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Koelnmesse: Innovation in the crisis

New business with much potential in Cologne and at international trade fair grounds

Koelnmesse has taken advantage of the past few months of the Coronavirus-pandemic to advance its new business both in Cologne and abroad: In 2022, the Cologne event polisMOBILITY will celebrate its premiere, and three new events will be launched in Asia with ISM Japan, Kind + Jugend ASEAN and ORGATEC TOKYO.
"The crisis drives us! We have used the past few months to develop new ideas, sketch out concepts and launch innovative formats," says Koelnmesse's President and Chief Executive Officer, Gerald Böse. "We will celebrate as soon as possible the re-start in Cologne and staging several premiere events in 2022."

The highlight in Cologne: urban mobility of the futureWith polisMOBILITY (18 to 21 May 2022), Koelnmesse and the City of Cologne are presenting a hybrid event, which will showcase the design possibilities and requirements of future urban mobility. The event will bring the future of mobility and urban living to life at the Cologne trade fair grounds, around the city and on the internet all at once. "The name polisMOBILITY is based on the Greek word 'polis', which means 'city'. Together with the claim 'Moving Cities', the word mark clearly indicates the issue at the heart of the new event: How do we want to live and move around in cities in the future?" explains Oliver Frese, who as Chief Operating Officer is responsible for portfolio development on the Executive Board.

A strong signal in Asia
Koelnmesse itself has long since successfully established in South East Asia with events such as THAIFEX - Anuga Asia. "With the three new events ISM Japan, Kind + Jugend ASEAN and ORGATEC TOKYO, we are taking another important step in our internationalisation strategy," says Böse. "We are taking three of our successful flagship events from Cologne abroad, creating synergies for both sides."

The premiere of Kind + Jugend ASEAN (30 March to 2 April 2022) in Bangkok will kick things off. Mathias Küpper, Managing Director of the regional subsidiary in Singapore: "It is the perfect time to bring the globally recognised Kind + Jugend brand to Thailand. In recent years, economic growth and changing demographics have led to increased demand for high-quality products for babies, children and parents."

In April 2022, ISM Japan (13 to 15 April 2022) will make its debut in Tokyo. As the first trade fair of its kind in Asia, it is closely aligned with Cologne's leading international trade fair ISM and will take place at the same time as the established Koelnmesse event Wine & Gourmet Japan. Makoto Takagi, Managing Director of the Japanese subsidiary: "We have identified a projected annual growth of 6.2% in the Asia-Pacific sweets market from 2020 to 2025. As the sixth largest sweets market in the world, Japan is experiencing growing demand for high-quality and innovative sweets and snack products nationwide."

ORGATEC, the world's leading trade fair for modern working environments, will be held in Asia for the first time as ORGATEC TOKYO (26 to 28 April 2022). "Together with the Japanese office furniture association JOIFA, our goal is to appropriately serve the Asian market," Takagi said. "The pandemic has greatly changed our lives and the traditional office industry, with many working from home and having more flexible working arrangements. We see tremendous growth potential in this area."

Koelnmesse stands for innovationIn recent months, the team of 1,000 employees worldwide has not only worked on new events, but also made enormous progress in implementing digital and, in the future, hybrid events.

For example, ART COLOGNE (17 to 21 November 2021) is setting up its own online sales platform, which is being funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. From 28 May to 4 June 2021, the first Art Cologne Online Sales on Galerieplattform_DE will offer a curated selection of art from selected galleries for collectors and all other art enthusiasts.

More good news with a view to the USA: Koelnmesse has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to run the German pavilion at the CES Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Around 15 exhibitors on 300 square meters of space are expected to present their latest products and customised technologies under the umbrella "Made in Germany" at the largest sector event right at the beginning of 2022.

"We are very pleased with these milestones! We are not letting the pandemic get us down and will emerge from the crisis stronger than before," says Böse in summary. "With our new events, we are adding significant value for all participating sectors."

About Koelnmesse:Koelnmesse employs around 1000 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.

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