NürnbergMesse turns 50

“From 0 to 100, from a regional exhibition startup in 1974, to a global player with an established position among the top 15 exhibition companies worldwide!” That’s how Peter Ottmann, CEO NürnbergMesse Group, summarises what he calls ‘the success story of the past 50 years’ at the German venue and organiser and the development of an exhibition portfolio which now extends to more than 100 in-house and partner events in 12 countries.

Although the serious cuts caused by the Covid pandemic are now history Ottmann remembers those times when setting records gave way to empty halls and revenues fell far short of breaking even, despite the use of digital services and hybrid formats.

Dr Thomas Koch, responsible for group development within the Executive Board, adds that it was “an excellent team spirit” among the employees that enabled the company to weather the Covid crisis with no forced redundancies. “Savings and financial support swiftly took effect in line with an emergency plan that had been held in reserve,” Koch noted.


The spirit to grow

NürnbergMesse benefited from the fact that digitalisation had been an increasingly important part of strategic planning for the future even before the pandemic. Opportunities offered by the digital transformation are now being used to build up a powerful technical infrastructure at the venue, digitalise processes and develop new, digital business models for the company.

“Our future will always take the form of a physical home,” says business development director Dr Martin Kassubek. “But we also need a digital ecosystem to share the experience – in other words, a good mix of both worlds.”

The company’s growth curve is again rising sharply. Following a revenue figure of €265m in 2023 (a relatively weak year in the cycle), the target for the anniversary year of 2024 is €340m which, if achieved, would be a new revenue record. “Our other targets are ambitious but are based on realistic planning,” asserts finance director Dirk Blum. That also includes rigorous investment in HR, events, digitalisation and the further sustainable conversion of the exhibition venue during the anniversary year.

Petra Wolf, director with responsibility for product management and thus also all events at the exhibition venue, believes Nuremberg will continue to be an attractive exhibition venue in the future: “Nuremberg has the perfect advantage – a successful mixture of tradition and modernity. Our customers in Germany and abroad appreciate not only our wide range of exhibitions, congresses and corporate events, but also Nuremberg itself as a destination, its mediaeval heart and the state-of-the-art city of industry and science.”


Anniversary book

For its anniversary, NürnbergMesse is publishing a 200-page book that brings together the history of the company and the city’s position in the historical context of markets and trading. Entitled ‘Messe.Stadt.Nürnberg. The Spirit to Grow’, the book includes interviews, insights and essays, and is packed with facts and figures. Contributors include Bavarian prime minister Dr Markus Söder, Nuremberg’s Lord Mayor and company Supervisory Board chair Marcus König, as well as TV entertainer Thomas Gottschalk.