There is a steady growth of the exhibition areas, exhibitors and visitors from Bulgaria

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2018 • 23.11.2018

Messe Dusseldorf was founded in 1947 and is now one of the most successful trade fair organizers worldwide. What is the secret to achieving this and how do you adapt to the ever changing exhibitor and visitor requirements through the years?

Our success is rooted in the fact that developments in the exhibition industry began to shift from general to specialized exhibitions in the post-World War II period. In Dusseldorf, this began in the 1950s. At that time, Messe Dusseldorf developed the main exhibition topics which we offer to our customers in all major international markets today. This is why for many decades, many of our exhibitions have been industry leaders. But of course this is not a guarantee of success.


Two things play an important role in our own accomplishments – first, our innovative strength. We constantly adapt the exhibition and fair concepts to the current needs of our customers. To do this we keep in touch with associations, large exhibitors and research institutes from the different industries we represent. We always work closely with them. Advisory councils and committees discuss which topics are currently relevant, which could play an important role in the next edition of an event, which new formats could be interesting and successful.

Secondly, we have an international character. We are very well represented abroad and in 1963 became the first international fair company to participate in a trade fair in Russia. Since then, we have been continuously expanding our international networks and activities. We are currently represented at all major markets in the world with our own subsidiaries, we hold about 70 events abroad annually, and we have a total of 76 offices in 140 countries. In this respect, Messe Dusseldorf ranks first in machinery and manufacturing equipment exhibitions.

AHK has been the official representative for Messe Dusseldorf in Bulgaria for 15 years now. What is the significance of this long-term partnership?

Bulgaria is a very interesting partner for Messe Dusseldorf. Here, the strict financial discipline of the country can be named as an example - national debt of 24% of GDP at 80% on average for Europe. This reflects the state’s support for Bulgarian SMEs at international trade fairs. Messe Dusseldorf had 30 000 exhibitors in 2017, and exhibitors from Bulgaria were 41. Certainly, there still is development potential in the country; the sectors of interest for the German market are metal processing, food industry, textile industry and electrical engineering.

Since the establishment of the agency in Bulgaria in 2003, Bulgarian business has been represented in Dusseldorf by over 500 exhibitors and over 14 000 visitors.

What are Messe Dusseldorf’s main areas of expertise and which are the leading events in its portfolio?

The specialized exhibitions of Messe Dusseldorf can be classified in the following five areas: machinery and equipment; trade, crafts and services; medicine and health; lifestyle, beauty and leisure. With the exception of boot, CARAVAN SALON and TourNatur, the Messe Dusseldorf fairs are exclusively B2B exhibitions with a clear focus on machinery and production equipment, for which the exhibition area is more than adequate. 23 of our fairs are “No. 1”, which means they are the world’s leading exhibitions for the industry they represent. Some of the most important ones are: drupa, K, interpack, EuroShop, MEDICA, glasstec, ProWein, wire and Tube. For decades, they have enjoyed an excellent reputation on the international fair scene, and are considered must-see events for representatives of these industries.

Messe Dusseldorf’s events are distinguished by their strongly international character. Which of the company’s trade fairs attracts the greatest number of participants from Bulgaria?

From an exhibitor’s point of view, the fairs of EuroShop (retail), ProWein (wines and spirits), and Interpack (processing and packaging) are the ones with the highest importance for Bulgaria, whereas seen from the visitor’s market, certainly Interpack, drupa (printing technologies) and K (plastics and rubber) have attracted the most visitors from Bulgaria in the recent years. There is a steady trend of the growth of the exhibition areas, exhibitors and visitors from Bulgaria.