Diener steps up to lead Messe Düsseldorf

Werner Dornscheid, the long-term president and CEO of trade show company Messe Düsseldorf which makes drupa and interpack a reality, has finished his 17-year stint in the top job with Wolfram Diener having now taken over the reins.

Messe Düsseldorf announced the leadership change at the end of last year with Dornscheid set to resign from his office on June 30, with Dienar stepping up from his current role as Managing Director Operative Business.

Dornscheid has led the company for the past 17 years and says he is proud of the profitable and subsidy free position the company is in, particularly during these difficult times with the coronavirus shutdowns.

In the last full business year, the Messe Düsseldorf Group reported a 29 per cent sales increase to 378.5 million euros with group earnings after tax doubling in 2019 to 56.6 million euros.

The company adds that in 2004, when Dornscheidt took over as CEO, the group posted an ROI of 6.4 per cent and a core capital ratio of 34.4 per cent, adding ROI recently rose to 14.8 per cent and its core equity ratio to 66 per cent.

“Trade fairs are my life,” said Dornscheid.

“What we have built up together with my team over all those years benefits the company today.

“While conditions are difficult at present, it is comforting to know that ‘my’ company is in good hands. The team is already busy working on a re-start and developing further digital add-ons so that Messe Düsseldorf will also remain the successful, reputable company in future that it is today. I have made my contribution.”

Diener has served Messe Düsseldorf as managing director operative business since 2018 and will take over as CEO from 1 July 2020.

“I am delighted at the trust placed in me. We can perfectly build on Werner Dornscheidt’s achievements and jointly rise to the challenges ahead,” Diener said.

Wolfram Diener during a visit to Sydney in 2018

“Here in Düsseldorf we boast an inimitable brand profile that can be made even more successful through the drivers that are internationalisation and digitalisation; and what’s just as important: a powerful team.”

Messe Düsseldorf’s foreign representation has increased from 65 foreign representatives in 104 countries to the 77 foreign representatives located around the world today, including Robert Laing who represents the tradeshow company in Australia and New Zealand.

Its share of foreign exhibitors has also risen from 58 per cent to 73 per cent, likewise the share of foreign visitors has risen from 34 per cent to 37 per cent.

“All of these international guests benefit the city,” Dornscheidt said.

According to a study by the Munich-based ifo Institute, Düsseldorf’s trade fair and congress business alone generates annual sales worth 2.98 billion euro across Germany.

Numerous industry sectors depend on the events – such as skilled craftspeople, exhibition stand construction companies, catering, hospitality, retail and local public transport.

“It is all the more important that trade fair operations are resumed again quickly. My team is currently working on concepts for the re-start and I know it will succeed in doing so,” Dornscheidt said.

The drupa tradeshow was supposed to be taking place over these past two weeks in Germany but due to the coronavirus it has been postponed until April 20 to 30 in 2021.

Likewise, interpack is now rescheduled to run from February 25 to March 3 2021.

Photo credit: Messe DüsseldorfAndreas Wiese

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