With an unprecedented number of events, the current 2022 fiscal year is seen as crucial for Messe München, now under the dual leadership of Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, who took over as joint managing directors/CEOs with equal responsibilities on July 1, 2022.
“The start of the 2022 trade fair season in the second quarter of 2022 can definitely be called a real success. Our customers have confirmed that trade fairs are absolutely essential, especially when it comes to complex and innovative topics. And personal contact, which cannot be digitized, is just as essential,” say the two CEOs Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel. They are referring to leading trade fairs such as LASER World of PHOTONICS, INHORGENTA MUNICH, analytica, automatica, ceramitec, OutDoor by ISPO and IFAT, which took over the entire exhibition grounds in May.
As in 2020, the 2021 annual financial statements were sobering due to coronavirus. Messe München GmbH generated sales of EUR 127.2 million (2020: EUR 93.6 million). Globally, the company generated group sales of EUR 158.1 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for Messe München GmbH totaled EUR –33.0 million for 2021.
Despite the challenges it faced, Messe München held 125 events with its international subsidiaries and guest events in 2021. These events were attended by more than 1.1 million visitors and participants – both online and in-person. Five of the company’s own in-person events took place in Munich, including IAA MOBILITY, which was presented jointly with the German Association of the Automotive Industry and held in Munich for the first time. In addition, Messe München GmbH continued to be a reliable partner for its exhibitors and visitors with 17 of its own online events in its home market and other digital events for its subsidiaries abroad, providing them with the latest trends and industry information in digital formats. The company organized 21 events at its international locations. In addition, there were 82 guest events in Munich.
Overall, in addition to 79 guest events (the IHM international trade fair for the craft trades, The smarter E Europe, and congresses, including the EuroMedLab medical congress), Messe München will also hold a total of 43 of its own events in Germany and abroad in 2022. In the fall alone, it will hold five of the world’s leading trade fairs, most notably bauma, the largest trade fair in the world in terms of exhibition space, which will will once again focus from October 24 to 30 on important future topics in the construction, building materials and mining machinery industry. Trade fairs taking place beforehand include drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry (September 12 to16, 2022) and EXPO REAL (October 4 to 6, 2022 electronica, the world’s leading trade fair and conference for electronics will follow in November (November 15 to 18, 2022). For the first time, ISPO Munich will be held this year at the start of the winter season (November 28 to 30, 2022) and will then keep that slot permanently, as preferred by the industry. A special highlight will be the summer concert season at the exhibition center in Riem: In August, over 100,000 visitors are expected to attend major concerts by Andreas Gabalier, Helene Fischer and Robbie Williams.
Both CEOs are confident: “The response from our customers is very positive. Based on our experience from the last two years, we can conclude that personal contact can neither be digitized nor replaced. New networks, new innovations, and new customers come about through personal encounters at our trade fairs. And this year we have a packed calendar of events.”
“Our goal is therefore to close 2022 with a clearly positive EBITDA,” say the two CEOs.
The upswing in trade fair business after two pandemic-induced outlier years is now facing the war in Ukraine, together with growing energy costs and rising inflation in general. Against this backdrop, the top priority for Messe München is to ensure that all planned events are carried out safely. At the same time, it is important to make the most of other opportunities, also in core business. Achieving that does of course depend on the situation regarding supply chains, staff shortages, raw material costs and energy costs not getting any worse.
On the other hand, the CEOs consider themselves well equipped when it comes to coronavirus: “We proved through numerous events in 2020 and 2021 that we are capable of holding large trade fairs in compliance with hygiene standards.”
The dual leadership team sees profitable growth in the expansion of core business: “The focus will be on organic growth. digitalBAU in Cologne, or the IE expo’s four IFAT trade fairs in China showed that that can be achieved.”
Digital solutions and processes are now important components of trade fair business and will become increasingly important in the future. They will allow us to effectively supplement and expand core business. Conversely, trade fairs also help drive digitalization, as digitalBAU does for the construction industry, for example. In the future, there will once again be a stronger focus on further optimizing the customer journey, in other words, the journey of a potential customer from the first contact until well after their first trade fair visit, and providing them with the best support in their business on our platforms.
In the area of sustainability, Messe München set the course for climate-neutral trade fairs at an early stage. It has set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030 at the latest: “Sustainability is increasingly a key competitive factor in trade fair business. That is why Messe München’s sustainability strategy includes a host of measures and projects in the fields of energy, water, mobility, biodiversity, social affairs, governance, and resources. Important goals are making sustainability measurable, establishing a zero-waste strategy, in other words, avoiding waste and closing resource loops, and carbon offsetting options for customers, or making internal and external mobility products largely low-carbon,” say the two CEOs.
International business, and with it the global exchange of knowledge and innovations to advance key issues of the future with concrete solutions, is a driving force for Messe München. For years, it has successfully expanded its portfolio with strong leading trade shows around the world, especially in China and India. But the current world situation is also affecting its international focus. Messe München has withdrawn from the Russian market and sold the bauma CTT construction machinery trade fair. Since the end of 2021, no trade fairs can be held in Shanghai due to the strict coronavirus policy in China. However, the People’s Republic continues to be a focus country for Messe München as a promising growth region.
Both CEOs think it will remain essential to be established in the world’s most important growth markets: “This is the only way we can leverage the strength of our internationally oriented trade fair clusters and solidify the status of our leading trade fairs in Munich.”
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