New position underlines the great strategic importance of digitalisation in the trade fair business
On 1 February 2021, Patrick Wölke (46) will take up the newly created position of Vice President Digital, with which Koelnmesse is expanding and strengthening its management team. According to Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse, this decision is in line with the immense strategic importance of digital transformation for the company and the trade fair industry as a whole. "We want to empower our teams to fully utilise digital working methods for the long term, we want to further increase sales from digital business models, and we want to consistently continue on the path into the post-Covid era with our trade fairs putting in a strong digital performance. Patrick Wölke has both the creative mind and the experience this calls for."
Wölke has extensive expertise in sales and marketing in purely digital companies, but also brings know-how in the digital transformation of existing business and the development of new, digital business models in the media industry. Most recently, he helped to establish the Marketing Technology Division at Cologne-based media and technology company DuMont, and before that he drove the digital transformation of the traditional media business as Director. He now wants to transfer this experience to the structures of a leading international trade fair company and the broad challenges of live communication in the trade fair business. He will be part of Koelnmesse's extended management team and report directly to Gerald Böse.
The Koelnmesse Management Board wishes Patrick Wölke every success in his new role and would like to expressly thank Prof. Christian Glasmacher, who, as a member of the management team and Head of the Corporate Development Division, has already driven the success of digital transformation at Koelnmesse over the past few years in a dual role.
Koelnmesse employs over 1,000 people and in 2019 had a global turnover of more than 400 million euro. As a city trade fair in the heart of Europe, it occupies the third largest trade fair grounds in Germany and, with almost 400,000 m² of hall and outdoor space, is among the top ten largest trade fair grounds in the world. Each year, Koelnmesse organises and manages around 80 trade fairs, guest events and special events in Cologne and in the most important markets all over the world. Its portfolio reaches over 54,000 exhibiting companies from 122 countries and around three million visitors from more than 200 nations. In the years ahead, Koelnmesse is investing more than 700 million euro in the development of the trade fair grounds and its digital infrastructure in the most extensive investment programme in its history, to allow it to cover all event formats in the future.