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First glance at the 2024 trade fair year: Flagship trade fairs in quick succession in Germany

By Press Club


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Credits: Fair Düsseldorf / ctillmann

The shorter second half of the trade fair year has begun: there are a further 110 internationally significant trade fairs scheduled to take place in Germany before the end of the year. These include the flagship trade fair for the global food industry, Anuga (7 to 11 October, Cologne), the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary (18 to 22 October), and the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural engineering, Agritechnica (12 to 18 November, Hanover).

A first glance at 2024 promises an incredibly strong trade fair year with no fewer than 350 trade fairs to be held in Germany. Flagship global and European trade fairs, following one after the other in quick succession, will attract both national and international exhibiting companies seeking to present their innovations. For the first time, almost a dozen new formats await visitors from both at home and abroad. After more than 20 years, the UFI Global Congress will once again take place in Germany. The event is organised by the UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, which is based in Paris. The event will take place from 20 to 23 November and will be hosted by Koelnmesse, which will at the same time be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, AUMA: “With regard to addressing future issues, Germany is highly innovative and enormously attractive as a trade fair location. We are proud to witness that German trade fairs are becoming increasingly international. More than one third of trade fair visitors and almost 60 percent of exhibiting companies now travel to us from abroad. At the same time, it is apparent that the German trade fair industry is preparing for new challenges and adopting a more flexible approach. Through collaborations of event organisers and new thematic partnerships, competences are being effectively pooled with a view to realising opportunities more quickly and promoting relevant topics.”

Selected highlights:

  • September 2023, Dortmund: Having launched in 2022, the internationally focussed specialist trade fair for the agricultural cultivation systems of the future (so-called Next Level Farming and New Food Systems), VertiFarm, will be held in the exhibition centre for the second time, from 26 to 28 September 2023. Around 70 exhibiting companies from 17 countries, and 1,500 national and international participants will be present to witness the launch of the fair.

  • October, Stuttgart: Première for Quantum Effects. The specialist trade fair for quantum technologies, to take place on 10 and 11 October, will focus on four topics: Computing and Enabling Technologies, Software, Sensor Technology, and Communication. The brand-new trade fair hopes to promote the building of bridges between the scientific community, start-ups, and industry.

  • November, Nuremberg: For the first time, from 28 to 20 November, the international trade fair for the production and marketing of beverages, BrauBeviale, will take place under the direction of its new event organiser, Yontex. Messe München and NuernbergMesse recently established the joint venture. With this collaboration, the two largest trade fairs for the beverage and liquid-food industry; the world-leading drinktec festival from Munich and the Nuremberg BrauBeviale, as a leading capital goods exhibition for the European beverage industry, are seeking to synergize their respective strengths and thus reinforce their position on the global market.

  • December, Essen: The Essen Motor Show is a consumer exhibition of international standing. The festival for sports cars, tuning, lifestyle, motor sports and classic cars has been held at the Messe Essen every year since 1968. The event runs for an unusually long period of nine days (2 to 10 December). The average for trade fairs that are open to the public is four days. The latest figures show that almost 1,000 accredited media producers have been in attendance.

  • January 2024, Frankfurt: The international specialist trade fair for interior textiles, Heimtextil (9 to 12 January 2024), will kick off the trade fair year, and in particular the incredibly busy first quarter. Last time round, almost 95 percent of the 2,300 or so exhibiting companies travelled from abroad. From 26 to 30 January, the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer goods industry, Ambiente, will then be taking place in the exhibition centre in Frankfurt – marking its 75th year. It has taken place every year since 1949. Christmasworld will also be running at the same time.

  • February, Nuremberg: The world’s leading trade fairs for organic food and natural cosmetics, Biofach + Vivaness, will take place from 13 to 16 February. The event first took place in 1990 – long before organic and eco-products really took retail stores by force.

  • March, Düsseldorf: The world’s leading gathering for the cosmetics, nail, foot, wellness and spa industry, Beauty Düsseldorf, promises three beautiful days in the exhibition centre (22 to 24 March). Its reception has been impressive: in 2023, more than 44,000 specialists gathered from all over the world.

  • April, Hanover: From 22 to 26 April, Deutsche Messe AG is inviting guests to attend the world’s leading trade fair for industry, the Hannover Messe. The international slogan for 2024: Inspiring the World with Technology. Exceptionally, there will be no partner country in 2024. In 2025, Canada will be offered the chance to showcase itself on the big stage, while in 2023 Indonesia was under the spotlight.

  • May, Düsseldorf: One of the trade fairs expected to draw in the highest numbers of foreign guests is the drupa. It will run from 28 May until 7 June. The abbreviation drupa stands for ‘Druck und Papier’ (Print and Paper). The trade fair is considered one of the most important showcases for the printing and print media industry. It has been held every four to five years since 1951, although its last outing was in 2016. It is therefore high time for an industry gathering.

  • June, Munich: The smarter E Europe, a leading trade fair to take place from 19 to 21 June, represents a combination of four specialist trade fairs for the energy industry, thus making it Europe’s largest platform for the energy sector. It began its journey in 1991, in the exhibition centre in Freiburg/Breisgau. Since 2008, it has been tapping into new potential as a guest event at Messe München. The set-up for this event will be a logistical masterpiece as shortly beforehand, the world’s leading trade fair for the water, sewage, waste and raw materials industry will take place. Running only every other year, in 2024 it will be that time again: the Ifat Munich will open its doors from 13 to 17 May. Sustainability is the major theme.

  • July, Frankfurt: The Eurobike cycling trade fair, which took place for the first time in 1991, has also outgrown the exhibition centre in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. The Eurobike will take place from 3 to 7 June in Frankfurt, in collaboration with the Messe Frankfurt. The two trade fair companies have been working together since 2022, under the brand name Fairnamic.

  • August, Cologne: The resumption of events following the summer trade fair break in Germany generally gets off to a playful start – with Gamescom. Launched in 2002 in Leipzig as the Games Convention, the trade fair in Cologne is now the world’s largest showcase for interactive games and entertainment. It will take place from 21 to 25 August.

  • September, Berlin: In 2024, the IFA fair held at the exhibition centre beneath the Berlin radio tower will turn 100 years old. Initially founded as the International Consumer Electronics Fair, it is now known as IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited. This anniversary is all the more impressive taking into account the fact that, statistically speaking, the average lifespan of a trade fair is 30 years.

  • October, Düsseldorf: An event organiser without own premises in Germany, but with numerous different formats, is RX Deutschland; a subsidiary of the second-largest trade fair organiser in the world from the United Kingdom. From 8 to 10 October, the company will be presenting Aluminium, the world’s leading trade show for the aluminium industry, in Düsseldorf. It takes place every two years. RX Deutschland also organises the Fibo fitness trade show at the Koelnmesse and the Equitana horse trade fair at the Messe Essen.

  • November, Leipzig: Europe’s leading trade fair for monument conservation, restoration, and refurbishing has been held of the premises of the Leipziger Messe for 30 years. From 7 to 9 November, it will open its doors to trade specialists. It takes place every two years.

  • December, worldwide: It is estimated that, by the end of 2024, 5.000 small and medium-sized companies from Germany will have been supported at more than 200 trade fairs in over 40 countries. The main target region of the Foreign Trade Fair Participation Programme of Germany (AMP) will have been the countries of Southeast and Central Asia, with 90 trade fair funding programmes. For the first time, the country with the most appearances in the AMP 2024 will have been the United States of America, with almost 30 trade fair participations. AUMA coordinates the programme for the exhibition community.

Read more about AUMA here.