German events organizer finds success in China
Messe Munchen GmbH, a German company that specializes in organizing industry exhibitions, expos and fairs, has increased its share of revenue from the China market on the back of strong growth of the high-tech sector.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve increased our revenues in China by 10 percent annually, compared to 3 to 4 percent growth in Germany,” says Reinhard Pfeiffer, deputy CEO of Messe Munchen GmbH.
He attributes the company’s success in China to the government’s strong support for emerging, innovation-driven, digital segments of industry.
Policy support has facilitated rapid growth of the high-tech sector. This led to an increase in the number and frequency of industry events, thus benefiting companies such as Messe Munchen, he says.
Messe Munchen’s subsidiary, Fenestration BAU China, which was established more than 15 years ago in Shanghai, organizes 10 trade fairs in the country.
Now, the China market accounts for 15 to 20 percent of total revenue, he says. In 2016, parent Messe Munchen GmbH’s revenue reached 428.1 million euros ($506.1 million) and is expected to grow continuously this year.
Pfeiffer is also bullish on China because other emerging segments, like green buildings, are generating big growth opportunities for exhibition organizers.
For example, China’s property and construction industry is spreading awareness of the burgeoning high-quality buildings segment, which uses advanced technologies, through expos and fairs, he says.
Similarly, industries like capital goods and consumer goods, two of Messe Munchen’s strongholds, are witnessing adoption of advanced technologies, necessitating events and boosting the company’s presence in China, he says.
Fenestration BAU China is focusing on the modern construction industry’s awareness needs in a holistic way, not just on organizing its events, he says.
The focus is not only on building materials but on building systems. Events organized by Fenestration BAU China serve as a platform for the entire industry to solve problems and develop a supporting program that can look at all issues in a comprehensive way, he says.
“Everything is interconnected with new technologies. For example, a ‘smart home’ is not only a way to live more comfortably in your home but a necessity to reduce emissions and build an energy-efficient, sustainable society.”
Messe Munchen expects strong growth in China, given that the number and quality of new buildings are getting higher, he says.
Other bright spots are the shows of the laser and electronics industry, which have increased in China. The number of Chinese exhibitors at such events has risen from 83 in 1998 to 1,569 in 2016, he says.
Similarly, Chinese presence at fairs held in Munich, Germany, is increasing. Chinese companies going global started with relatively simple products priced competitively. Now they boast big brands that offer top quality and command high prices, he says.
Every year, Messe Munchen holds more than 50 large-scale international expositions in Munich and other parts of the world.
Reinhard Pfeiffer, deputy CEO of Messe Munchen GmbH