The 2000s: New location, sustainability and globalisation
On 1 July 2001, Ulrich Kromer succeeded Dr. Gehring and set the priorities for the following years: internationalisation of Messe Stuttgart, qualification of trade fairs, growth in the congress sector and an Internet service campaign for exhibitors and visitors. The number of international representatives of Messe Stuttgart has now risen to 54.more
Messe Stuttgart has had a “man in Moscow” since 2001, and a representative in Shanghai since 1999. An “offshoot” of R+T was staged there in 2005. Intergastra and Interbad cooperated with Moscow, and INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA was exported to Chile, Austria and South Africa. Roland Bleinroth, since 2006 the new President of Messe Stuttgart, together with Ulrich Kromer, promoted the internationalisation of Stuttgart trade fairs, the expansion of international business and the development of new events. The most important decision for the future of the company was taken in 2004: the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Messe Stuttgart, following years of conflict. Embedded in the Filder topography, seven standard halls were constructed by 2007, together with Hall 1, the present-day L-Bank Forum, and the ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart. The topping-out ceremony was held at the end of September 2006. The first events at the new location, Minat and Blechexpo, were staged by guest organiser Paul E. Schall from 12 to 16 June 2007. Despite the economic crisis in 2008, Europe’s most modern trade fair and congress centre developed extremely positively right from the start. “With 17 new trade fair and exhibition topics in 2007 and 2008, we came up with a glittering array of innovations which was unparalleled in the German trade fair industry at that time,” recalls Roland Bleinroth, President of Messe Stuttgart. “There were also 13 new guest events which we managed to acquire for Stuttgart during this period.” Since the move to the Filder, the trade fair and exhibition portfolio has increasingly reflected changing social values regarding the issue of sustainability: for example, with the Slow Food Trade Fair – Market for Good Taste (2007), Consense (2008), Fair Handeln (2009), auto motor und sport i-Mobility (2010), Slow Food Zurich (2011), Battery & Storage, f-cell (2012) and the Green Festivals (2013) in five US cities. In 2009, Messe Stuttgart broke new ground again when it founded its first foreign subsidiary and acquired a majority shareholding in Istanbul-based trade fair organiser Ares Furarcilik Ltd. The Turkish subsidiary of Messe Stuttgart is now called Messe Stuttgart Ares Istanbul. At the start of 2011, Messe Stuttgart established a joint venture, Messe Nanjing, with the company operating the trade fair centre in Nanjing in the future market of China. The current portfolio of Messe Nanjing includes the machine tool exhibition AMB China, the tourism exhibition CMT China, the logistics trade fair Logimat China and the construction trade fair Nanjing Building Fair. Since August 2013, Messe Stuttgart has been active in the USA, with its own subsidiary and the Green Festivals sustainability events. The construction of Hall 10 and the upgrade of the western entrance, scheduled for completion in 2018, play a key role the plans of Messe Stuttgart for the future. “Since moving to the Filder, we are fortunate to have again reached or exceeded our capacity limits for many self-organised events. What’s more, there are fully booked guest events and parallel events that also urgently need more space,” says President of Messe Stuttgart Roland Bleinroth. “With the new Hall 10, we are scaling up our exhibition area by about 10 per cent in order to meet the requirements of the market,” adds Ulrich Kromer, Executive Spokesperson at Messe Stuttgart. “The upgrade of the west entrance will create versatile conference and seminar rooms on its upper floor. This will enable Messe Stuttgart to remain what it has always been: an attractive showcase for world markets.”
The 1990s: Go east and online
With trade fairs such as Sachsenback in Dresden and Fachdental, Messe Stuttgart gained a leading edge in the booming East German market right from the outset.more
Stuttgart trade fairs or participations were represented in nearly every Eastern European capital in the mid-1990s. Messe Stuttgart was also among the frontrunners at the advent of the Internet era. In 1996, Messe Stuttgart went online. Corresponding trade fairs were soon staged. In 1998, the Stuttgart communication quartet was held for the first time: Multimedia Market, Werbetechnik, W & N Internationale Fachmesse für Lichtwerbung, Digitaldruck, Werbe- und Präsentationstechnik and Das moderne Büro, plus the Multimedia Congress. Messe Stuttgart, which had been managed since 1996 by Dr. Gehring and Klaus-Dieter Heldmann, was now the leading trade fair venue in this field.
The 1980s: High-tech meets craft trades
In the 1980s, Messe Stuttgart had to perform the virtually impossible task of holding ever more trade fairs on only slightly more exhibition space. Hans-Joachim Köster, President of Messe Stuttgart since 1975, and primarily Dr. Walter Gehring, the second member of the two-man management team with effect from June 1980, were responsible for giving the outdated halls a new lease of life from 1981 onwards.more
This saw the creation of what would later become Messe Congress Centre A (1984), which was followed by Messe Centre B (1986). This was an important expansion because conferences were an essential element of modern trade fairs in an era when the knowledge and information society was coming into being. Other modest expansions followed in the late 1980s. However, they could hardly keep pace with the rapid growth of Messe Stuttgart. The Presidents of Messe Stuttgart, Dr. Gehring and, from 1983 onwards, Dr. Rainer Vögele, therefore focused on “expansion with quality and greater internationality, rather than on quantitative growth”. At the start of 1981, Stuttgart City Council adopted a resolution to transfer responsibility for the Liederhalle and the Congress and Convention Bureau to Messe Stuttgart. Over the years, they were followed by the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Hall, Stadtwerbung, Easy Ticket and the Main Agriculture Exhibition. Stuttgarter Messe- und Ausstellungs-GmbH became Stuttgarter Messe- und Kongress Gesellschaft (SMK). The Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the Central Neckar Region and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg became co-shareholders in 1983 and 1987 respectively. In 1986, Messe Stuttgart acquired DURMA, a private implementation company for trade fairs and exhibitions, renaming it DURMA Messe Stuttgart International (DURMA MSI). The aim of the acquisition was to step up internationalisation of the trade show business. Messe Stuttgart was also prepared for the megatrend of the 1980s – high-tech – in particular with AMB, Exhibition for Metal Working. This event’s success story started in 1982 and has continued right up to the present day. Other events that ideally met the needs of the era included Ident Vision (1988), now called Vision, the leading world trade fair for machine vision. Messe Stuttgart followed Baden-Württemberg’s entry into the computer age with Telematica 84 , for example. One year later, didacta, the world’s largest trade fair for education and training, came to Killesberg. Craft topics also continued to be traditionally well represented there during the 1980s. The many new events of that time included SÜFFA, the trade fair for the meat industry (1984), and eltefa (1981), the trade fair for electrical engineering and electronics.
The 1970s: Wanderlust and ecological woes
The oil crisis of 1973 put a swift end to the economic growth of the 1970s. The consequences were a driving ban and a global economic slump. It was 1976 before the world economy picked up again.more
But a bitter taste remained: It seemed that the limits of growth had been reached, and the debate regarding the environment started. Messe Stuttgart responded: From 30 June to 9 July 1972, the state capital became the centre of nascent environmental awareness when it staged Umwelt 72, the first exhibition devoted to environmental protection in West Germany. The international environmental technology trade fair Umwelttechnik was held in tandem.The Germans did not let the oil crisis and environmental woes dampen their wanderlust. The young leisure society was starting to become established. In line with this development, Caravan, Camping, Tourismus (CCT) started at Killesberg in 1971 and merged with Motor, Sport, Freizeit (MSF) in 1973 to become CMT, now the world’s largest public exhibition for tourism and leisure, with numerous special sections and a successful offshoot in the Far East, CMT China. Another classic event in the Stuttgart trade fair portfolio took up permanent residence in Killesberg on 19 August 1972: the largest European viticulture exhibition INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA, with the 48th German Winegrowers’ Congress. In keeping with the developing leisure society, events such as Dein Garten, Elektro-Hobby and Modellbau-Süd (1979) made their début in Killesberg. All of them are still part of Messe Stuttgart’s autumn line-up.
The 1960s: Early trade fair highlights
Coinciding with the advent of mass motorisation, Motor-Sport-Freizeit (MSF), the nucleus of the present-day CMT, premièred in 1968. Two early Stuttgart trade fair and exhibition milestones also made their début during the decade.more
The German Radio Exhibitions in 1965 and 1969 with huge crowds that remain unmatched to this day, even by the International Radio Exhibition (IFA) in Berlin. In 1965, the roller shutter trade fair “R” enabled Stuttgart to take another step towards becoming a top venue for international trade fairs. Following its expansion to include doors, gates and sun protection, “R”, now called R+T, is the world’s leading trade fair for its industry and is staged in Stuttgart, China, Turkey and Australia.
The 1950s: TV, fruit juice and rock ’n’ roll
Boxing matches, international athletics meetings, concerts: The trade fair centre played an important role in the cultural life of the city during the 1950s. From 1954 onwards, the south German radio station Süddeutsche Rundfunk (SDR) broadcast live from a studio at the trade fair centre.
In 1958, it played host to rock ‘n’ roll star Bill Haley. His frenzied fans destroyed some of the hall furniture. In addition to many small, now forgotten exhibitions, the era of the German economic miracle saw the launch of events that remain part of the Messe Stuttgart portfolio to the present day. For example, Der Häusliche Kreis (1957), focusing on home and family life, which now attract large crowds under the name Familie & Heim. Or the meat-industry trade fair Fleischerei-Fachausstellung (1953), which over the years became the Stuttgart trade fair SÜFFA. Or the international Flüssiges Obst event, which is now the fruit juice section of INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA.
The formal administrative act for the founding of Stuttgarter Ausstellungs-GmbH on 28 May 1940 were was not blessed with good fortune.more
When the shareholders signed the contract on 8 November of that year, the Second World War was already raging. During the years that followed, bombs reduced Killesbergpark and the exhibition halls to a cratered landscape.
And yet it had all started out so promisingly. For the third Reichsgartenschau horticultural show in 1939, Potsdam-based garden designer Prof. Hermann Mattern had transformed the site on Feuerbach Heath into one of the most beautiful parks in Stuttgart. In addition to a monumental entrance area, four exhibition halls were constructed on the almost-50-hectare site. The show opened on 22 April 1939, but ended abruptly when war broke out on 1 September 1939. In 1941/42, the halls were used as a detention centre for the deportation of Jewish citizens: the darkest chapter in Killesberg’s history.
Stuttgarter Ausstellungs-GmbH was re-registered on 21 January 1949, and the City of Stuttgart became the sole shareholder from 1951/52 onwards. In 1950, Stuttgart played host to the first major event after the Second World War, the German Horticultural Show. In just under eight months, Managing Director Dr. Heinrich Schiebe and Exhibition Director Albert Ellwanger restored the ravaged Killesberg site, including a new exhibition hall, to its former glory. Four more new exhibition halls were constructed by 1952. These were followed by Hall 6 and a further four halls constructed for the Baden-Württemberg State Exhibition in 1955.