As an organizer of international exhibitions and events, Deutsche Messe has seen its business dry up over the past year. The company has taken advantage of the lull to gear up for the post-coronavirus era, simultaneously extending the mandate of Deutsche Messe Managing Board Chairman Jochen Köckler for an additional five years.
"The year 2021 will be a year of transition and preparation for our relaunch. We are putting our company in the best possible position to successfully host trade fairs as soon as the overall situation allows it. To this end, we are expanding our trade fairs via year-round digital offerings, as well as making our exhibition center 5G-ready and planning entirely new events for 2022," reported Deutsche Messe Managing Board Chairman Dr. Jochen Köckler, during his presentation of the company's 2020 business results at the recent Deutsche Messe Supervisory Board meeting. As a result of the Corona crisis, the company generated sales of 100 million euros, accompanied by a loss of 83 million euros.
"2020 was the most difficult year in our company's history. But from this day on, we are exclusively focusing on the future and the challenges that lie ahead," Köckler continued. "We are making rapid progress with the implementation of our concept for the future. Our digital and hybrid offerings are in high demand in the marketplace." Deutsche Messe is expecting between 500 and 1,000 industrial enterprises, including numerous market leaders, to participate in the digital edition of HANNOVER MESSE. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will open the trade fair online. Leading representatives from business, politics and science have confirmed their participation. "We will be transferring the experience gained from our digital trade fairs to our on-site trade fairs in order to be able to offer our exhibitors and visitors even more targeted, year-round offerings in the future," said Köckler.
Together with Deutsche Telekom and Siemens, a comprehensive 5G campus network will be installed on the exhibition grounds. According to Köckler: "As early as September 2021, we will function as Europe's first 5G exhibition center. This will give rise to new business models, which in turn will secure new revenue potential for our business." The company is also making great strides in developing new fairs, with a number of different trade fair premieres planned for 2022, to be announced over the coming weeks.
"We view Deutsche Messe as being on a rocky, but straight and narrow road to emerge stronger from the crisis based on its fundamental realignment and fresh market approach," remarked Belit Onay, Lord Mayor of the City of Hanover and Chairman of the Deutsche Messe Supervisory Board. "I thank the Managing Board and the company's entire workforce for their commitment to the enterprise. Together with Dr. Köckler at the helm of Deutsche Messe, we want to continue to develop Hannover as a top international trade fair location over the next five years."
Simultaneously, in view of the current situation and for the foreseeable future, the corporate shareholders decided to narrow the size of the Managing Board down to just one member. "Dr. Gruchow has graciously agreed to step down from his position on the best of terms. The shareholders and the Supervisory Board want to express their sincerest thanks to Dr. Gruchow for all of his hard work – especially during the current crisis – and wish him the very best for his future endeavors," continued Onay.
At the same meeting, BDI President Siegfried Russwurm was elected Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "We are delighted that Mr. Russwurm, an absolute expert on German and global industry, will be supporting our company in this key capacity in the future – a commitment that serves to underscore the role of Deutsche Messe and the trade fair industry as a whole when it comes to driving technological innovation, progress and prosperity," Köckler concluded.