the end of 2022. This also includes new products that the employees of the fair advanced during the corona standstill. With the GrindingHub (17th to 20th May), a new international hub for grinding technology and superfinishing has emerged. Under the leadership of Messe Stuttgart, the “f-cell” (4 to 5 October) will also take place for the first time, which deals with topics related to hydrogen and fuel cells. From 18th to 20th November follows BRAWO, a wind orchestra fair that premieres after two postponements. The first events conclude by the International Tents and Structures (29. November to 1. December). The trade fair offers exhibitors solutions for temporary structures, tents, accessories and services.


Without the supply of debt due to the crisis

However, the optimistic view forward does not deceive the disappointing past financial year 2021, which Messe Stuttgart concludes with a total income of 40.1 million euros. “For us, this is the third pandemic year. We are talking about three almost lost financial years, the effects of which have resulted in a big minus, says Stefan Lohnert, Managing Director of Messe Stuttgart.


With a deficit of EUR 5.9 million, the result is far from the positive returns in previous years. A total of 4,744 exhibitors were on site in Stuttgart last year. 32 of the originally planned 67 trade fairs could take place in Stuttgart under the applicable corona regulations. 254,580 visitors were guests in the exhibition halls and the ICS Internationales Congresscenter Stuttgart.


“We are grateful for the events that were possible in 2021 within the narrow framework of the country’s current corona regulations,” says Stefan Lohnert. As a result of the events, Messe Stuttgart did not need a debt transfer initially considered necessary via a guarantee from the shareholders. Even if the shareholders, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the state capital Stuttgart had signaled their support early on, the Stuttgart Trade Fair came through the crisis without the incursation of debt or shareholder subsidies.


Pandemic shows: Trade fairs remain places of personal encounter

In addition to the face-to-face fairs, twelve digital events also took place in 2021 due to the pandemic. Digital transformation and climate change have a significant impact on the industry. The world of the fair is changing. “Experiens from the past two years have shown that the trade fair system cannot be fully digitized,” says Stefan Lohnert. Nevertheless, there are individual topics and focal points that can certainly be mapped digitally. The fair had good experiences with digital formats in the areas of finance and education.


Nevertheless, the times of the pandemic have made it clear how important formats are in presence. “Fairs are a place of coming together and experiencing – in presence and increasingly also in digital worlds,” says Roland Bleinroth. However, the pandemic has shown us that direct dialogue and personal contact cannot be digitized.


AMB, Stuttgarter Messeherbst and Comic Con Stuttgart close the year

In addition to the premiere events, numerous other major face-to-face fairs in Stuttgart will follow this year. From 13th to 17th The AMB metalworking fair will take place in September. This is followed by the südback (22nd to 25th). October) and interbad (25th to 28th October). Afterwards, the audience favorites await: From the 17th to the 20th. November, the Stuttgart trade fair autumn will start. Comic Con Stuttgart will follow from 26th to 27th November immediately afterwards.


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