Vigorous start to new decade

10.01.2020 - 11:32

Messe Stuttgart anticipates strongest year in company's history / Portfolio expanded with several events

Messe Stuttgart starts the new decade with favourable starting conditions: Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH generated around 125 million euros in 2019, an uneven year in which some large trade fairs do not take place. The positive development of in-house events, but also the growing popularity of Stuttgart as a venue for guest trade fairs and congresses, contributed to the successful event business. The two Presidents Ulrich Kromer and Roland Bleinroth are expecting a record result for 2020.

"Provided there are no major economic downturns, 2020 will be the best year in the company's history", stated Ulrich Kromer today (9 January 2020) within the framework of the financial statement press conference at the start of the year. In the new trade fair year the company expects sales of around 185 million euros and a profit of approximately 34 million euros before tax and rent. Around 24,000 exhibitors and more than 1.36 million visitors are also expected.

In the 2020 trade fair calendar one Stuttgart-based flagship event follows another: didacta (24 to 28 March), which takes place every three years, is also on the programme, as are INTERGASTRA (15 to 19 February) and AMB (15 to 19 September). The latter two trade fairs will occupy the entire trade fair grounds, like CMT (11 to 19 January). The area has even been extended for the popular consumer show CMT. "For the first time we are relocating elements of the exhibition to an outdoor tent at CMT in order to increase the exhibition area and give visitors even more offers", explained Roland Bleinroth.

The management of Messe Stuttgart also provided an overview of the preliminary figures for the 2019 financial year. Last year a total of 22,091 exhibitors showcased their products and services in Europe's state-of-the-art trade fair centre. 58 trade fairs took place in Stuttgart – of which 34 were in-house events and 24 were guest trade fairs. 1,167,000 visitors were welcomed in the trade fair halls and in the ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart. With a hall occupancy factor of 13.0, Messe Stuttgart was once again very well utilised in 2019.

Bleinroth was particularly pleased with the success of the company's internationalisation strategy: "The trend towards increasing numbers of foreign exhibitors and visitors continued. More than a quarter of our exhibitors and almost ten percent of the visitors now come from abroad to Stuttgart. Our commitment in 56 countries is paying off."

As large in-house events did not take place in 2019 owing to the rotation of events, there was more scope for guest trade fairs. For instance, three guest trade fairs, The Battery Show Europe, FOAM Expo Europe and the Beauty Convention GLOW, celebrated their première at the Stuttgart trade fair grounds in 2019. INTERGEO, the trade fair and conference for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, also attracted large crowds. With a total of 99 events (trade fairs, events and congresses), for the first time the guest events occupied more area on the Stuttgart trade fair grounds than the in-house events in 2019.

Messe Stuttgart once again strengthened its position as innovation leader among the German trade fair companies in 2019. T4M, the new platform for medical technology, which took place for the first time in May, was a success. The new event In.Stand, the new trade fair for maintenance and services, took place later in the year in October. In 2019 Messe Stuttgart further enhanced its strong profile in industry and technology trade fairs and presented two new topics. Also in the area of consumer shows, there were new formats with Dance World in spring and the "Morgenmacher Festival" in autumn, both of which proved very popular.

Innovations as far as the eye can see

In 2020 the trade fair calendar promises lots of new elements in the B2B and B2C business segments:
In the Industry & Technology division, the trade fair network Expo 4.0 (30 January to 1 February) takes place for the first time as an in-house event. The trade fairs WETEC and GiveADays that are part of the network were  already held as guest events on the trade fair grounds in the past.

The Lifestyle & Leisure division once again brings fresh impetus. And repeatedly: In spring the division expands its portfolio with BRAWO. The wind orchestra trade fair takes place from 7 to 8 March and promises to bring the entire variety of wind music to the Swabian capital. During the spring trade fair season the equestrian exhibition REITSPORT MESSE and the DesignFest (both 17 to 19 April) take place for the first time. Within the framework of GARTEN, the pavilion for beekeepers, Bienale, celebrates its première.

Messe Stuttgart looks forward to a special highlight in the Business & Education division: The largest and oldest team competition in the world, the IKA/Culinary Olympics, takes place in Stuttgart for the first time within the framework of INTERGASTRA (14 to 19 February). Over 2,000 chefs from over 70 countries cook more than 8,000 menus over four days, which are sold for consumption. In 2020 the division also transfers the CHEF-SACHE concept from Düsseldorf to Vienna. The gastronomy symposium takes place for the first time from 8 to 9 June as CHEF-SACHE Vienna in the Austrian capital, coinciding with and supplementing the international wine festival VieVinum.

With an exhibition area of over 67,000 square metres, the Guest Events division expects around 65,000 visitors over four days with DACH+HOLZ, which only takes place every four years in Stuttgart. One particular acquisition success of the division in 2019 was opti, the international trade show for optics & design. From 2021 this event will take place every two years rotating with Messe Munich and is expected to attract around 28,000 visitors to the Stuttgart trade fair grounds.

Thailand – new location

With nine events in Turkey, China and the USA with a total of 1,619 exhibitors and 180,000 visitors – Messe Stuttgart continued the positive developments of the previous year in 2019. In 2020 there will also be new additions abroad: In future Messe Stuttgart and EUROEXPO, the leading organiser of intralogistics trade fairs, join forces abroad. From 2020 the joint company Logistics Exhibition GmbH also organises LogiMAT Thailand (13 to 15 May, Bangkok), in addition to LogiMAT China. The existing Thai logistics trade fair, Intelligent Warehouse, was taken over and integrated for this purpose.

China is becoming increasingly important as a source market for exhibitors and visitors for the trade fairs in Stuttgart. Messe Stuttgart is therefore also expanding its activities in China. Innovation Fair and Education+, which both proved popular in 2019, are being further developed. The Chinese subsidiary of Messe Stuttgart becomes co-organiser and holds an interest in the new high-tech trade fair AMTECH (Advanced Manufacturing Technology) in China's Silicon Valley, the high-tech and boom city Shenzhen (13 to 16 October).

Masterplan: The next steps

Messe Stuttgart does not want to rest on the previous successful development, but also wants to further invest in its infrastructure in the future. For this a masterplan was developed that shows what is basically possible on the grounds. The shareholders of Messe Stuttgart have given the green light for these plans. "For all construction project plans we always have to bear in mind the overall contexts on the grounds. The area is restricted and the functionality must be ensured", explained Ulrich Kromer.

There is a need at different sites: New parking spaces must be built, service providers need more space (warehouse and office), the fire department needs a new home, the traffic situation on the L 1192 access road (incl. entrance at central Gate 1) also needs to be optimised. Solutions have been found to cover these requirements, which are to be introduced in various phases. Service buildings are to be erected to the north of the grounds, with spaces for service providers, logistics and the fire department. Offices on the upper levels are also planned. A P40 car park is to be built in a spindle design "behind" the Bosch car park, a P1 car park "covers" the urban S-Bahn train line. This could create 1,500 additional parking spaces. The L1192 is also to be extended to five lanes (currently three). Modern traffic management systems are installed on the A8 motorway and the access ramp from the A8 to Gate 1 is also to be extended by one lane.

Change in management

After 19 years at Messe Stuttgart, Ulrich Kromer will retire at the end of January. Roland Bleinroth assumes the role of management spokesman and Stefan Lohnert joins the management team.

Ulrich Kromer came to Stuttgart from Messe Leipzig in 2001 and compared to the old Killesberg site, was able to almost triple Messe Stuttgart's turnover during his term of office in the even years, when a particularly high number of events take place. The ten-year target was exceeded in 2010 already, a good two years after the move. For the first time important in-house trade fairs such as AMB, R+T, CMT and Intergastra were able to develop their full potential on the new grounds and more than double their size. However, Messe Stuttgart also became the fastest growing trade fair business in Germany thanks to successful acquisitions or more specifically the development of new large trade fairs and congresses such as LogiMAT, Fastener Fair, LASYS, the Schall portfolio (especially Control, Motek and Blechexpo), Moulding Expo, Castforge, T4M, In.Stand, IKA/Culinary Olympics, GELATISSIMO or DACH + HOLZ. Overseas trade fairs, such as R+T Asia, contributed to this success as well.

Roland Bleinroth has been President of Messe Stuttgart since 2006. Apart from his responsibility for the overall company, he is also responsible for the business divisions Lifestyle & Leisure, Business Development and International Business. 26 percent of over 22,000 exhibitors and almost ten percent of nearly 1.2 million visitors, who visited Messe Stuttgart in 2019, came from abroad. The entire region benefits through the so-called "indirect profitability", primarily the hotel sector, the hospitality industry and retail trade. Cultural and leisure offers are also welcomed during business trips. Messe Stuttgart organises various "offshoots" of the successful Stuttgart-based flagship trade fairs abroad through its foreign subsidiaries and also looks after around 30 official German joint participations at leading international trade fairs worldwide. Under the aegis of Bleinroth, three subsidiaries of Messe Stuttgart were set up in China, Turkey and the USA. In addition, 16 foreign representatives and numerous sales partners, as well as information offices, are available locally in 56 countries for customers of Messe Stuttgart.

Stefan Lohnert has been Vice President of the Guest Events division and ICS, International Congress Center Stuttgart, since 2006 and was given joint proxy in 2010. With guest trade fairs, well-known congresses, events and corporate events, Lohnert, together with his team, generated between 30 and 40 percent of the turnover of Messe Stuttgart depending on the financial year. From February Lohnert and Bleinroth will form the trade fair company's new dual leadership.

About Messe Stuttgart

With a turnover of almost 180 million euros and a profit of 34 million euros, Messe Stuttgart is one of Germany's leading trade fair companies in the strong even years. Every year over 23,500 exhibitors present their products and services to up to 1.36 million visitors on a hall area of 120,000 square metres, on an outdoor area of 40,000 square metres and in around 33 rooms that offer flexible use in the adjoining ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart. Since the opening of the new trade fair grounds in October 2007, Messe Stuttgart has been dedicated to its "Green Statement" of sustainable commitment with the careful use of resources and environmentally friendly behaviour. At the beginning of November 2012, Messe Stuttgart joined the industry code "rightandfair" established by the European Association of Event Centres and the German Convention Bureau. It provides supporters with a practical guide so that they can live up to their corporate responsibility for sustainability in the organisation and realisation of events.

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