【DE】Messe München returns to solid strength after two loss-making pandemic years: Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel expect profitable trade fair result


  • Messe München expects a clearly positive EBIDTA in 2022
  • Positive trade fair result is also expected in 2023 and 2024, although not at the level of 2022
  • Digital and sustainable solutions are the decisive competitive advantages of the coming years


The trade fair business has fallen sharply back in the last three quarters of 2022. After the significant loss years in 2020 and 2021, Messe München’s business has successfully resumed with around 40 own events at home and abroad as well as around 90 guest events. Although the number of visitors and exhibitors at the current trade fairs is still below the record numbers compared to Vor-Corona, Messe München reaches a visitor level of about three-quarters and is above the German industry average with this quota. The two managing directors Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, who have been July 2022 at the head of Messe München, therefore expect a positive conclusion for 2022.


This showed that Messe München performed particularly strongly at capital goods and technology fairs in 2022 and this with a high level of internationality. The CEO double leadership draws a corresponding first balance sheet:


“We are delighted that trade fairs in the field of capital goods and new technologies have come back so powerfully and were able to score points above all in terms of internationality. At the same time, it has been impressively manifested that face-to-face trade fairs for these industries are one of the most important instruments in the sales and marketing mix, some with digital additions. This is an excellent basis for the next few years and confirms us on our way to having focused on organic growth.”


The two managing directors Dr. According to the current projections (as of November 2022), Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel expect sales of over 400 million euros (2021: 127.2 million euros) and an EBITDA of over 100 million euros. For comparison: Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) for the GmbH in 2021 were still – 33.0 million euros. This enormously strong result is also due to the special effect that two events (drinktec, LASER World of PHOTONICS) were successfully postponed from the corona year 2021 to 2022.


Despite this positive summary of the 2022 trade fair year, the CEO double leadership warns against too much euphoria: “The years 2023 and 2024 will also be intense trade fair years, which will not follow 2022 as a result.” The reason for this is the far-reaching restrictions on economic activity such as corona aftermath, the supply chain problem, the lack of energy security but above all the trade fair calendar in the next two years. Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel therefore emphasize: “This makes our focus on organic growth all the more important with the aim of concluding our financial years with a positive EBITDA in the future. In addition to the further development of the private label portfolio, this also includes the further acquisition from the classic guest event business such as guest fairs or congresses.”


An example of organic growth in the field of private labels was the first World of QUANTUM, which offered the international quantum community its own platform for the first time in 2022. It took place parallel to the LASER World of PHOTONICS in April of this year. The premiere met with such a good response that the organizers are planning a continuation for 2023, which will take place as part of another premiere in 2023. From 2023, the LASER World of PHOTONICS will take place parallel to automatica.


Digitalization and sustainability are decisive competitive advantages

“Although the next few years will not yet be at the level before Corona, the year 2022 has also shown that we have the right trade fairs in our portfolio,” said the two managing directors of Messe München. With organic growth in the core business and the focus on consolidating international commitment, Messe München’s double leadership therefore wants to further strengthen the solid basis for future business even in challenging times.


Two trends are decisive for the competitiveness in the future that the company pursues: On the one hand, data and digitization are aligned along the value chain and close to the core business for process acceleration. As an example, BAU Insights will start again next year as the first personalized and interactive information platform in the construction industry and thus expands the physical trade fair BAU to 365 days a year.


With BAU Insights, we make trade fairs tangible, create an optimal prerequisite for encounter and exchange at the trade fairs and offer our customers online during the year to present their products and services to BAU visitors, especially architects. This means that we extend the BAU to almost 365 days a year,” explains Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer this example of Messe München’s future digital approach.


The second trend is the topic of sustainability, which has accompanied Messe München for many years, but has now become one of the most important pillars of the strategic basic directions. As part of the Messe München sustainability strategy, it will take the path to a sustainable future together with the exhibitors and visitors in the next few years with the aim of CO2 neutrality by 2030. This year, for example, the “GoGreen Audit” offered exhibitors the opportunity for the first time to have the carbon footprint of their trade fair appearance measured and – if desired – to compensate.


Stefan Rummel explains Messe München’s sustainability strategy: “The topic of sustainability will be pushed forward even more consistently in the coming years. In addition to many individual measures, the topics of waste disposal and energy mix are particularly on the top priority list. We are on the way to a circular economy and carbon neutrality. Here we are at the beginning of a broad transformation program today. Because there is no question that sustainable action will also be a decisive competitive factor in the trade fair industry.”


Outlook for the event year 2023

In 2023, Messe München will once again have a large number of trade fairs: 13 events in Germany, 40 abroad and 91 guest events and congresses. The start of the fair in February 2023 is f.re.e., Bavaria’s largest travel and leisure fair. After four years, BAU – the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials, systems – will take place again in presence in April. The event occupies all 18 halls plus the ICM including Hall B0. The focus of BAU is on the topics of “Challenge of Climate Change”, “Digital Transformation”, “Future Living” and “Resources & Recycling”. A good six months before its opening in May, transport logistic can draw an extremely positive interim balance: The leading international trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT and supply chain management again expects ten halls and will occupy a total of around 110,000 square meters of exhibition space. A premiere is from the 27th to the 30th. June on the agenda, when automatica will be held for the first time parallel to the LASER World of PHOTONICS and will take place every two years at the same time and under one roof in the future. This brings together future fields such as quantum technology and artificial intelligence. In July, the digitalBAU trade fair for digital solutions in the construction industry will take place for the first time as a conference with an attached exhibition in Munich.


In September 2023, the second edition of the leading mobility platform IAA MOBILITY will start in Munich. EXPO REAL, productronica and ISPO Munich will close our own events in 2023.


Abroad, Messe München’s customers are expecting, among other things, thebauma CONEXPO INDIA next year, which will bring together both the global market leaders and the Indian industry of the construction machinery industry in Delhi with a term of four days. In addition, MMI Asia will host analytica Vietnam and ASEAN Ceramics (Vietnam) itself for the first time. In 2023, transport logistic Southeast Asia will also take place in Singapore for the first time. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Messe München will also resume its program in South Africa with air Cargo Africa as well as IFAT Africa and analytica Lab Africa.


Top-class guest events will take place again in 2023. In particular, the established standing in the medical sector proves the importance of Messe München’s locations for customers and events from all over the world: TrendSet, the international trade fair for interiors, inspiration and lifestyle, will start in January. January 2023 in a total of six halls and offers trade visitors the opportunity to be inspired. The congress of the German Society of Surgery will take place in April and in June, the world’s largest trade fair for the solar industry, The smarter E Europe, will again focus on the areas of photovoltaics, solar thermal energy and solar power plants. In addition, there will also be events such as concerts or festivals in 2023.

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