- Successful trade fair figures for 2023: Sales likely to exceed EUR 250 million for the odd-numbered 2023 fiscal year, with its cyclically slower business; visitors, exhibitors and exhibition space up significantly from 2022; Group now led by new Executive Board
- Outlook positive for 2024: Sights are set on new sales record of EUR 340 million and a profit in the high single-digit millions
- Investing in the future for a jubilee year: For its fiftieth anniversary year, NürnbergMesse will be investing nearly EUR 100 million in its future, for personnel, events, a sustainable events venue, and digitalisation/IT; 50 millionth visitor expected in company’s 50th year
NürnbergMesse Group CEO Peter Ottmann: “We’re grateful that following the pandemic years, our customers have returned to our events significantly faster than expected. In 2024, our jubilee year, we’re aiming for a new sales record, while at the same time making NürnbergMesse fit for the future with a systematic range of sustainable investments. And in this year of our 50th anniversary, we’re also looking forward to welcoming our 50 millionth visitor to the Exhibition Centre.”
Following the COVID-induced slump of prior years, in 2023 NürnbergMesse returned to a growth track. Under the leadership of the new Executive Board, established in August of the year, it generated an expected EUR 250 million in 2023, the second-highest figure for any odd-numbered fiscal year, when fewer events are typically held because of scheduling cycles. Compared to the last odd-numbered year, 2021, the company made substantial gains not only in visitor figures (2021: 315,000 vs. 2023: 1.3 million) but in exhibitor numbers (2021: 5,500 vs. 2023: 28,000) and exhibition space (2021: 176,000 m2 vs. 2023: 894,000 m2).
For the first time since the pandemic, in 2023 every market but China saw trade fairs return to their regular dates. Events in Nuremberg like the IT security fair it-sa and guest events like Consumenta showed particularly exceptional growth rates. The Nuremberg Exhibition Centre held an average of 1.5 events a week in 2023, for a total of 80 events with nearly 860,000 visitors and more than 20,000 exhibitors on more than 644,000 m2 of space. In other countries, a strong second half at subsidiaries in Brazil, Greece, and India made an especially important contribution to the year’s achievement.
The outlook is good for the 2024 year as well, because thanks to its vigorous group growth NürnbergMesse anticipates a new sales record of roughly EUR 340 million and a consolidated profit in the high single-digit millions. Additionally, this year the NürnbergMesse Group will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, and also, thanks to its successful internationalisation over recent years, the 15th anniversaries of its subsidiaries in Milan and São Paulo.
After applying systematic cost management during the pandemic, in 2024 NürnbergMesse will be pushing to reinforce its product portfolio and investments in four areas especially:
The existing product portfolio of trade fairs and conferences will be not only reinforced but expanded. At present, 77 events (including 27 trade fairs) are scheduled for the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. Registration levels for all trade fairs are already very high, not just for the spring, but for the coming autumn. Despite the current difficult market environment for some industries, many companies view trade fairs as a valuable marketing instrument and platform for rousing customer enthusiasm, maintaining dialogue, and networking. Petra Wolf, Senior Vice President Product Management: “Following a successful 2023 exhibitions year, our events have been enjoying vigorous demand again in the 2024 year. So despite the current economic and geopolitical challenges in various industries, we’re looking ahead very confidently to the future.”
Another emphasis for NürnbergMesse’s investments in 2024 will be a systematic digitalisation of its products and services. Here the focus will be on optimising and expanding e-commerce. In addition to extending into customer-centred IT systems, another focal point will be expanding the range of digital products so as to reinforce event brands’ relevance and reach. Dr Martin Kassubek, Senior Vice President Business Development: “We want to make it even easier for our customers to use our products and services. That’s why we’re systematically developing our digital product range to meet all sorts of customer needs – online and on-site.”
Internationalisation and focus on employees
NürnbergMesse expects 2024 to be a strong year outside Germany as well, with a total of 65 events. A new addition to the international portfolio is the embedded world North America trade fair in Austin, Texas, from 8-10 October, and the WORLD OF BEER in Athens, from 10-12 May. Additions to the programme of Indian events include INDEX PLUS in Mumbai, from 31 May to 2 June, and in Delhi from 9-11 August; INDIA FENCE EXPO in Delhi in October; and INBRUSH EXPO in Bangalore in December. The successful acquisition of trade fair organiser trendfairs has also added five high-quality specialty fairs to the NürnbergMesse portfolio for 2024, covering the kitchen industry, interior design, and technology. The company is continuing to invest in existing staff as well, and along the same lines is also looking for new hires, from IT specialists to marketing experts. Dr Thomas Koch, Senior Vice President Group Development: “Happily, NürnbergMesse is growing not just in Germany, but also above average at its subsidiaries in other countries. The key to this success is our employees – at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre and around the world. That’s why in the 2024 year we will continue to invest in our personnel, laying the groundwork for future growth.”
A sustainable venue
Parts of the Exhibition Centre have been standing since the company was founded in 1974, and to make its venue fit for the future as well, NürnbergMesse is planning to invest more than EUR 50 million in infrastructure in 2024. The focus here will be on customer service and sustainability. One important contribution will come from plans to make the energy supply carbon-neutral by 2028. NürnbergMesse expects to complete the first phase of its hybrid energy supply by September of this year. At that point the company will be supplied with green solar energy by a total of 21,000 photovoltaic modules on seven halls and a garage. Another investment target is a new employee building at the entry to NCC Mitte. The existing building will be renovated to lay the groundwork in 2024 for up-to-date, sustainable working and office environments under the “NXT74” heading – referring to NürnbergMesse’s founding 50 years ago, but also its aspiration to new chapters of success. Dirk Blum, Senior Vice President Finance & Facility: “Our business results for 2023, which were a substantial improvement over our original projections, and our expected record sales in 2024, will give us the tailwind we need for focussed investments in personnel, events, a sustainable exhibition centre, and digitalisation/IT. That will make NürnbergMesse thoroughly ready for the future.”