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January 2017

Press Contact:

Anne Meerboth-Maltz
Tel. (312) 781-5185
Fax (312) 781-5188

Messe Düsseldorf North America
150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60601


-Consolidated Group revenue rose to EUR 430 million
-Messe Düsseldorf’s EUR 400 million revenue exceeds plan
-Expansion of international portfolio
-Strong involvement in India as a future market
-Renovation of the South Entrance and Hall 1

In 2016 the Messe Düsseldorf Group maintained its robust position as the most profitable European trade fair company with its own premises. In a year with a large number of cyclical events, the Group generated around EUR 430 million in revenue (2015: EUR 302 million). Messe Düsseldorf’s revenue was around 5% above plan, totaling EUR 400 million (2015: approx. EUR 243 million). About EUR 33 million of this was generated internationally (2015: EUR 40 million). The company’s annual post-tax results for 2016 were around EUR 65 million (2015: EUR 31 million). Plans for 2017 include dividends of up to EUR 6.5 million. The final amount will be decided by the committees in the second quarter of 2017 when the year-end results are finalized.

The operational international business of the group temporarily dropped to EUR 63 million (2015: EUR 100 million) due to the sale of Brno Trade Fairs and Exhibitions and the continually difficult economic situation in Russia as well as the slowdown of growth in China. “Thanks to the strategic development of our international event portfolio, we were still able to achieve more than 30% of Group revenue outside Germany in 2015. This is a level which we’ll need to reach again over the next few years and then gradually increase through our corporate strategy ‘Messe Düsseldorf 2030’. This is the only way we can compensate for cyclical sales fluctuations in Germany and ensure that our Group keeps growing in revenue, “said Werner M. Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

The Group has now laid the foundation for its worldwide expansion strategy by focusing both the organization and content of its international business on four global portfolios under the brands of the major leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf. “Due to cross-border synergies, exhibitors and visitors will benefit even more from our global industry expertise and our local market knowledge,” explained Werner M. Dornscheidt. He sees a further guarantee of success in the expansion of international sales activities into future markets such as India, Algeria and Iran. To ensure a fast development of regions with major economic growth, Messe Düsseldorf will use the expertise of its global network and collaborate with local suppliers.

Russia remains Messe Düsseldorf’s international market with highest revenue
Strategic expansion of the global portfolio focuses on future markets

Of the EUR 63 million achieved by the Group internationally in 2016, EUR 25 million were generated in Russia, EUR 15.5 million in China, EUR 6.5 million in Singapore and EUR 4.3 million in the U.S. In total, the Messe Düsseldorf group organized 63 own and joint events outside Germany. 55 events are planned for 2017.

Russia continues to be the best-performing international market both for the Messe Düsseldorf Group and for Messe Düsseldorf itself - despite the country’s crisis. This is where the company generated 58% of its international revenue. Other important markets were China with 14% of the international revenue share and India with 8%. India, in particular, has one of the world’s most rapidly expanding national economies and Messe Düsseldorf is therefore steadily stepping up its presence in India with new events. In 2016 the new FoodPex India supplemented the existing International PackTech India which will be replaced in 2017 by the redesigned pacprocess INDIA. 2017 will also see the premières of several further trade fairs in Indian: held in parallel with glasspex India in New Delhi will be the new glasspro INDIA in February, followed a few days later by the new health and safety trade fair INOS+H Expo. Everything is set for international growth. “The aim is to support trade fair customers as widely and as globally as possible,” stated Werner M. Dornscheidt. “At the same time we want to step up our worldwide presence and thus increase the proportion of international exhibitors and visitors at our leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf.”

The 2016 financial year: Leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf ensure revenue through a high level of internationality

The Group’s strategy has been vindicated by success at its home base in Düsseldorf, Germany. As in the past, the share of international exhibitors in Düsseldorf’s own events was extremely high in 2016, averaging 70.5% (previous events: 29.8%). This high level of internationality was especially noticeable at ProWein (84%) and MEDICA (77%). The proportion of international visitors rose to an average of 42% (previous events: 39.3%). The highest rates were achieved by drupa with 75% and glasstec with 70% international visitors. “Düsseldorf’s leading global trade fairs represent a high level of internationality and this is appreciated by the decision-makers in the various industries,” remarked Werner M. Dornscheidt. This has had a major impact on the quality of the visitors at the various trade fairs: “At drupa, for instance, around 75% of all visitors were executives with a major involvement in the investment decisions of their companies.”

The largest revenue drivers last year were the number one events drupa, K, MEDICA, boot, ProWein, wire and Tube. In total, 31 events (previous year: 29) were held at the Düsseldorf exhibition center in 2016, of which 19 were own events and 12 partner or guest events. Around 32,100 exhibitors and 1.6 million visitors came to trade fairs in Düsseldorf, confirming the relevance of trade fairs as marketing tools.

Trade fairs are today’s meeting points in global business

The increasing internationality of Düsseldorf’s leading global trade fairs reflects an enormous change in the trade fair sector over the last 15 to 20 years. On the one hand, the sector has developed into an industry which operates on all continents and organizes trade fairs on a global scale where the leading trade fairs in each industry turn more and more into meeting places for globalized business.

On the other hand, trade fairs, too, have changed in character. The leading trade fairs in the relevant industries have long turned into venues of international knowledge transfer where all participants exchange ideas, whether they are research institutions, start-ups or global multinationals. “Logically, therefore, we have continued the development of our globalization activities to become our strategy ‘Messe Düsseldorf 2030’. It clearly puts the focus of our entrepreneurial activities on expanding our global portfolio and on strengthening our international marketing. And what is particularly important for us is the qualitative development of our leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf,” added Werner M. Dornscheidt.

The development of trade fair content has also been impacted by the increasing digitization of all economic sectors and spheres of life. Werner M. Dornscheidt sees this both as a challenge and as an opportunity for the trade fair industry: “The digital transformation affects us as an enterprise just as much as it does our customers, particularly those in mechanical engineering. This is where we are providing additional services. For us, however, it also reinforces the very core of a ‘trade fair’ as a place where people meet and exchange ideas.”

Renovation of South Entrance and Hall 1

One integral part of the general business idea is a masterplan for the modernization of the exhibition center which comprises all the halls and conference rooms. The robust annual results of 2016 provide a financial basis for this development. Like in previous years, most of the operating cash flow was used for the modernization of the Düsseldorf exhibition center. By the end of 2016, Messe Düsseldorf had completely renovated or modernized 11 out of 19 halls. The replacement of Hall 1 (currently Halls 1 and 2) will start after interpack 2017. The renovation of the Congress Center South and the South entrance will also begin at the same time. By placing a new and highly modern South Entrance directly next to the River Rhine, Messe Düsseldorf is setting a powerful architectural sign in a prominent place, creating a high functional standard. The completion of the renovation of the exhibition center is planned by 2030. The cost for the investment in new buildings and renovation is around EUR 636 million. All investments are generated from Messe Düsseldorf’s own resources.

Outlook for 2017

“We increased our 2016 results through a convincing cost management policy and by working without subsidies. So we are very pleased,” noted Werner M. Dornscheidt. In 2017 Messe Düsseldorf is expecting EUR 300 million in revenue. As before, the positive operating cash flow in 2017 will permit the continued optimization of the exhibition center and the replacement of buildings.

The further development and repositioning of leading global trade fairs at the home base has proven to be successful, particularly by drupa with its focus on forward-looking future technologies such as 3D and functional printing. 2017 will be dominated by one particular leading global trade fair – interpack (May 4 - 10, 2017). No other trade fair in the industry covers the entire value chain with specially tailored solutions and innovative ideas for all sectors – including food, beverage, confectionery and baked goods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods. The interpack alliance label comprises all of Messe Düsseldorf’s international events in the packaging and processing sector by focusing on greater visibility and positioning itself under a single globalized and comprehensive brand strategy. interpack 2017 is sold out, expecting around 2,700 exhibitors and 170,000 visitors.

For information on any of the trade fairs in the worldwide program of the Messe Düsseldorf Group, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail:; Visit our web site; Subscribe to our blog; Follow us on twitter at

The Messe Düsseldorf Group*: 

With a turnover of around EUR 430 million in 2016, the Messe Düsseldorf Group maintained its position as one of Germany's most successful trade fair companies. 32,100 exhibitors presented their products to 1.6 million trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf this year. More than 500,000 additional visitors took part in the various congresses.About 50 trade fairs - including 24 No. 1 events – were held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center in five areas of expertise - machinery, plant and equipment, retail, trade and services, medicine and health, fashion and lifestyle and leisure. In addition, there were about 80 to 100 own, joint or contracted events outside Germany, demonstrating that the Messe Düsseldorf Group is a leading global platform for export. Messe Düsseldorf ranks No. 1 in terms of the international participation at its capital goods exhibitions.  Messe Düsseldorf's own machinery, plants and equipment event attracted  approximately 72% international exhibitors and 58% trade visitors from other countries Overall, the Düsseldorf trade fairs were visited by customers from about 180 countries The Group’s global network consists of sales offices in 132 countries (71 international representations) as well as competence centers in eight countries.

* All figures are subject to final accounts.

Messe Dusseldorf North America Located at 150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL. Phone: 312-781-5180. .