Koelnmesse GmbH

Koelnmesse GmbH

More than 60 international trade fairs and over 2,000 conferences make us the largest organizer of trade fairs on our own exhibition grounds. And Koelnmesse is also the Number 1 trade-fair location for more than 25 economic sectors. For these sectors, Koelnmesse organizes the leading global trade fairs, which present around 90 percent of the export goods produced throughout the world. Organisers of `CARBON EXPO` and other relevant events for the Environmental Industry.

Company details

Messeplatz 1 , Cologne , 50679 Germany
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Business Type:
Event organizer
Industry Type:
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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The new-look Cologne exhibition center, which was unveiled to exhibitors and visitors at imm cologne 2006, represents “a quantum leap in quality” for the benefit of customers, according to Koelnmesse President and CEO Gerald Böse. Four new multipurpose trade fair halls have been built to replace the historic Rhineside Halls; the infrastructure of the exhibition grounds has been restructured from top to bottom; and the quality of visitors’ and exhibitors’ stay in Cologne has been significantly improved. There are many reasons why the new-look Koelnmesse is set to be one of the most appealing trade fair venues in Europe: There’s the compact layout of the exhibition grounds, with 11 trade fair halls that form a single, continuous environment; the outstanding technical features and equipment, which meet all the requirements of today’s exhibition and trade fair sector; first-class services that are unparalleled in the trade fair industry; the exhibition grounds’ outstanding location within easy reach of the city center; and, finally, the outstanding accessibility of Koelnmesse, whether you’re traveling by plane, train or car.

Our interactive trade fair guide will help you find what you’re looking for at the new-look exhibition center. In addition to information about the city of Cologne, you’ll also find everything you need to know about the new halls, the grounds and the many new options for guests arriving by road, rail or air. Come straight to us…

We put you in touch with the right partners to get your business moving. After all, we aim to bring everyone together — creative, pioneering individuals, successful entrepreneurs, international partners, media represen- tatives, information multipliers and interested visitor groups. You can count on us as a partner that puts you in touch with new opportunities.

Our innovative trade fair concepts provide the perfect platform for presenting your products. They open up additional business perspectives and make sure your new developments get noticed. Koelnmesse is where tomorrow’s trends can be seen today.

We’re there for you wherever you need us — anytime and in just about any place. You can take advantage of our well-developed international network, which will support you with the market expertise you require. We give you the edge you need — wherever in the world you need it.

Koelnmesse in Figures
Koelnmesse is your expert partner in all areas associated with trade fairs and events — both in Cologne and worldwide. Our customers are convinced by both our many reliable and flexible solutions and services and by measurable and impressive figures.


  • Leading global trade fairs for 25 sectors
  • About 80 trade fairs, exhibitions, guest events, and special events every year in Cologne and in the key markets all over the world
  • 11 trade fair halls
  • 284,000 m² exhibition space
  • 100,000 m² outdoor area
  • 15,000 parking spaces
  • 2,000 conferences per year
  • Conference capacity for up to 19,500 participants
  • More than 53,500 exhibiting companies from 122 countries
  • Around 3 million visitors from 221 countries
  • Around 22,000 accredited journalists
  • More than 1 billion advertising and press contacts
  • Foreign representatives in more than 100 countries
  • More than 140 partner hotels
  • Around 94,000 hotel beds (in the Cologne region)

Institute of Trade Fair Management

The Institute of Trade Fair Management and Distribution Research at the University of Cologne carries out both basic and applied research into trade fair management. It is driving the implementation of scientific results in practical application.

History and purpose of the Institute

The Institute of Trade Fair Management began its teaching and research activities in the summer semester of 2000. Since then it has offered the only university level education programme devoted to management in the trade fair sector.

The institute sees itself as the place where theory and practice come together. This combination is evident in the practical nature of its training programme as well as in the intensive research it does. It conducts both basic and applied research into trade fair management and drives the implementation of scientific results in practice. In November 2004, the institute carried out the first European benchmark study of trade fair companies. In 2009, it published a study on innovation in relation to German trade fair companies, a study of the market development and positioning of German trade fair logistics companies, and a dissertation on ways of maximizing profits in bilateral markets. The latter dissertation received McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales Award, which honours outstanding academic work in the B2B (business to business) segment. In 2011 a further dissertation was presented under the titled “The Configuration of Trade Fair Logistical Service Providers –an Empirical Study of the Global Market”.

In the 2007/2008 winter semester, the trade fair management profile group was established to enable the transition from the training programme set up in 2000 to the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme format. The profile group gives students an extensive insight into trade fair professions through lectures, tutorials and applied research projects. It offers students in the Economics and Social Sciences Department a possible area of specialization as part of their Bachelor’s degree programme, which includes two such profile groups. Supervision will continue, in parallel, for students who began their studies in trade fair management under the original Diploma degree programme. As a result, it is possible to write Diploma degree theses, Bachelor’s and Master’s theses, and doctoral dissertations at the institute.

According to an alumni survey from 2009, students of the Trade Fair Institute had a particularly easy time getting a job. In fact, 90 percent of the graduates found a position in their desired profession within three months.

International Summer University (ISU)

The International Summer University for Trade Fair Management (ISU) is also an important bridge between theory and practice. The ISU was established in cooperation with the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) in August of 2006. This interactive and compact seminar, which is aimed at trade fair industry executives, is a platform for the exchange of ideas with colleagues and experts from around the world. The 10th ISU will take place at Koelnmesse from 4th to 6th July 2018. Well-known speakers offer multifaceted views and perspectives of the trade fair industry: Academic professionals discussed current theoretical topics, business professionals provided insights into current trade fair practices, and “out-of-the-box thinkers” highlighted some innovative alternatives to traditional approaches.

Our vision
Successful trade fair companies support markets by expertly and efficiently bringing together supply and demand. This is achieved by means of trade fair, conference, and online platforms.

Our mission
We generate momentum for the business operations of selected sectors by providing inspiring and efficient communication platforms.

Our objective
We energize your business

In addition to challenging and exciting jobs, Koelnmesse offers its innovative, top-performing employees a variety of benefits as well as a team-spirited corporate culture, which together create an appealing work environment.

Reconciling the needs of work and family

Koelnmesse’s flexitime model ensures that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can flexibly adjust their working times to their families’ needs. Employees who cannot find someone to look after their children at short-notice (e.g. a child minder suddenly becomes unavailable) can work in a parent-child room in the administration building (Messehochhaus). Koelnmesse enables people to work part-time whenever their position makes this possible. Around 22 per cent of its employees currently work part-time. To provide additional support, Koelnmesse permits employees to work from home in individual cases, provided such teleworking is compatible with their tasks.

Workplace health management

Because its employees’ health is very important to Koelnmesse, the company promotes the staff’s fitness and well-being as part of its workplace health management activities. To this end, Koelnmesse offers a wide range of fitness-oriented leisure activities, including football, back exercises, yoga courses and Pilates. In addition, Koelnmesse regularly helps its employees take part in Cologne running events, such as the B2RUN Köln and the Köln Marathon.

The company also offers advice on how to avoid stress so that employees can learn more about health and ways to stay healthy. Koelnmesse also has an in-house doctor to provide medical care when needed. Professional massage services at favourable terms provide employees with a relaxing break from their daily routine.

Further education

Koelnmesse pays particular attention to the further education of its individual employees so that they can maintain the most innovative and thus most modern standards in the trade fair business. The range of seminars extends from IT courses and intercultural training programmes to presentation and sales seminars as well as special management workshops related to the participants’ current or future tasks.

Benefits and special services

In addition to paying remuneration appropriate to the demands of the position in question, Koelnmesse provides its employees with a company pension that supplements their statutory retirement pay. Other financial benefits include Christmas bonuses and holiday pay, anniversary bonuses for long-serving employees and bonuses for the birth of a child. Moreover, the state-of-the-art company restaurant enables employees to eat a wide variety of inexpensive morning, midday and afternoon meals.

Koelnmesse gives each of its employees three free admission tickets to its own events. The employees can use these tickets to invite friends and acquaintances to accompany them to these trade fairs.

When it comes to the careful handling of resources and protecting the environment Koelnmesse is implementing a number of processes and expanding already established measures. These actions contribute to improving the energy balance of the individual events and the administration building alike.

High-energy efficiency thanks to modern technology
The energy balance in the trade fair halls and the administration building are being continuously improved. Electricity and gas consumption are being effectively reduced and power is being used only to the degree that is actually required.

For example, during periods when there is no trade fair activity the lighting fixtures in the halls are controlled by presence sensors. Areas that receive a generous amount of daylight were incorporated into the halls during construction. Ventilation control is set up to respond to the air quality. When it comes to cooling the halls, two positive measures are important: Koelnmesse has increased the energy efficiency of the air conditioning equipment and also completely converted to environmentally friendly refrigerants. In the Koelnmesse administration building, energy is being conserved through more efficient building control technology.

In addition to this, Koelnmesse is investing in energy-saving technology as part of its modernisation programme Koelnmesse 3.0. One of the important measures consists of the company's own a combined heating and power station (CHP plant), which will work according to the combined heat and power principle to produce both electrical energy and heat. The economical and ecological idea behind this is that the energy produced is used directly on site to provide the required electricity. Koelnmesse's new energy concept will serve to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 3,200 tons in the first year alone, which equals the emission of approximately 410 single-family homes.

Recyclables management
The Koelnmesse waste concept ensures that refuse from the materials used for stand construction is separated according to waste type in the purest possible manner. Significantly more than 90 per cent of the waste generated in a year is recycled.

In addition, many stand elements — such as carpeting and individual walls — are reused at a number of trade fairs.

Traffic guidance and mobility
During large trade fairs Cologne experiences an unavoidably increase in traffic. With the close cooperation of the traffic department of the city of Cologne and through the promotion of local public transport, Koelnmesse’s logistics concept ensures that exhaust emissions and negative influences on street traffic are significantly reduced.

Logistics experts use modern IT technology to manage the traffic related to stand construction and dismantling. For example, lorries with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes and more are directed to a specific parking area right next to the exhibition centre. In this way, lines of lorries waiting on the street with the engine running are avoided, eliminating damaging emissions.

Koelnmesse encourages the use of the public transport network. Event admission tickets are valid for travel on trains, trams and buses of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS). This measure is facilitated by the fact that the Cologne exhibition grounds are optimally situated. The Köln Messe / Deutz train station as well as a tram stop are located only a few steps away. The use of public transport is not only practical for trade fair participants; it also reduces street traffic, thus protecting the environment.

Because sustainable business operations are an issue for all sectors today, social and environmental responsibility is a major theme at many of the events held in Cologne. In seminars, presentations, discussions, special shows and an integrated congress, Koelnmesse provides exhibitors and visitors with attractive platforms for dealing with sustainability issues.

The way Koelnmesse incorporates the idea of sustainability into the ongoing development of its trade fairs is demonstrated very clearly by events it organizes for the food sector:

For example, organic products are a hot topic at the world’s leading food fair,Anuga. At the integrated Anuga Organic trade show, Koelnmesse pools the sector’s expertise regarding organic foods under the umbrella of Anuga. In addition to providing a venue for the presentation of the latest organic food products, Koelnmesse organizes the “Centre of Expertise for Organic Products”, which offers an attractive supporting programme aimed at boosting the potential of the organic food market.

In 2012 sustainability was one of the three main topics atAnuga FoodTec— the international supplier fair for the food and beverage industry. The other two major themes were hygienic design and automation. These three topics were addressed and supplemented by the fair’s comprehensive and unparalleled supporting programme. Bio-plastics, biologically degradable packaging and new packaging ideas were the topics at the special show “FutureLab”, which was initiated by Anuga FoodTec together with the Köln International School of Design. At this event, numerous exhibitors presented solutions aimed at boosting resource efficiency by exploiting more thoroughly the raw materials they use and by dealing more economically with increasingly scarce resources.

AtEu’Vend & coffeena— International Vending and Coffee Fair in September 2013, visitors will be invited to attend an exciting dialogue about the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and 4 C quality seals at the “Red Sofa” discussion forum. The German Vending Association (BDV) — the conceptual sponsor of Eu’Vend — will give its planned cooperation with TransFair its official approval by hosting a joint presentation with TransFair at its trade fair stand.