Due to its substantial domestic business with a large number of trade fairs, the Messe Düsseldorf Group achieved a revenue of EUR 369 million in 2019, an increase of 25.6% compared to 2018 (EUR 294 million). Messe Düsseldorf GmbH recorded a revenue increase of 29.8%, while its earnings rose from EUR 260.4 million to EUR 338 million.
Due to trade fair cycles all leading global trade fairs between August 2019 and June 2020 were or will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center in Germany. K and A+A already took place in 2019, to be followed this year by wire, Tube, interpack and drupa. All these events ensure major growth figures for Messe Düsseldorf in its domestic business. “This trade fair season, which started with CARAVAN SALON in autumn 2019, has had the highest number of visitors so far and will finish in June 2020 with drupa, which is already completely booked. Overall, in only ten months we will have welcomed around 1.6 million visitors and 35,000 exhibitors at our own events in Düsseldorf alone. Our 2019 earnings have more than tripled compared with the previous year. The season has been highly profitable, laying a robust foundation for future investments, “ stated Werner M. Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.
The outlook for the future is also promising: “Prospects for the current year are more than encouraging,” said Werner M. Dornscheidt. In 2020, GmbH earnings increase substantially again and according to the forecast the revenue is set to grow 40.2%, reaching EUR 474 million.
Growth in existing and new events
In 2019 Messe Düsseldorf GmbH held a total of 29 events at its home base in Düsseldorf (previous year: 27), with 18 own events and 11 partner or guest events. Own events attracted 26,259 exhibitors on nearly 8.9 million square feet of net exhibition space and almost 1.3 million trade visitors. “Compared with previous events, we recorded 2.9% more exhibitors and visitors and 2.3% more net space,” remarked Dornscheidt. Some of the biggest revenue drivers last year were the No. 1 events K, MEDICA, A+A and ProWein as well as the trade fair quartet The Bright World of Metals (GIFA, METEC and THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST).
“Our leading global trade fairs are growing. At the same time we are continually creating specialist exhibitions on niche topics with major future potential,” said Dornscheidt. In 2019, two-digit exhibitor and visitor growth rates were also recorded at the PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, a convention and exhibition on multichannel and dialogue marketing, and by tasc, the world’s first trade fair for automotive glass, smart repair and car detailing.
New in the portfolio will be Saw EXPO. Starting this year, the trade fair on sawing technology will be managed by Messe Düsseldorf as a special pavilion at the wire and Tube trade fair. As of 2021, the event will be held as a stand-alone trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany in the uneven years..
Trade fairs as platforms for challenges in society
“We are expanding our portfolios and continue to develop the content of our events. Trade fairs are in a state of flux. In addition to specific industry topics, we are seeing an increased focus on environmental, economic and social issues which require answers. With our leading global trade fairs we offer the various industries platforms to present solutions for the current challenges of our time and discuss them with specialists”, added Dornscheidt.” At K 2019, the industry used a range of special exhibitions to highlight the various facets of a future cyclical economy. As part of the SAVE FOOD initiative, set up in 2011, Messe Düsseldorf and its packaging trade fairs (interpack alliance) send clear signals against worldwide food loss and waste. During interpack 2020, the SAVE FOOD Festival will be held in the city of Düsseldorf, with start-ups interactively presenting information, ideas and solutions along the entire food value chain. interpack itself will feature the conference “Life without Packaging” . Marine and climate protection will once again be on the agenda at boot, the Düsseldorf boat show. With the Love Your Ocean initiative by Messe Düsseldorf, the German Ocean Foundation and the Prince Albert II Foundation, a range of companies, associations and institutions will showcase their activities to help clean up the oceans.
“Investments in internationalization, the modernization of the exhibition center and digital transformation are just as important for our long-term success as the ongoing development of each trade fair. We finance all the necessary means from our own resources,” emphasized Dornscheidt,
Expanding the international network to strengthen sales
With the opening of its new international office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on January 1, 2019, Messe Düsseldorf now has 77 such offices – including seven international subsidiaries – in 141 countries. According to Dornscheidt: “We are continuing to expand our international activities for a number of reasons. First of all, we want to meet the demands of the market in an increasingly globalized economy. Secondly, we want to attract more international exhibitors and visitors to our leading global trade fairs here at home in Düsseldorf. And thirdly, we’re aiming to improve our ability to cushion cyclical fluctuations through our robust international business.” Of the approximately EUR 67 million achieved by the Group internationally in 2019, EUR 33 million was generated in Russia, EUR 14 million in China and EUR 10 million in Singapore.
Trade fairs as stimulants for growth markets
Messe Düsseldorf organized a total of 57 of its own and joint events outside Germany. Particularly in dynamic future markets with high growth potential, such as Africa, South America and the Middle East, Messe Düsseldorf is continuing to expand its international business under the umbrella of the four major Düsseldorf world-leading trade fairs interpack (Processing & Packaging), MEDICA (Health & Medical Technologies), K (Plastics & Rubber) and wire und Tube (Metals & Flow Technologies).
New international events in 2019 included the FAMDENT Show in Mumbai, one of the leading professional Indian events on dentistry, pacprocess Middle East Africa in Cairo, a member of the interpack alliance, and Pack Print Plas (PPP) Philippines in Manila as part of the Print Technologies portfolio around the world's leading trade show drupa. 2020 will be the first year for two medical engineering trade fairs: MEDICAL FAIR BRASIL in São Paulo and Meditech Colombia in Bogotá.
Internationality strengthens home base in Düsseldorf
The positive impact of internationalization on Düsseldorf as a trade fair venue confirms the company’s globalization strategy. The proportion of international guests has been rising for many years. In 2019, 73.4% of all exhibitors at own events in Düsseldorf came from outside Germany (previous events: 71.3%), while the share of international visitors was 37.1% (previous events: 36.6%). This percentage was particularly high for Düsseldorf’s leading global trade fairs in its four global portfolios, which saw nearly 70% of trade visitors coming from outside Germany in 2019. “Our own events in Düsseldorf therefore reached new records that are unique for German industrial goods trade fairs,” remarked Dornscheidt.
Modernizing the exhibition center: added value for customers and the environment
To stay competitive and attractive to future customers, Messe Düsseldorf is, continually improving the exhibition center’s technology, convenience, amenities and architecture. A new Hall 1 was opened in autumn 2019, covering over 129,000 square feet with space for 10,000 people. In addition, it has six glass-enclosed meeting rooms (2,150 square feet each) on the upper floor as well as a foyer offering over 22,7000 square feet of event space.
The new South Entrance with 83,950 square feet canopy and 656 feet of headroom will be completed in spring 2020. The new southern section forms part of the Messe Düsseldorf 2030 Masterplan, with all exhibition halls reaching state-of-the-art energy use by 2030. “We anticipate that we will invest over EUR 720 million in development projects over the next for 12 to 15 years, with the complete modernization of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre,” stated Dornscheidt.
Digital transformation: an investment in the future
Messe Düsseldorf is one of the world’s most important platforms for showcasing digital innovations in a range of industries. At the same time, the company itself is moving forward with the digitization of the trade fairs themselves, as well as updating its digital infrastructure and transforming its own operations. The latest projects are the gradual relaunch of its trade fair apps and the further development of its matchmaking tool.
Promoting the future: leading global trade fairs as platforms for start-ups
In addition, Messe Düsseldorf also supports start-ups that have a significant impact on digitization. The company is a partner of digihub Düsseldorf, a competence center for digital business ideas. All major Düsseldorf trade fairs therefore have special areas for start-ups. “Our exhibition portfolio is meeting with a good response from business start-ups. In 2020 we’ll be rolling out a new and inspiring hall setup at drupa. This new forum, entitled drupa next age, will be a center of groundbreaking developments where global players, start-ups and key players of the industry can network” added Dornscheidt.”
Reorganization of the Management Board
At the end of June, Werner M. Dornscheidt will retire after nearly 17 years as CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. He will be succeeded on July 1 by Wolfram N. Diener, who has been responsible for the business operations of several global portfolios since joining the company in 2018. Since January 1, 2020, Erhard Wienkamp it is the new operations manager after Hans Werner Reinhard left Messe Düsseldorf in 2019. The management team also includes Bernhard J. Stempfle who is responsible for Finance and Technology. Werner M. Dornscheidt is confident about the new management line-up: “Markets keep changing, and the world is becoming more international, digital and complex. Given their many years of experience with trade fairs, Wolfram N. Diener, Bernhard J. Stempfle and Erhard Wienkamp are ideally placed to drive Messe Düsseldorf forward and to take it into the future. They represent both innovation and continuity.”
The Messe Düsseldorf Group*
With a revenue of around EUR 369 million in 2019, the Messe Düsseldorf Group has maintained its position as one of Germany's most successful trade fair companies. 29,195 exhibitors presented their products to 1.4 million trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf in 2019. Compared with previous events, this was an increase in the numbers of both exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre hosts around 50 trade fairs in five sectors of expertise: machinery, plants and equipment; the retail trade, trades and services; medicine and healthcare; lifestyle and beauty, and leisure. The trade fairs include 22 own number-one events as well as, currently, 15 partner and guest events. Also, its subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress held over 1,000 conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings in 2019, attracting around 365,000 delegates. In addition, the Messe Düsseldorf Group organizes 75 own, joint and contracted events in other countries and is one of the leading export platforms in the world. Own events in Düsseldorf attracted around 73% international exhibitors and 37% international visitors in 2019. The group runs a global network of 77 international offices, including 7 international subsidiaries.
* All figures are subject to final accounts.
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