In 2011, Messe Frankfurt made a case for itself as one of the most consistent tradeshow companies in the world. On presenting Messe’s preliminary key figures for 2011, Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt, reported that the company expects to generate sales of around €457 million. This amount, which translates into $600 million, would be the highest ever for the company.
“After an excellent performance in financial year 2010, Messe Frankfurt enjoyed another strong exhibition year in 2011 with outstanding events,” said Marzin. “Our group and guest events brought more than 67,000 exhibitors together with over 3.3 million visitors. In the coming year, we expect consolidated sales to reach the $650 million mark for the very first time.”
Compared with the previous record year of 2010, 2011 represented a slight increase of 2 percent or €9 million. However, compared with the crisis year of 2009, a year with a comparable event calendar, the $600 million mark represents an increase of 7.8 percent. Consolidated profit for 2011 also continues to be stable for Messe Frankfurt, and is expected to be in the region of $40 million.
Marzin believes that the strategic decisions the company made this year will also be paving the way for further growth and the $650 million goal.
“We are not only growing in tandem with the global economy in our activities outside Germany, but are also generating growth with new and existing events in Frankfurt,” he said.
Messe Frankfurt focused on three areas in 2011 which including bringing on new events, signing long-term contracts and the operation of its second congress center for Frankfurt.
In order to expand its core business at its headquarters in Germany, a total of four new events were established this year. At the same time, the company intensified and expanded its successful cooperation with guest events.
For instance, it signed a contract with British tradeshow organizer UBM Live for a series of large-scale tradeshows in Frankfurt until 2021. The contract with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) for hosting IAA Cars was also recently renewed until 2019.
“Frankfurt is a strong base for our company and our well established flagship shows provide us with essential stability,” said Marzin. “From here, we export our tradeshow brands to carefully selected regions of the global market.”
With more than 25 percent of Messe’s operating business coming from outside of Germany, the company also proved they are a global presence.
“Our sales outside Germany increased to €128.3 million, in line with global economic performance,” reported Klaus Münster-Müller, chief of finance at Messe Frankfurt. “At the same time, the share of overall sales attributable to foreign business increased to 28 percent from 25.4 percent in 2010. This is roughly 13 percent or $18.7 million more than 2010, which held the previous record of $200 million.”
In 2012, Messe Frankfurt aims to continue its growth with new developments, growing events and streamlined company structures.
“In 2011, Messe Frankfurt remained one of the most consistently successful tradeshow companies in the world,” said Marzin. “Tradeshows are platforms for the real economy – for real, direct business. In 2011, we once again fulfilled this role for our customers – and further expanded our market position at the same time. As the world’s largest tradeshow company with its own exhibition grounds, there is no doubt that Messe Frankfurt is one of the leading platforms for the real economy.”
Advance bookings for the company are encouraging for 2012 including the four major flagship shows: Light+Building, Automechanika, Texcare and Achema.
At the same time, Messe Frankfurt is responding to the growing importance of digital media. As of January 2012, it will be the first German tradeshow venue to offer free wireless internet access to visitors at its own events.
“We see this as a modern service that will soon establish itself as an international standard,” said Marzin.
Messe Frankfurt has also been commissioned by the German Ministry of Economics to organize the German pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan.
“We do not know how the market will develop in the long term,” said Marzin. “Similarly, we cannot tell what the outcome of the current financial and debt crisis will be. However, we know what our role is and we know where we can exert valuable influence: in helping our customers and industries to reach their business objectives.”