Press release

60 years of Messe München: Fit for the future

May 2, 2024

  • Matinée at the anniversary celebration with Minister-President Markus Söder, Mayor Dieter Reiter, and Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger
  • Messe München CEOs Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel: Our trade fairs show innovations for the world of tomorrow
  • Donation for the Caritas Tafel Riem and Münchner Tafel food banks

60 years of Messe München is a great success story. With determination, vision and courage, Messe München has experienced dynamic development. As a result, it has been one of the top 10 international trade fair organizers for many years. “People from all continents and cultures come to the events at Messe München. Here they can look into the future, and experience the latest research, initiatives and perspectives that inspire,” say the two Messe München CEOs Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel. Messe München celebrated its anniversary on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at a matinée in the ICM – International Congress Center Messe München with almost 1,000 guests from politics, business and society – and, of course, with its own employees. The motto of the anniversary: perspectives that inspire.

“Bavaria’s window to the world is turning 60: Happy birthday Messe München!” congratulates Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder: “Anniversary celebration today at the ICM with a strong statement for the future: Bavaria is a special mixture of economic strength and great emotion. Messe München fits here perfectly, since it transports both into the world. It is an integral part of the Bavarian Cluster of Excellence and ideally positioned for the future. We as a free state gladly support that. We want Messe München to continue to play in the Champions League of international trade fairs. With bauma or the environmental technology trade fair IFAT, we already have super trade fairs here. The IAA also stirs up great emotion, which is why we have worked hard to ensure that it keep on growing here. Many thanks to both strong CEOs and the great employees!”

Trade fairs are among the most important economic markets. Trade fairs, congresses and conferences in Munich-Riem are an important economic factor for the Bavarian capital and the Free State of Bavaria: They generate turnover, jobs and tax revenue. Messe München enjoys an excellent international reputation as a reliable and creative partner that can also manage major events in Munich and at venues abroad. That is also appreciated by politicians.

“60 years of Messe München is a significant event, also especially from the perspective of the City of Munich,” says Munich’s Mayor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Dieter Reiter: “That’s because Messe München has experienced extremely dynamic development in the past decades. Today, it is one of the world’s leading trade fair companies and has also become an indispensable economic driver for local companies and businesses. That benefits Munich as a business location and the city as a whole.”

“Messe München is as much a part of Munich as the English Garden. For 60 years, it has been a gateway to the world and an international meeting place in Bavaria for innovation and progress,” as Hubert Aiwanger, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs explains: “Messe München has played a key role in establishing Bavaria as a business location. I congratulate both CEOs and all the employees on this impressive anniversary. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your great commitment and excellent work. As Minister of Economic Affairs, I am proud to be a partner in this success story and look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Fit for the future

“We are fit for the future.” Both Messe München CEOs Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel looked ahead with optimism and full of ideas and plans. Even during the closures due to Covid, they believed that trade fairs have a future. In the end, the lack of personal contact during the pandemic has underscored the value of in-person trade fairs. Messe München survived this event-free period very well, which shows how robust the trade fair company is and how important trade fairs are.

The world is changing rapidly, and trade fairs also need to constantly adapt. Wherever things are complex and complicated, and wherever innovations are driving industries forward, personal contact is indispensable. It creates trust and cannot be digitized. That is why trade fairs must also be able to change. The modern trade fair combines the best of both worlds – personal contact with the digital world of tomorrow.

Modern trade fairs offer emotional experiences

To ensure that it is fit for the challenges of the future, Messe München has important topics on its agenda. They include the use of artificial intelligence and digitalization, as well as opening up new markets, and strategic collaboration. Sustainability is also a hugely important topic. These are all essential building blocks for the foundation for the future. The employees in Munich and at the subsidiaries abroad are also a top priority for the Messe München CEOs. Today, almost 1,100 employees work in the global Messe München Group, 390 of them abroad, contributing to its successes. China and India are the most important markets, with more than ten cities in which the strong foreign subsidiaries organize events.

Artificial intelligence is now a fixture at most trade fairs, such as analytica, automatica, electronica, and IFAT. “Artificial intelligence will maximize, if not revolutionize, the business benefit of our trade fairs,” say Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel. In the future, AI will offer anyone checking in at Messe München their own customized trade fair experience – with a personalized schedule and visit plan: efficient and effective.

That’s because trade fairs are runways on which companies present themselves and their products. They are an exchange for contacts, knowledge and inspiration. And they are an adventure, since this is where you look into the future and, thanks to the fascinating innovations, are right in the middle of seeing the world continue to evolve. That’s what makes them so magical. “We are convinced that trade fairs will play an even more central role for the global economy in the future,” say Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel. These events are innovation drivers, at which the challenges of the future are presented. Today, a modern trade fair center like Messe München offers impressive events and emotional experiences. As an exhibition company, it is no longer enough to simply provide and rent out space.

Indispensable for the Free State and the chambers

“Messe München, a valuable hub for business and a key driving force for our Free State of Bavaria, is celebrating its 60th anniversary – congratulations! Here and at the partner trade fairs abroad, Bavarian companies find an ideal platform for presenting themselves, networking, and also generating international enthusiasm for Bavaria as a business location. My heartfelt thanks to all the employees, partners, exhibitors, and visitors who have made this great success story possible together,” congratulates Supervisory Board member and State Secretary of Finance Martin Schöffel.

Both chambers, which are among the shareholders of Messe München alongside the Free State of Bavaria and the state capital, also congratulate the company on its anniversary year.

Franz Xaver Peteranderl, President of the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria: “As a trade fair location, Munich is the ideal showcase for innovations and services in the craft sector. As early as 1950, the state capital was named the ‘trade fair city for the craft sector’ by the Federal Ministry of Economics. The ‘Internationale Handwerksmesse’ (IHM) and ‘Garten München’, with their trade congress ‘Zukunft Handwerk’, and likewise ‘Heim+Handwerk’ are inextricably linked to the modern exhibition center in Riem. As President of the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria and as a shareholder, I sincerely congratulate Messe München on its 60th anniversary and wish it a prosperous future.”

“Messe München has developed into a globally recognized flagship and an absolute top brand for Bavaria and its state capital,” says Manfred Gößl, Managing Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for Munich and Upper Bavaria: “For six decades now, it has made a significant contribution to the global positioning of Munich and Bavaria as the heart of the German economy. It is a great benefit for our domestic companies to be able to present themselves to an international audience at Messe München. The Management Board of the trade fair has always succeeded in adapting to the needs of exhibitors and visitors with a good mix of new and tried-and-tested formats. Messe München is also an immensely important economic factor for the local hotel and restaurant industry, the transport industry, the advertising and event industry and many other service providers. As a shareholder, the IHK is especially pleased and proud to congratulate the company on this outstanding development, which cannot be overestimated compared with many other national and international trade fair venues.”

Donation for the Caritas Tafel Riem and Münchner Tafel food banks

The trade fair is also letting those people in Munich who are less fortunate share in its round birthday. The Münchner Tafel and Caritas Tafel Riem food banks will receive a total of 6,000 euros for their social work. “We are always happy to support social initiatives or campaigns for children and young people in the Riem district. For us, that’s part of being good neighbors,” say Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel.

Small became big

The new trade fair company started 60 years ago with seven events. Today, there are almost 90 events (in addition to Munich, also in China, India, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, Vietnam, Singapore, and the U.S.), including twelve world-leading trade fairs: These are BAU, bauma, IFAT, transport logistic, analytica, electronica, automatica, productronica, LASER World of PHOTONICS, LOPEC, drinktec, and ceramitec. In 1964, the trade fair had 24 employees, today there are almost 1,100 in the international group. The 44,000 square meters of exhibition space from back then have now grown to 200,000 square meters in 18 modern halls and 414,000 square meters of outdoor space. Trade fairs bring the world to life – and Messe München is an important part of this.

More pictures of the event can be found here

Related images

Closing photo with the employees of Messe München at the anniversary matinée