Entering the new world of trade fairs (1964–1973)


1964 | Foundation of the trade fair company

The founding of Münchner Messe- und Ausstellungsgesellschaft (MMG) on April 1, 1964 marks a milestone in the development of a modern trade fair system for the city and surrounding area and strengthens Munich's position in the competition between major cities. The shareholders are the City of Munich, the Free State of Bavaria, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Munich and Upper Bavaria and the Chamber of Skilled Crafts. Helmut Fischer is the founding Managing Director and until 1966 Chief Executive.

1965 | First world trade fair in Munich

The third International Transportation Exhibition held from June to October 1965 was the first world trade fair in Munich. The trade fair company and the city of Munich developed a global reputation during this 101-day period. A total of 3.2 million visitors poured into the exhibition grounds to see the latest developments in rail and road travel as well as public transportation, mountain railways, ships and aerospace.

1966 | Joachim Hietzig becomes Managing Director

Dr. Joachim Hietzig becomes the new Managing Director of Münchner Messe- und Ausstellungsgesellschaft. The aim and aspiration of MMG must be “to offer the business community in Munich an international market, a market that provides impetus for worldwide connections, mutual trade relations and human contacts”, as Hietzig summarized.

1966 | Successful premiere of IFAT

The trade fair known today as IFAT, the international trade fair for water, sewage, waste and recycling, opened its doors for the first time in September 1966. Since then, the exhibition has evolved into a leading global trade fair for environmental technologies and exemplifies Messe München’s commitment to early investment in issues of the future. Today, IFAT is a global network that extends from Munich to China, India, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil and Singapore.

1967 | Acquisition of bauma

With bauma, the company added the trade fair that went on to become the world’s leading exhibition for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment to its portfolio in 1967. bauma gained an unprecedented boost from Munich’s selection to host the Summer Olympics in 1972.

1969 | Premiere of SYSTEMS

MMG’s first high-tech and communications trade fair, SYSTEMS, celebrated its premiere in 1969. Over the years, it evolved into a leading platform for small and medium-sized enterprises and large industrial companies. SYSTEMS spread across the entire Munich exhibition grounds during the IT boom years. It all changed after the dot-com bubble burst. Exhibitor numbers plummeted, and the last SYSTEMS was held in October 2008.

1969 | Munich Fashion Week adds glamor to the portfolio

The Munich Fashion Week, an event that was privately organized at the time, gave a new gleam to the trade fair company’s portfolio starting in 1969. The European fashion world then began to gather twice a year in Munich. But the crisis of the German textile industry that started at the beginning of the 1990s brought an end to the Munich Fashion Week. The event was held for the last time in 1993.

1970 | More and more trade fairs in Munich

Munich’s place in the trade fair business rapidly took on greater and greater significance in the 1970s: Four events celebrated their premiere in 1970. Each remains a strong and highly successful member of Munich’s exhibition program today:

1971 | New addition INTERBRAU

INTERBRAU emerged from the German Brewery Exhibition and celebrated its successful premiere in the portfolio of the Munich trade fair company in 1971. In 2005, the trade fair was renamed drinktec, an event that is now the world’s undisputed leading trade fair for beverages and liquid-food technology. The trade fair brings together all sizes of machinery manufacturers, beverage producers and retailers from all parts of the world every four years: The future takes shape at drinktec.

1973 | Premiere of LASER World of PHOTONICS

A trade fair focusing on optical technology opened its doors for the first time in 1973: LASER—an event that is known today as LASER World of PHOTONICS. Today’s globally leading platform for the laser and photonics industry includes the World of Photonics Congress: An elite group of international scientists gets together in Munich every two years for this event that is held during the trade fair and uniquely brings together industry and research.