Events in 2021 and efficient set of measures buffer effects of the pandemic
Strategy programme and new events launched
Lord Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller: “Continued high relevance of trade fairs”
Figures are subject to final accounts
CARAVAN SALON 2021 (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)
During the second year of the pandemic Messe Düsseldorf has already succeeded in organising more events than in the previous year, including three new events abroad. In 2022 the total number of trade fairs will rise yet again due to the emerging endemic situation and the advances in vaccination. With efficient cost management Messe Düsseldorf counteracts the effects of Covid-19 and is setting itself up for the future with a strategic programme.
Düsseldorf, 3 February 2022. Messe Düsseldorf is experiencing a slight recovery in the exhibition business. The four trade fairs (CARAVAN SALON, A+A, MEDICA as well as COMPAMED) and four partner and guest events (INTERBRIDE, “Flotte! Der Branchentreff”, PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, ARCHITECT@WORK) all held at the homebase of Düsseldorf in 2021, will be followed by 14 trade fairs as well as partner and guest events this year. The currently dynamic infection patterns and quickly spreading Omicron variant have, however, led to adjustments in Düsseldorf’s trade fair scheduling. After calling off the world’s biggest water sports trade fair boot Düsseldorf on account of a ban on B2C fairs imposed by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in January, Messe Düsseldorf postponed the following six trade fairs to early summer 2022, each in close consultation with the parties and associations involved. Now the Düsseldorf trade fair calendar will kick off with BEAUTY (6 – 8 May) and TOP HAIR (7 – 8 May), followed by ProWein (15 – 17 May), EuroCIS (31 May – 2 June), wire and Tube (both 20 – 24 June).
Commenting on this move, Dr. Stephan Keller, Lord Mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf, stresses: “We continue to look ahead with confidence to an eventful trade fair year in 2022. From early summer health experts expect a low number of new infections and, hence, more people to be able to travel to Germany and take part in Düsseldorf trade fairs. This translates into more successful trade fairs for the exhibiting companies and for business in Düsseldorf and thus continued high relevance of our trade fairs.”
The events planned at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre in 2022 include two new platforms revolving around the energy transition: decarbXpo (Expo for Decarbonised Industries > ENERGY STORAGE) from 20 to 22 September will extend the former ENERGY STORAGE trade fair to include technologies for CO2 reduction. Additionally, Solar Solutions will be held from 30 November to 1 December as a new guest event for solar energy. Last year Messe Düsseldorf organised 21 events and participations (previous year 16) and in 2022 this number is expected to rise to 53. Again, these figures include three new events in 2021 (ProWine São Paulo, ProWine Mumbai, FoodAfrica Cairo) and four in 2022 (REHACARE SHANGHAI, MEDICAL FAIR BRASIL, COLOMBIAPLAST, CorruTec Asia).
Financial impact of Covid-19 The pandemic continues to heavily impact the preliminary annual figures for 2021. Revenue at the Messe Düsseldorf Group and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH was down in each case by 26% against the previous year. The Messe Düsseldorf Group is expected to generate sales of approx. EUR 102 million (2020: EUR 136.8 million); for Messe Düsseldorf GmbH this figure will amount to about EUR 93 million (2020: EUR 126 million). Despite this trend losses could be limited. For the GmbH losses are expected to drop by 43% to approx. EUR 25 million (previous year: EUR 43.5 million). Despite these developments Messe Düsseldorf GmbH continues to enjoy a very high equity position at EUR 361 million. Its equity ratio of about 50% (2020: 64%) remains high.
Messe Düsseldorf is counteracting the financial impact of Covid-19 with cost savings. 2021 saw Messe Düsseldorf GmbH use short-term work schemes with new hires suspended and only a minimum of vacancies being filled, fix-term contracts expiring and partial retirement schemes with long-term effect being offered. As a result, the headcount at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH was down from an average of 709 in 2020 to 655 in 2021. Furthermore, investment was reduced to a minimum, numerous construction projects on the premises were put on hold for a longer period of time and internal expenditure was cancelled.
Strategic re-orientation started Messe Düsseldorf is repositioning itself strategically, as Wolfram N. Diener, CEO & President of Messe Düsseldorf, explains: “To continue playing in the top league of the international trade fair business, we have to develop further. This is not only due to Covid – but the pandemic has also acted as an accelerator for issues and measures.” Messe Düsseldorf has defined seven fields of activity that it will focus on over the coming years through to late 2025: global business development, development of new trade fair themes and services, strengthening of sales, digital transformation, corporate culture, exhibition centre of the future as well as structural and process optimisation. “Each field of activity is driven by a multi-disciplinary team of in-house experts,” explains Diener and adds: “In this way the expertise from various divisions, projects and cross-cutting departments can be translated into operative success.”
Positive forecasts for 2022 These activities – in conjunction with an uptick in the trade fair business – contribute to a positive outlook for 2022. Commenting on this Managing Director Finance and Infrastructure Bernhard J. Stempfle said: “Provided the circumstances develop in a stable manner, it should be possible to double revenues which, in turn, would also improve results noticeably.” The revenue of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is to rise to approx. EUR 271 million according to the current forecast. “Our optimism is bolstered by the current order situation and the high demand voiced by customers,” says Bernhard J. Stempfle.
“The trade fairs held in 2021 already met with very positive feedback,” explains Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business: “It is true that our 2021 trade fairs registered pandemic-related lower numbers of exhibiting companies and visitors but the numbers overall especially from international players were still at a high level. From talking to our customers we know that their expectations were often exceeded.” Particularly noteworthy is the CARAVAN SALON, which recorded a larger number of exhibitors (653) than in 2019 before the pandemic (645). Compared to 2020 at 337 exhibiting companies this number almost doubled. At 185,599 the number of visitors was still below the pre-crisis levels (2019: 270,567), but already 74% higher than in the previous year (2020: 106,741).
In total the eight trade fairs and guest events held at the Düsseldorf location last year attracted 5,968 exhibiting companies and 267,126 visitors, compared to 2020’s seven events with 5,422 exhibitors and 493,472 visitors (2019: 29 events with 29,222 exhibiting companies and 1,373,780 visitors). The internationality of the exhibiting companies at MD’s trade fairs again reached the 2019 record levels at 73%. In 2020 the figure stood at 63%. At 33% the internationality of visitors came close to pre-pandemic levels again (2019: 37%; 2020: 27%).
Good ratings for Düsseldorf trade fairs The fairs also proved to be successful for the participating companies. The satisfaction of exhibitors and visitors was around 90 percent; approximately 92 percent would recommend the trade fairs to others. Safety was also repeatedly rated positively: More than 90 percent of those surveyed said they felt safe at Messe Düsseldorf, taking into account the hygiene measures. Visitors to the A+A show a top value here with 97 percent.
virtual.drupa 2021 (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf / Maximilian Beck)
The future is hybrid Staging its virtual.drupa Messe Düsseldorf organised an online-only event with 212 exhibiting companies from 35 countries and to the tune of 45,000 participants from 155 nations in April. The other trade fairs at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre were all held in a hybrid format in 2021 – the combination of physical events and such virtual components as exhibitor profiles and streaming. “Hybrid trade fairs can be attended by those not physically on site, and exhibitors can reach out to even more potential customers. Together, they form a community that can be active 365 days a year,” summarises Wolfram N. Diener. “Hybrid events generate the biggest benefit for our customers and consolidate the pole position of Düsseldorf’s leading No. 1 trade fairs as central communication and information platforms for their respective industries – during the physical trade fairs and all year long.”
Düsseldorf Congress gives proof of its event and digital expertise The subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress (DC), specialised in congresses, meetings and events, has also extended its portfolio to include virtual and hybrid events and installed a streaming studio at Congress Center Düsseldorf / CCD, to name but one new feature. For the accident medicine meeting (“Unfallmedizinische Tagung”) of the German Social Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung / DGUV), DC realised an extensive media production – comprising an online platform, elements broadcast live from CCD, numerous streams and on-demand videos that the DC team had pre-recorded all over Germany. DC’s other highlights in 2021 included the ‘Tonmeistertagung tmt’ which was held with 4,000 attendees in Düsseldorf for the first time after three editions in Cologne. Finally, the Anime and Japan Expo Dokomi again proved the biggest DC event with 28,000 visitors as well as 650 exhibitors in Messe Düsseldorf Halls 1 to 5 and the entire CCD.
CIOSH 2021 (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai)
Re-start worldwide While in Düsseldorf the trade fair year 2021 started in July, the two biggest international markets could already take up business again in the 2nd half of 2020. The subsidiary Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai organised five trade fairs in 2021 with 5,827 exhibiting companies as well as 246,449 visitors, and Messe Düsseldorf Moscow held 13 trade fairs with 4,094 exhibiting countries as well as 200,489 visitors. In 2022 14 trade fairs will be held in Russia and eleven in China – these also include one new event, namely REHACARE SHANGHAI. Expecting 100 companies and to the tune of 8,000 trade visitors, it will serve as a local satellite of Düsseldorf’s REHACARE INTERNATIONAL for the growing Chinese rehabilitation and nursing care market.
Continuous growth “By organising thematically matching satellites of the leading Düsseldorf trade fairs all over the world, we open new markets for our customers, create local platforms for emerging economies and recruit new participants for our homebase in Düsseldorf,” says Wolfram N. Diener, who signed an agreement for extensive cooperation with FoodAfrica Cairo just recently in December. This trade fair is considered the most relevant platform for the food industry in Africa and is closely dovetailed with the concurrently held pacprocess Middle East Africa in terms of content.
As early as 2019 Messe Düsseldorf already extended its Processing & Packaging portfolio around the world’s largest packaging trade fair interpack in Düsseldorf to include pacprocess MEA. “With our commitment to FoodAfrica Cairo we are now strengthening not only our presence in Egypt as a gateway to Africa and the Middle East. We are also expanding along the value chain – going upstream from the packaging to the food industry,” says Wolfram N. Diener.
2021 also saw ProWein register two new events: ProWine São Paulo and ProWine Mumbai. Furthermore, ProWine Hong Kong and ProWine Shanghai were held as part of the Wine & Spirits portfolio. Together they will lead up to the leading global trade fair ProWein in Düsseldorf in May 2022.
The Print Technologies portfolio built around the leading global trade fair drupa will be extended in 2022 to include CorruTec Asia, the International Corrugated Technology Exhibition, which will be held for the first time in Bangkok as a platform for the corrugated board industry in October, concurrently with the eighth edition of Pack Print International. The other international events of drupa in 2022 will include printpack alger in Algeria, INDOPRINT in Indonesia, PACK PRINT PLAS PHILIPINES and ALL IN PRINT in China.
The Plastics & Rubber portfolio revolving around the international plastics and rubber trade fair K will be complemented by the new COLOMBIAPLAST in Bogotá in September 2022. Already in late 2020 Messe Düsseldorf had participated in the event that is among the most relevant international trade fairs for the plastics, rubber, petrochemical and packaging industries in Latin America. COLOMBIAPLAST is one of several trade fairs around the globe that sets the scene for the Düsseldorf K fair as the highlight: these also include ARABPLAST, held in November in Dubai, Interplastica in January in Moscow, CHINAPLAS in April in Shanghai and Plastics & Rubber Vietnam in June in Hanoi. K in October will not only be the world’s most important plastics trade fair but also the biggest event in the Düsseldorf trade fair agenda 2022.
Messe Düsseldorf is among the most successful trade fair companies worldwide. It hosts around 40 trade fairs including 20 leading international trade fairs at its 613,000 sqm exhibition centre on the Rhine. In the 18 halls the international market leaders and top decision-makers of various sectors get together every year in order to present and discover innovations, to exchange and network. The sectors of expertise of Messe Düsseldorf include: “Machinery, Plants and Equipment” (i.a. drupa, K, interpack, glasstec, wire and Tube); “Retail, Trades and Services” (EuroShop, EuroCIS, ProWein); “Health and Medical Technology” (MEDICA, COMPAMED, REHACARE); “Lifestyle and Beauty” (BEAUTY, TOP HAIR) as well as “Leisure” (boot, CARAVAN SALON). Add to this numerous conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings by its subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress. Abroad, Messe Düsseldorf organises 65 events and participations. The global network of the group of companies encompasses 76 foreign representatives for 139 countries – including 6 international subsidiaries.