The supervisory board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH headed by chairman Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel has appointed 54-year-old Wolfram Diener as the new operative managing director. He succeeds 64-year-old Joachim Schäfer, who will retire from the company in late August. Diener will take on his new duty with Messe Düsseldorf on October 1 and will take over the divisions that Joachim Schäfer has been responsible for since 2006: the Global Portfolios Health and Medical Technologies (MEDICA, COMPAMED, REHACARE International) and Metals and Flow Technologies (GIFA, THERMPROCESS, NEWCAST, Pump Summit, Valve World Expo, METEC, wire, Tube), the beauty events BEAUTY DÜSSELDORF, TOP HAIR – DIE MESSE and the make-up artist design show as well as A+A (Safety, Health and Security at Work), Glasstec and the trade fair duo CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF/TourNatur. In addition, he will be in charge of the business division “Digital Strategy and Communication” established in 2017 which includes the IT and in-house services, marketing, advertising and press departments.
“We are pleased to see that the supervisory board followed our personnel proposal and appointed Wolfram Diener,” says Werner M. Dornscheidt, president & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. “Our aim is to ensure a consistent transfer of business for our customers thereby guaranteeing continuity.” Dornscheidt has known Diener for many years and praises his excellent expertise in the trade fair business that he acquired through broad-based industry and leadership experience as well as outstanding activities and high profitability in an international market-leading group–especially in the Asian region. This creates the best conditions for successfully developing Messe Düsseldorf’s product portfolio at home and abroad and for continuing along the path of digital transformation.
A graduate in business management, Diener started his professional career in 1991 as the division head for catering and events at the Baden-Württemberg horticultural show in Pforzheim before he joined Hamburg Messe- und Congress GmbH as a project director for foreign trade fairs from 1992-97. Starting in 1997 he worked for Messe Frankfurt (H.K.) Ltd. as a managing director for Asian operations. In 2001 he changed to the management of Shanghai New International Expo Centre Ltd., one of the world’s largest trade fair centers, a Chinese-German joint venture that Messe Düsseldorf holds a share in. From 2005-11 he took over the operation of the convention and congress center as well as exhibitions and special events and hotel logistics as vice president at the Venetian Macau Ltd. and Marina Bay Sands Singapore Ltd.. Since 2011 he has been successfully active as senior vice president at UBM Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong and is responsible for the China business as well as selected global trade fair formats.
Geisel adds: “The Supervisory Board and shareholders agreed that Wolfram Diener is personally and professionally the ideal successor to Joachim Schäfer, who stands for a clear operational strategy, sustainable positioning of the trade fairs and digital transformation.” They are certain that Diener and the top trade fair team will use their extensive know-how to position the city’s subsidiary as an economically outstanding and digital company in the trade fair industry in the future as well.
With a turnover of approximately EUR 360 million in 2017, the Messe Düsseldorf Group maintains its position as one of Germany’s most successful trade fair companies. About 28,700 exhibitors presented their products to 1.35 million trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf this year. They were joined by more than half a million visitors to various conventions. About 50 trade fairs were held in Düsseldorf, including 23 No. 1 events in five areas of expertise: machinery, plants and equipment, retail, skilled crafts and services, medicine and healthcare, fashion and lifestyle as well as leisure. In addition, there were about 70 own, joint and contracted events outside Germany, demonstrating that the Messe Düsseldorf Group is a leading global platform for export. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is the trade fair company with the highest degree of internationality in capital goods exhibitions. In 2017 Messe Düsseldorf’s own events in machinery, plants and equipment attracted approx. 74 percent international exhibitors and 73 percent trade visitors from other countries. Overall, Düsseldorf trade fairs were attended by customers from about 180 countries. The Group runs a global network of sales offices in 139 countries (75 international representations) as well as competence centers in eight countries. For more info, visit www.messe-duesseldorf.com