History of HANNOVER MESSE
From legendary beginnings as Germany’s first Export Fair on up to a key role in showcasing the industrial transformation. Back when Deutsche Messe was founded in Hannover in 1947, soon after the end of WWII, nobody could predict just how successful its maiden event would be, right from the start. From individual components to the complete intelligent factory, as well as topical trends – today at HANNOVER MESSE you’ll get a complete picture of the industrial value-adding chain under one roof.
An exciting start
The year was 1947. In postwar Germany’s ravaged economy, food supplies were scarce and industry was weaker than ever. Reconstruction? Impossible without international support. As far as the British occupying forces were concerned, it was necessary to find a symbol that presented the passion and the economic potential of German workers and entrepreneurs to the rest of the world.
The company known as "Deutsche Messe- und Ausstellungs-AG" was born – and with it, the "Hannover Export Fair 1947".
Driving the economic miracle
The plan worked: approximately 736,000 visitors from 53 countries from around the world flocked to Hannover for the 21 days of the fair. Export contracts were signed and sealed to the tune of close to US$ 32 million.
Over the years, the event actually did become symbolic of the German economic miracle. As early as 1950, foreign exhibitors also took part in the event now known as "Deutsche-Industrie-Messe". In 1961, the name was changed again: "Hannover-Messe" makes it immediately clear how proud the city was of the role it played in the postwar industrial upturn – a pride which remains intact to this day.
Find out how the HANNOVER MESSE became the the world’s most important industrial tradeshow and largest capital goods exhibition by means of exciting stations in our history.
Foreign exhibitors take part in export fair
Despite Germany’s political isolation in 1950, the export fair is successful in attracting exhibitors from 10 different nations. Even before Germany’s diplomats are able to restore relations abroad, trade fair representatives have already established links to foreign partners, even setting up the first telephone line between the fairgrounds and New York.
Connecting with the world
The opening of Hannover Airport makes life much easier, allowing Hannover and the trade fair authority to hook up with the rest of the world. Guests who are really in a hurry can even take a helicopter or small plane from the airport to the fairgrounds.
World’s biggest fairgrounds restaurant
The Munich Hall is not only the world’s biggest fairgrounds restaurant, but undoubtedly also the most distinctive one. Here, tradeshow visitors can enjoy an authentic Bavarian-style atmosphere. The hall was dismantled at the World Exposition in Brussels in 1958 and reassembled at the Hannover exhibition center, with space for up to 3,200 guests.
Over one million visitors annually
By the beginning of the Sixties, Hannover is drawing more than one million guests annually. Since local hotels are completely booked, local residents decide to open their homes to visiting businessmen, providing them with a place to sleep and a seat at the kitchen table.
New exhibition hall breaks all records
The rapidly growing office and information technology trade fair known as "CeBIT" – at this point still part of HANNOVER MESSE – gets its own dedicated hall. The new Hall 1 measures 70,300 square meters of floor space (over 750,000 sq. feet – the size of about 10 soccer fields) – breaking all previous records for size and eventually being taken into the Guinness Book of Records as the world's biggest exhibition hall.
LIGNA goes independent
Like many other trade fairs, LIGNA was originally part of HANNOVER MESSE. By the midSeventies, manufacturers of woodworking machinery and forestry technology began to take up so much space that an independent trade fair became necessary. The split-off was successful and, to this day, LIGNA remains the flagship fair for woodworking and wood processing machinery.
Brazil becomes first official "Partner Country"
As an event where international business leads are generated, HANNOVER MESSE continues to receive more and more guests from abroad, and so the decision is made to feature the products and economy of a selected country every year. In 1980 Brazil becomes the first Partner Country at HANNOVER MESSE. Since that time, nations from Europe and farther afield have taken advantage of the opportunity to deepen their trade relations with other countries.
HANNOVER MESSE INTERNATIONAL is founded
The foreign business activities of Deutsche Messe continue to grow. By 1985 it has organized German pavilions at trade fairs in Paris, New York and Melbourne, so the company decides to funnel these activities into a subsidiary, HANNOVER MESSE INTERNATIONAL, which was later renamed Hannover Fairs International. In 1987 the company stages its first independent event in Istanbul: AEF, the predecessor to today’s WIN EURASIA.
Birthplace of European monetary union
In 1988 the heads of government of EEC member nations gathered in Hannover at the exhibition center. Under German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the course was set for the free single market within the EEC and the subsequent monetary union. This was a summit meeting of a type that, for Hannover, remains unique to this day.
EXPO 2000 World Exposition
During the run-up to the EXPO 2000 World Exposition in Hannover, Deutsche Messe invests heavily in infrastructure. Spending more than 1.6 billion euros, the company and public authorities modernize and expand the exhibition grounds and local mass transit. The wooden Expo Canopy is also erected. Hannover acquires the world’s biggest and most modern exhibition center.
Expansion to China
Together with the trade fair authorities in Düsseldorf and Munich, Deutsche Messe opens the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC), which develops into China’s leading trade fair location within just a few years.
Key political figures appear at Hannover
Along with Russian President Putin, many other world leaders from the world’s leading economics take advantage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s invitation to appear at HANNOVER MESSE.
Teaming up to conquer the world’s growth markets
To accelerate its own growth in key international markets, Deutsche Messe teams up in a joint venture with Europe’s other leading exhibition company, Fiera Milano. Both companies aim to grow faster in the growth markets of Russia, China and India by benefiting from each other’s market position and expertise.
Deutsche Messe displays organizational talent
In March Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano experiences several eruptions, covering Europe’s skies with a cloud of ashes. Flights over northern and central Europe are suspended to a large extent for several days. Deutsche Messe demonstrates its organizational talent, personally bringing its customers to Hannover in chartered buses.
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things
Deutsche Messe becomes the first exhibition company to take up the mega-trends of digitalization into its product portfolio by focusing on the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.
Entry into Indonesian market
Deutsche Messe enters the Indonesian market by taking over operation of the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) in Jakarta. With 247 million inhabitants, Indonesia represents Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and, after the BRIC nations, one of the world’s most important growth markets.
U.S. President Obama comes to HANNOVER MESSE
American President Barack Obama opens HANNOVER MESSE 2016 jointly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The United States is the official Partner Country at the world’s biggest industrial exhibition.
Interested in news about exhibitors, top offers and trends in the industry?
Your web browser is outdated. Update your browser for more security, speed and optimal presentation of this page.Update Browser