26.11.14

Major investments in exhibition grounds and trade fair program

"Koelnmesse 3.0" is the future of Cologne as a trade fair location

Supervisory Board gives green light for first phase - EUR 204 million to be invested by 2020 - total investment of about EUR 600 million until 2030

Koelnmesse is planning to make major investments in the future of its exhibition grounds and trade fair program until 2030. The Supervisory Board and the Shareholders' Meeting chaired by Cologne Mayor Jürgen Roters have now given the green light for the first phase of the master plan, which is titled "Koelnmesse 3.0." The committees commissioned the Koelnmesse management to implement the first phase of the plan between 2015 and 2020. This phase, which involves the maintenance of existing buildings and the construction of new ones, will require an investment volume of ¤204 million, which the company will finance through its own economic strength and the capital market. The plan calls for investments of about EUR 600 million until 2030.

"Koelnmesse 3.0 means that we will create the most lastingly attractive city-center exhibition grounds in the world, and that we will still be among the Top Ten companies in the global trade fair sector in 2030. The quality and attractiveness of the exhibition grounds will be key factors in our achievement of this goal," said Koelnmesse President and CEO Gerald Böse. "There is no alternative to these investments for the future of Cologne as a trade fair location," added Cologne Mayor Jürgen Roters. "This is the only way to safeguard the annual revenue of billions of euros for the city and the region in the long term and to ensure that millions of guests will continue coming to Cologne because of Koelnmesse."

A comprehensive package of measures
Koelnmesse 3.0 comprises a series of measures:

  • Modernization and maintenance measures focusing on the southern section of the exhibition grounds. In areas such as the sanitation, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, the technical renovations alone - which the trade fair customers will never see - will require triple-digit millions of euros until 2030.

  • The construction of Hall 1plus, with a gross exhibition area of just under 10,000 m², will enable the restructuring of the exhibition grounds during uninterrupted trade fair operations. As a result, even during the construction phase exhibitors and visitors will have 284,000 m² of high-quality exhibition space at their disposal, even if parts of individual halls are temporarily closed.

  • Improvement of the traffic and parking space situation. This will include the construction of new parking garage capacities to compensate for the elimination of parking areas by the development projects planned for Cologne districts on the right bank of the Rhine.

  • Measures to enhance the attractiveness of the halls and their surroundings, such as plantings, lighting, and façade design, as well as improved signage for the parking areas.

  • Improvement of the facilities that provide the trade fair participants with digital marketing opportunities.

  • A new central entrance terminal for the Southern Halls that will modernize the Congress Centers West and East and serve as a connection with the adjacent halls. This will make the use of the exhibition grounds significantly more flexible.

Construction of a Confex hall that can be flexibly used as a trade fair, conference, and event hall for corporate events and will offer space for about 4,000 participants. It will enable the staging of new event formats that combine a conference and an exhibition. It will also fill a long-standing gap in Cologne's ability to accommodate conferences.

High expectations for the modern trade fair business
Strong motivation for the "Koelnmesse 3.0" project has come from the current development of the international trade fair business, which poses new and very high expectations regarding the efficiency, flexibility, attractiveness, and facilities of the trade fair venues. "As a trade fair organizer, we are today primarily a communications platform with a high proportion of services," says Gerald Böse. "Every exhibition venue that wants to remain a top global trade fair location must fulfill these requirements."

The requirements include
  • the growing "eventization" of the trade fair business - in other words, the growing need for emotional elements and new experiences;

  • the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of trade fair participation from the exhibitors' and visitors' perspective;

  • the flexibility that makes it possible to stage parallel events and umbrella formats;

  • and last but not least, the strengthening of the local economy, local public transportation providers, restaurants and hotels, the retail trade, and the trade fair-oriented service providers.


Investment boom in the German trade fair industry
The German trade fair industry as a whole, which has been a global leader for decades, is currently experiencing an unprecedented investment boom. Other major German trade fair companies have announced future investments totaling several billions of euros. After its outstanding performance in 2013, Koelnmesse is striving to set new records for turnover and profits in 2015 as well. It aims to finance the entire Koelnmesse 3.0 package by 2030 on its own, without any subsidies from its public shareholders. It also plans to directly reinvest the expected profits.


You can find updated image material at the following link in the image database: http://koelnmesse.onlinemedianet.de/showLinkedImages.jsp?keywordPath=/ISY3/PresseMitteilungen/2015_12_23_KM&cms=neu

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Koelnmesse 3.0

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