Messe Düsseldorf to Renovate Fairgrounds

CHICAGO, IL | The Supervisory Board and the shareholders of Messe Düsseldorf have approved plans for the complete reconstruction of the fairground’s South Entrance and, subsequently, Hall 1. Werner M. Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, says, “We can now implement our master plan for the complete modernization and renewal of the premises at our home base, as always, without subsidies.” The investment for this southern section of the exhibition center is €140 million. Overall, Messe Düsseldorf will invest approximately €636 million until 2030. The work is scheduled to start in May 2017, after the interpack ( trade fair, and should be completed in summer 2019.

The new South Entrance will give Messe Düsseldorf a contemporary presence directly on the banks of the Rhine river with a view toward Düsseldorf. Trade fair visitors and convention delegates will be welcomed by a new illuminated and translucent awning, 83,950 sq ft in size and about 65 ft high.

"By redesigning the South Entrance, we are creating a high quality condition for exhibitors and visitors, both architecturally and functionally—the same we already have at the North Entrance,” says Dornscheidt. This will also include a newly built Hall 1. After interpack 2017, Messe Düsseldorf plans to demolish Halls 1 and 2 and to replace them with a new building that will be immediately adjacent to the foyer along its entire width.

“The creation of impressive, state-of-the-art event facilities in this place will substantially boost the attractiveness of Düsseldorf as a destination for conventions and other events,” says Dornscheidt. “It will provide Düsseldorf Congress Sport & Event with totally new dimensions for the marketing of their venues. However, as trade fair organizers, we also can give our customers significant added value by offering flexible usage options.”

He explains that massive changes have taken place in the trade fair sector over the last 15 to 20 years. On the one hand, the sector has developed into a global industry, so that trade fair themes are now organized on a worldwide scale. On the other hand, leading trade fairs in various industries have turned into meeting points for globalized business. Trade fairs, too, have changed in character, says Dornscheidt. The leading trade fairs of those industries have long turned into venues for international knowledge transfer where all participants can exchange ideas, whether they are scientists, startups, or global multinationals. “What we have now is a totally different kind of trade fair.”

According to Dornscheidt, Messe Düsseldorf Group started to respond to these developments at an early stage. It began by establishing international subsidiaries on the most important global markets and by comprehensively expanding its international marketing network which now spans 132 countries all over the world. “Since then we have continued the development of our globalization activities with our strategy ‘Messe Düsseldorf 2030.’ It clearly puts the focus 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.”

One integral component of this corporate strategy is a master plan for the modernization of the exhibition center which started with the rebuilding of Halls 6 and 7 in 2000. By the autumn of 2016, 11 of the 19 halls will have been either rebuild or completely refurbished. The North Entrance was already redesigned in 2004 and is now providing direct street car access to the city center and the central train station.

Dornscheidt emphasizes that “traditionally, we always had a comprehensive understanding of customer focus and service. The ‘Messe Düsseldorf 2030’ strategy therefore includes the development of our fairgrounds and our portfolio as well as the hard and software we use as trade fair organizers.”

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