Pump Engineer had the pleasure of speaking with Friedrich-Georg Kehrer, Global Portfolio Director at Messe Düsseldorf, to discuss the necessity of its international presence, the core familial values that drive the company, and the passion which with every employee approaches each project.
Leading the Way
Tradeshows that presented the full spectrum of production capabilities were the standard for industrial exhibitions in the 1950s. The amalgamation of industries in one venue provided individuals with the opportunity meet potential buyers and conduct business interactions with a wide audience. Exhibitors and visitors would journey great lengths to see the dynamic range of products the booths had to offer. As Düsseldorf was in close proximity to many of Germany’s industrial regions, the city served as an excellent location to host some of the biggest names in the industry. Messe Düsseldorf’s revolutionary decision to organize trade fairs according to individual trades in the late 1940’s provided the company with the ability to establish itself as an innovative leader in trade fair organization.
Formed on January 7th, 1947 under the name Nordwestdeutsche Ausstellungsgesellschaft mbH (NOWEA), Messe Düsseldorf has grown far beyond the boundaries of Düsseldorf city. “When we started the company there were already a number of trade shows taking place in Düsseldorf; we were quite small and regional,” explained Kehrer. “As our model became more sought after we began reaching out to other regions to expand our international presence. Now, we organize trade shows both in Düsseldorf and all over the world.”
More than 70 years later, Messe Düsseldorf continues its ‘future-oriented’ approach as the company continues to expand globally.
Deemed one of the most reputed trade fair organizers worldwide, the company focuses on trade shows for a number of capital good industries such as: machining, machine building, metal plants, wire and cable as well as tube and piping industries, packaging, printing technology, foundry equipment, and other related, application-specific industries. It also hosts a number of small end user-focused events. By placing leading brands in a variety of areas, the Messe Düsseldorf Group has secured benefits for its customers. “We choose locations that appear to have strong economic development potential to provide our customers around the world with ideal conditions for their business. With roughly 860 employees in 70 countries we are a medium size enterprise in terms of people and turnover, but a global player overall,” continued Kehrer.
“We are continually striving to branch into new and innovative areas. We are promoters of diversity and building relationships, and we want to make as many connections in as many regions as possible. Using passion as a driving force, Messe Düsseldorf grows by cultivating differences and finding common ground in new places.”
The diversity that is achieved due to Messe Düsseldorf’s international presence allows for its events to act as places where countless ideas are turned into solutions for the future. Professionals are able to meet to discuss issues that affect the industry, while experts, specialists and visionaries have the opportunity to share their knowledge and opinions.
In an attempt to exceed the expectations of its clients, Messe Düsseldorf ensures that it is well versed in the ever-evolving trends in the industrial market. By closely following industry developments, it can offer comprehensive solutions for each event it undertakes. “When it comes to organizing the fairs we use one software technology that is standardized across each event we organize,” explained Kehrer. “In order to guarantee that each client’s event is unique to their specific requirements, however, each trade show has a focused team that dedicates itself to knowing all there is to know about that particular industry.” Each event starts with the establishment of a contract, a clear workflow, and tasks assigned to each team member. “Once all the parameters are defined, it is just a matter of maintaining clear communication. By staying in contact with our colleagues and associates, we are able to mitigate the chance of something going wrong and take immediate steps to solve any issues that come up,” said Kehrer.
Building relationships with respective trade organizations is another way that Messe Düsseldorf showcases its commitment to putting clients first. The company identifies and monitors key industry players then attempts to reflect any industry development or advancements, as fast and as accurately as possible, at its trade shows. “We try to get a feel for what is going on in the industry, any new programs or major changes, in order to keep our service level quality high. By consistently asking for feedback from the exhibitors, visitors and organizers, we are able to continually improve our processes,” stated Kehrer.
Messe Düsseldorf’s commitment to the needs of its clients extend beyond simply organizing their events. With an in-house tradition of striving to do everything the ‘right’ way, and a foundation built on two core values, the company approaches each of its trade show events with a ‘we are family’ mentality. “Since we do not have a tangible product, like a car or machine, we sell our services,” explained Kehrer. “We focus on making the clients happy by ensuring that they not only have a return on their investments, but that they also experience the highest levels of service satisfaction. We want our clients to feel like they are part of the Messe ‘family’ and we do this by allowing the commitment and passion we have for each project to guide the decisions we make.”
It is this passion and commitment to both small trade fairs and large industrial exhibitions that allow Messe Düsseldorf to remain an industry leader.
With 19 exhibition halls that total 262.727 square metres of hall space and 43,000 square metres of outdoor space, Messe Düsseldorf provides a vicinity to host anything from an underwater landscape or outdoor park, to a high-end technology playground. The facilities offer infrastructure geared up for events of all sizes and look forward to welcoming upwards of 1.5 million visitors per year.
“We pride ourselves in the joy we get from using the money we earn and putting it back into our facilities,” said Kehrer. “The ability to invest in new technologies, and crowd management systems, to improve our clients and visitors’ experience, is quite satisfying. We are continuously upgrading the features in our halls to make sure they are state-of-the-art.”
The recent renovation of Hall number 1 located in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a prime example of the lengths to which the company will go make the trade show experience as enjoyable as possible. Rather than just erecting a good piece of architecture, Messe provides its guests with maximum functionality by making it easily accessible and offering a dynamic venue.
Hosting Valve World Expo
With over 50 shows taking place worldwide Messe Düsseldorf is continually engaged in relevant and innovative events. In 2020, it is once again looking forward to hosting Valve Word Expo, the number one trade fair in the industry, from December 1st to 3rd. The exhibition will highlight the entire range of industrial valves and fittings. Accompanied by an international conference and various specialist forums, the international fittings industry will then meet at the CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf.
Messe Düsseldorf looks forward to hosting the manufacturers, distributors, end users, EPCs and alike, as the one of the most natural ways for professionals to develop business relationships is in person.
Messe Düsseldorf has made connecting people and expanding into emerging regions a strategic priority. “We are continually striving to branch into new and innovative areas,” stated Kehrer. “We are not just innovation brokers. We are also promoters of diversity and building relationships, and we want to make as many connections in as many regions as possible. Using passion as a driving force, Messe Düsseldorf grows by cultivating differences and finding common ground in new places.”
“People have to meet face-to-face to get to know each other and to find out what can they do together, what business they can make together, and how this business will be sorted out. By organizing events that allow people to come accomplish these goals, we are able to give back to our communities and truly make our clients feel like they are a part of the Messe family.”