Messe München closed the year 2019 with a new record sales volume of EUR 474.2 million. The EBITDA—earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization—amounts to EUR 138.4 million. Cancellations of trade fairs and congresses due to the coronavirus pandemic pose a considerable economic challenge for Messe München in the current year. Digital formats are to extend the existing portfolio of fairs.
Klaus Dittrich, Chairman & CEO of Messe München, takes a thoroughly positive look back at the year gone by: “2019 was the most successful financial year in the history of Messe München. We are very proud of the results we achieved with our events in Munich and at our locations abroad.” At the same time, Mr. Dittrich emphasizes the challenges of the current situation: “The coronavirus pandemic shows how vulnerable the global economy is despite record results. As a company, we must therefore continue to develop innovative formats in order to stay competitive in future too.”
With over 32,000 exhibitors and around 2.5 million visitors at the Riem, Munich location, Messe München registered a record year in 2019. A big contribution to this was made by bauma—the world’s largest fair in terms of area—with over 3,000 exhibitors and more than 620,000 visitors from 200 countries. All told, 15 of the company’s own events and 163 guest events took place at the exhibition center of Messe München last year.
Apart from bauma, there were further highlights among the fairs and conferences in the year 2019. In June, Europe’s biggest outdoor trade show opened its doors in Munich for the first time. Over 20,000 visitors and more than 1,000 exhibitors took part in Outdoor by ISPO. A historic moment was ensured by the founders’ platform Bits & Pretzels in September: former US President Barack Obama opened the event in front of 5,000 participants.
The commercial importance of Messe München’s fairs and congresses for the economy in Munich, Bavaria and Germany is shown by the current study of indirect profitability by the ifo Institute. Every euro of sales revenue at Messe München results in ten euros of sales by third parties, e.g. the hotel industry, catering, stand construction, the travel and forwarding industry, the retail trade and agencies. In an average exhibition year, exhibitors and visitors of the Munich fairs and congresses ensure total sales of EUR 3.3 billion. About 80 percent of this purchasing power effect is accounted for by Munich (EUR 1.8 billion) and the rest of Bavaria (EUR 0.8 billion). In the record year of 2019, indirect profitability was even approx. EUR 4.3 billion.
Messe München anticipates a similar effect from the IAA—the platform for the mobility of the future—which will take place in Munich for the first time in September 2021. The new event will bring total sales revenue of around EUR 500 million to the Munich region.
“That’s why the resumption of trade fairs is our top priority objective at the moment. Because fairs are the most effective stimulus plan to reflate the economy”, states Klaus Dittrich in addition.
As an organizer of trade fairs and congresses, Messe München has been directly and severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, no more events have taken place. “In the worst case, we reckon with a loss in sales of up to EUR 240 million in the present year. We have been economical in recent years and have currently adopted a strict cost-saving policy. We are doing everything to protect the health of our exhibitors, visitors and staff and to be in a position to carry out the upcoming events successfully in the autumn”, as Klaus Dittrich summarizes the present situation.
As a replacement for canceled events, Messe München has developed digital conferences and platforms to at least offer its customers the possibility of making presentations and contacts and conducting business online. “We want to come out of this crisis stronger and we also see it as an opportunity to enhance our business model.” The digital formats newly created by Messe München include the ISPO Re.Start Days, IFAT impact and the Hybrid Summit of EXPO REAL 2020.