【DE】Messe Düsseldorf back in the black

 

  • High profitability creates new space for action
  • Future investments planned in Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre and new business
  • Strong trade fair year 2023 with 71 events in Düsseldorf and worldwide

 

For the trade fair year 2022 Messe Düsseldorf registered 63 events worldwide – of these 14 trade fairs and eleven guest events at the home base Düsseldorf. This means Messe Düsseldorf has posted a clear plus over the two previous years: thanks to its re-start Messe Düsseldorf GmbH generated profits of well over EUR 50m. It is the only one of the major German trade fair companies that has succeeded in mastering the past couple of years without any financial support from its public shareholders. The company’s financial vitality makes it possible to resume recently suspended, necessary investment in the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre as well as to push national and international event growth. 71 events are scheduled in Düsseldorf and worldwide for 2023. The high demand for trade fairs emphasises their relevance for export-oriented industries, especially against the backdrop of the current global economic climate.

 

Düsseldorf, 25 January 2023. For 2022 the Messe Düsseldorf Group posted a leap in turnover to approx. EUR 310m (previous year: EUR 108.7m). The revenue of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH increased to about EUR 295m (previous year: EUR 96.1m). At the same time, the company posted the first profit since the beginning of the pandemic. Following Covid-induced losses of EUR -43.5m (2020) and EUR -22.3m (2021), the annual result will reach over EUR 50m in 2022 – more than in the pre-pandemic year 2019 with EUR 50.8m. At 17% the rate of return is as high as it was in 2016.

 

“Messe Düsseldorf is a strong player in its sector, as the current business figures once again prove,” says Lord Mayor Dr Stephan Keller, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf: “Our trade fairs are in demand worldwide. They offer companies the platforms they need to drive their business forward, especially in this challenging global economic situation. Although some events had to be postponed at the beginning of last year due to the pandemic, Messe Düsseldorf has been able to open its doors to numerous exhibitors and visitors from all over the world since May. Enormously important for the economy in Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia. I am pleased to see that the many international guests find their way to our beautiful old town after the trade fairs close and thus also support the local economy.”

 

 

XPONENTIAL (Credit: AUVSI)

 

 

Necessary investments are possible again

The positive result for the year makes it possible to resume recently postponed, necessary investments in the future of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre again and increasingly focus on digital transformation and new events. Wolfram N. Diener, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, emphasises: “Our economic stability has allowed us to successfully drive our new business from our own resources, even during the pandemic years. We have made the largest event acquisition of our corporate history in the middle of the biggest crisis in 2022.” The world’s largest trade show for uncrewed and robotic technology in the USA, XPONENTIAL, will be held jointly by Messe Düsseldorf North America and the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Denver from 8 to 11 May 2023. “With XPONENTIAL we cover tomorrow’s themes and secure access to a promising growth market,” says Diener.

 

Messe Düsseldorf’s international expansion currently focuses on Southeast Asia, North Africa as well as North and South America. Beyond this, increased activities in Turkey are planned. In addition, the new projects initiated in 2022 include wire and Tube Eurasia (premiere: 24 – 27/5/2023 in Istanbul), GIFA, METEC, wire and Tube Middle East Africa (premiere: 2 – 4/9/2023 in Kairo), GIFA / METEC Indonesia (premiere: 13 – 16/9/2023 in Jakarta) as well as ProWine Tokyo, which will initially be held as ‘Wine & Gourmet Japan – powered by ProWein’ this year (12 -14/4/2023). Furthermore, 2023 will see REHACARE SHANGHAI being held for the first time (29 – 31/8), whose launch last year had to be postponed because of Zero-Covid politics in China.

 

International growth strengthens Düsseldorf

2022 saw five new events of Messe Düsseldorf celebrate their debuts: MEDICAL FAIR BRASIL (São Paulo, Brazil), COLOMBIAPLAST (Bogotá, Colombia), CorruTec Asia (Bangkok, Thailand), GIFA / METEC Southeast Asia (Bangkok, Thailand) and FoodAfrica Cairo (Cairo, Egypt). Last year, Messe Düsseldorf organized a total of 38 events and official participations, 43 are planned for 2023.

 

Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business, underlines the concrete benefits of this commitment: “Our activities abroad strengthen the international thematic leadership of Düsseldorf’s No. 1 trade fairs and win over both new exhibiting companies and visitors for Düsseldorf. On a particularly positive note: the internationality of Düsseldorf’s leading international trade fairs was as high as never before in 2022.” They registered 76% exhibitors from abroad as well as 45% international visitors.

 

boot 2023 (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)

 

 

Düsseldorf’s busy trade fair year

“After the difficult start to the year with the pandemic-related cancellation of boot, we managed to run the complete 2022 trade fair programme by postponing dates,” explains Wienkamp. A total of 14 trade fairs (versus 5 in the previous year), 11 guest events (vs. 3) with 21,657 exhibiting firms (vs. 5,906) and 817,498 visitors (vs. 266,329) took place. Add to this, the 187,000 participants (vs. 110,160) attending the 783 congresses, corporate events and meetings (vs. 318) organised by subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress.

 

In 2022 Messe Düsseldorf rejoiced at four new events at its homebase: decarbXpo, revolving around the currently red-hot topics industrial decarbonisation and energy efficiency as well as three guest events. Solar Solutions, the leading trade fair for solar professionals in North Rhine-Westphalia, also picks up on the energy and CO2 themes while ‘therapie Düsseldorf’ hones in on the accelerating demographic change by extending the ranges of REHACARE, the world’s largest trade fair for rehabilitation and care, with a platform for therapy, fitness and training. In addition, the vintage car and nostalgia festival Classic Days staged “on the greens” of trade fair parking lot P1 complements the portfolio of leisure trade fairs comprising boot and CARAVAN SALON. All four events will also be organised this year again in Düsseldorf. Add to this TISSUE WORLD (28 – 30/3/2023) another new guest event.

 

This year a total of 28 trade fairs (of which eleven are guest events) are planned in Düsseldorf. Highlights include the world’s biggest investment goods fair for retail, EuroShop (26/02 – 2/3), the global No.1 of the packaging industry, interpack (4 – 10/5), as well as the trade fair quartet of the “Bright World of Metals” comprising the leading international trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST (12 – 16/6).

 

More and more digital offers

With a view to developing trade fairs further in a future-oriented way, the company is increasingly expanding its digital activities. Bernhard J. Stempfle, Managing Director Finance and Infrastructure, underscores the relevance of these investments: “Trade fair content must also be available in digital format these days. This increases the benefit for visitors, the reach for exhibitors and will secure the leading position of Düsseldorf’s No. 1 trade fairs in the future.” The new exhibitor profile introduced in 2022, for example, offers even more attractive presentation possibilities for companies. Like with a search engine comprehensively edited profiles – with news and product videos, for example – are displayed with preference. This allows companies to be found in a more targeted manner and helps users find better content.

 

Hall 9 in 2028 (Credit: sop architekten, Visualisation: Archilooks)

 

 

Fairgrounds of the future

Whereas digital activities saw further expansion of late, especially against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic, the modernisation of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre had to be postponed due to cost-cutting measures. “One success factor of Düsseldorf’s global No.  1 trade fairs is our technically state-of-the-art exhibition centre. It has to be developed further and kept attractive so that it also meets to requirements of the modern business world tomorrow,” stresses Stempfle. This is why this year will see the first section of a new attractive food court area being constructed at a cost of EUR 3.8m; from 2024 to 2028 Hall 9 will be gradually modernised at a cost of EUR 140m.

 

Rising overall investment

The total amount for investment and maintenance will rise to EUR 33.8m in 2023 (vs. EUR 23.4m in the previous year). In the following years this sum will continue to rise. For 2024 EUR 52.3m are earmarked while for 2025 the figure is EUR 54.7m. Delighting that this investment is possible again, Bernhard J. Stempfle says: “After the years of crisis it is now important to leverage our revenue to invest in our future.”

 

Wolfram N. Diener sees Messe Düsseldorf in good shape overall: “Our business figures show: we have charted the right path with our strategy programme and our savings measures. Now it is time to stay the course in order to secure the success of Messe Düsseldorf as well as all of all its service providers.”

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