Jul 7, 2023
Messe Frankfurt unveils future growth plans

Messe Frankfurt has grown more quickly than anticipated and now expects a further increase in sales for the current financial year, according to the company.

About 340 events are being held under the Messe Frankfurt umbrella in 2023. Projections for the second half of the year are high, the company said. With investments in its core business and digital transformation and a strong focus on sustainability, Messe Frankfurt said it is optimizing its long-term corporate strategy.

“Having the event business firing on all cylinders again with a high international component and high satisfaction levels demonstrates the commitment throughout all sectors,” said Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt. “Financial year 2023 is well above our expectations. If everything continues in this positive vein, we expect another positive operating earnings performance in 2023. And we will be on track for an estimated €600 million ($655 million) in sales, even though the rotation of events means that a smaller number of Messe Frankfurt events are being held at our Frankfurt base this year. This means that Messe Frankfurt is well and truly back in the premier league of international trade fair companies.”

Added Stephanie Wüst, head of the City of Frankfurt’s Department of Economy, Legal Affairs and Reform and chairperson of Messe Frankfurt’s supervisory board: “The trade fair business has recovered significantly, and its performance since mid-2022 has been very encouraging again, even though the record levels of pre-COVID years are not yet within reach. It is good news for the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan region that Messe Frankfurt’s economic engine is up and running again and contributing to the prosperity of the region. My supervisory board colleagues and I are very grateful to Messe Frankfurt’s executive board and workforce for acting with such foresight during these difficult years and keeping the company on course with a great deal of personal commitment. After all, Messe Frankfurt not only enhances the reputation of our city and region but is an international calling card as well. With the strategic orientation of its worldwide portfolio, the digital and sustainable redevelopment of its Frankfurt base and its aim to attain climate neutrality by 2040, there is still a lot of work ahead. And we will always be at hand to provide Messe Frankfurt with advice and support.”

According to the final figures for financial year 2022, sales revenue almost tripled year-on-year to $495 million (2021: $167 million) even though the event year was still subject to pandemic restrictions. Of this, some $342 million was generated in Germany, accounting for 69% of sales revenue for the group.

A total of 310 events took place in the past financial year, with more than 46,500 exhibiting companies and over 2.4 million visitors.

Climate neutrality

Sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices are playing a key role in the group’s strategic further development, according to Messe Frankfurt.

“Our aim is to combine ethical conduct and business activities in the context of ecological values,” Marzin explained. “With our new target architecture, we are continuing the sustainable redevelopment of our company and will carry on processing ecological, social and economic dimensions in a structured way.”

Based on a materiality analysis, subgoals are first formulated and then mapped out in a sustainability roadmap for Messe Frankfurt. The focus here will be on attaining greenhouse gas neutrality and establishing a sustainable water management system.

Steps being taken for the forthcoming EMAS certification – the European standard – in November 2023 are on schedule, according to Messe Frankfurt. The company’s aim is for its Frankfurt exhibition grounds to be climate neutral by 2040 at the latest.

Messe Frankfurt published its first Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) Report within the scope of its Texpertise Network. A

“The aim of this report is to provide inspiration and motivation for the Texpertise Network to further develop its activities and to help ensure that the SDGs are achieved in the global textile sector by 2030,” explained Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt,

For around 15 years, Messe Frankfurt has been a pioneering force when it comes to strategically promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its textile events around the world through thematically specific formats and content.

Digitalization and events

In addition to sustainability, digitalization is a key factor in Messe Frankfurt’s efforts to generate growth and strengthen its core business.

The group will continue to expand the international modernization program that it began around 5 years ago.

Here, the focus is on increasing efficiency for customers and optimizing the integration of events at content level through suitable event-related digital platforms.

Messe Frankfurt plans to step up its activities outside Germany with around 20 events scheduled to make their debut between 2023 and 2025. At more than 50 locations around the world, the group’s global portfolio has played an important role in its strategic company orientation for more than three decades, together with its global sales network consisting of 28 subsidiaries and over 50 sales partners.

In the course of this financial year, Frankfurt is playing host to some 200 trade fairs, congresses, conferences and other guest events.

As well as the numerous traditional guest events with which Messe Frankfurt has worked closely together for many years, its Frankfurt base will benefit from the arrival of a number of new formats.

The exhibition alone will cover an area of 164,000 square feet. The conference, exhibition and networking formats will use the Congress Center, the Forum and Hall 3 in its entirety. More than 10,000 participants from all over the world are expected to attend.

Construction work on the Messeplatz Entrance project and the Sparda Bank Tower – of which Sparda Bank is the owner and developer – is progressing according to schedule on the south side of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

With the completion of the Messeplatz Entrance by 2026, the new face of Messe Frankfurt aims to make the exhibition grounds even more accessible for visitors, as well.

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