Dear readers,

welcome to the Annual Report 2018 of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC),

which will give you a full overview of our activities in Germany and abroad. You will find detailed information here about our exhibitions and the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg, as well as films, articles and infographics about our company. At many points we look beyond the reporting year 2018 and take you behind the scenes at HMC. All this is taking place in a new design, because when we started upgrating the CCH we decided it was time to reinterpret our brand and visibly merge our two divisions Hamburg Messe and CCH under one roof. We hope you enjoy reading our report.

To the financial 
Aerial View of Hamburg and the Elbe river at night


Bernd Aufderheide

President and Chief Executive Officer

61+1 events, more than 1.2 million square meters of gross floor space occupied, annual revenue of 104.3 million euros, two leading trade fairs with record numbers of exhibitors, several awards and a historic political party conference – the year 2018 at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH was varied, turbulent and successful. In addition to eleven of our own trade fairs, we hosted 31 guest events and 19 events on the exhibition grounds that had to be relocated due to the temporary closure of the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg. Plus there was our In-Water Boat Show in Neustadt/Holstein. At the same time we were once again able to exceed our own revenue target. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our exhibitors, visitors and business partners for their loyalty and our close working relationship.

Once again, our own events laid the foundation for another very good result: including the related services, they generated around three quarters of revenue. In particular they comprised the three leading fairs, the INTERNORGA with 1,300 exhibitors, WindEnergy Hamburg, which increased the number of exhibitors compared with the first event in 2014 by almost 20 percent to 1,482, and the SMM – the leading international maritime trade fair – where the number of exhibitors has risen by almost 1,000 since the year 2000 to 2,289. For the two latter trade fairs these were record exhibitor numbers. SMM is also the only fair in Hamburg to take place in 13 halls, since two high-grade temporary structures supplemented the existing eleven exhibition halls.

Uwe Fischer

Chief Financial Officer

In total, we welcomed 745,769 participants and visitors to the events on our exhibition grounds in the past fiscal year. A total of 722,649 attended trade fairs and guest events, with another 23,120 visitors reported for the 19 CCH events that took place on the exhibition grounds. And the previous year’s outstanding results were beaten again with a gross floor area used of 1,221,888 square meters.

The Global Wind Summit attracted great attention in 2018: it was the first time that the WindEurope global conference took place at the same time as the WindEnergy Hamburg. For four days that made the Hanseatic city the center of the global wind power industry and a meeting place for all the industry experts. International exhibitors at the WindEnergy Hamburg accounted for more than 50 percent for the first time.

NORTEC, our highly specialized trade fair for production, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 with a focus on manufacturing 4.0. The fair always works closely with businesses, universities and policymakers to highlight the latest challenges and present solutions, and this year particularly showcased 3D printing and digital production.

In addition to our own trade fairs, our Guest Events Department organized 31 exhibitions, cultural and sporting events and festivals, contributing once again to the very good result for 2018. Particular highlights were the hella hamburg halbmarathon, which took place for the first time at Hamburg Messe und Congress in 2018, and the POST EXPO, the leading global trade fair for the mail, parcel and express delivery sector. However, the greatest attention came from the 31st conference of the CDU party, for which more than 1,000 international journalists arrived in town – partly because Chancellor Angela Merkel had announced beforehand that she would be resigning as head of the party after more than 18 years.

Our International Department accompanied a total of 347 German exhibitors to fairs in ten countries in 2018. We were active on every continent in the world, with the exception of Australia. Customers were advised by us at the SIAL Food and Gastronomy Fair in Paris, the Seatrade Cruise Global fair for the cruise and tourist industry in Miami, and the Offshore Technology Conference Houston (OTC), which caters to the oil and gas industry.

At the same time the German pavilion was prepared for the EXPO 2019 in Beijing. But three new events that we kicked off in the reporting year will be a particular focus in 2019: the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, in September 2019, the therapie Hamburg in October, a trade fair and congress for physiotherapists, masseurs and medical swimming instructors, and the Hamburg Open – a mixture of a trade fair and a get-together for the German broadcasting and media technology sector – which opens on the exhibition grounds in January 2020.

Overall, Hamburg Messe und Congress is organizing ten of its own events in 2019: eight on the exhibition grounds in Hamburg, the HAMBURG ancora YACHTFESTIVAL on the site of ancora Marina in Neustadt/Holstein, and South Asia’s biggest maritime exhibition and conference, the INMEX SMM India in Mumbai. Then there are more than 20 CCH events, again including four annual general meetings and numerous medical congresses. One highlight is the Rotary International Convention in June, which will host more than 26,000 Rotarians from all over the world.

Abroad, the HMC is organizing around 20 German joint participations on behalf of various federal ministries and on its own initiative in 2019. They include events in South Korea, Indonesia and Kenya. More than 30 guest events will also contribute to the planned revenue of 68.2 million euros, including many new guests like Spielemesse Hamburg.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees, without whose enthusiasm and dedication our sustained success in recent years would not have been possible. We would also like to thank our Supervisory Board for its highly committed support during the year under review and look forward to the 2019 event year.

Yours sincerely,

Bernd Aufderheide
President and Chief Executive Officer

Uwe Fischer
Chief Financial Officer


That was the year 2018

square meters gross floor space occupied
million euros in revenue


Our management

Two managing directors and four divisional heads form the senior management team at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. Move your cursor over the photo for further details.

Two managing directors and four divisional heads form the senior management team at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

Ulas Boyaci

Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Business Development at HMC since 2013

Heike Mahmoud

Chief Operating Officer of CCH – Congress Center Hamburg since 2018

Uwe Fischer

Chief Financial Officer of HMC since 2018

Bernd Aufderheide

President and Chief Executive Officer of HMC since 2007, 2004‑2007 Managing Director of CCH - Congress Center Hamburg

Lars Kanbach

Senior Vice President Technology & Infrastructure at HMC since 2007, 2004‑2007 employee of HMC

Volker Müller

Senior Vice President Finance at HMC since 2014, 2001‑2014 employee of HMC


Own events: record exhibitor numbers, jubilees and a premiere

Eleven plus one own events were organized by HMC in the reporting period 2018.

Once again they laid the foundations for the annual result – the three leading fairs were the main revenue drivers.

Read more here


Behind the scenes: people are still working, even when it looks like nothing is happening

Visitors see exhibitions from the official opening through to the final bell on the last day. But the teams at HMC work all year round. The videos in this article give you an insight into what goes on on the exhibition grounds and in the offices.

Read more here


„HMC is an economic factor in its own right“

Trade fairs and congresses are a winner for the cities that host them, and events benefit from attractive locations. In this interview, Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, talks about positive feedback loops, impressive exhibitions and his wishes for Hamburg Messe und Congress.

Read more here


HMC and Hamburg: a win for the city

hotel stays
million euros
spent in the city
jobs safeguarded
million euros in tax receipts
for the city
Figures based on a calendar year; Source: ifo Institut – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universität München e.V.


Abu Dhabi, Houston, Paris, Beijing: our overseas events

In the reporting year the International Department of HMC advised a total of 347 German exhibitors on fairs in ten countries. HMC continued its EXPO commitment in 2019 by organizing the German contribution to the landscape gardening exhibition in Beijing.

Read more here


Overview of our events

The following events are collaborations with other domestic and foreign trade fair organizers: Seatrade Europe, INMEX SMM India, HAFENGEBURTSTAG Hamburg, Hamburg Open, therapie Hamburg, Hamburg Boat Show

Logo Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival
Logo Coteca
Logo GET Nord
Logo Hamburg Hafengeburtstag
Logo Mineralien Hamburg
Logo Hamburg Open
Logo HansePferd
Logo Hamburg Boat Show
Logo Home2
Logo Inmex SMM India
Logo Internorga
Logo Marine Interiors
Logo Nortec
Logo oohh!
Logo Seatrade europe
Logo SMM
Logo therapie Hamburg
Logo WindEnergy Hamburg
All the exhibition dates 
can be found here