Entrance hall and skywalk with visitors at the SMM trade fair 2018 in Hamburg
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Change is an integral part of the exhibition business: so economic developments, social trends and technological progress are permanently monitored in order to adapt the products and services of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH to the ever-changing markets. However, a new pace is now evident, which means that trade fairs only continue to exist for a few years in a given form, before being replaced by new formats. HMC embraces this change, establishes new events, abandons unprofitable formats and keeps adjusting profitable exhibitions to meet the needs of exhibitors and visitors. The style of presentation has become a key topic for the decades ahead.

In Hamburg this is not only visible with the digital marketing exhibition Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR), for example, but particularly with successful, established fairs like the INTERNORGA, the leading hotel and restaurant exhibition, and the SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair, which both made important contributions again to making 2018 such a successful year. The INTERNORGA, which was launched in 1921, has proved to be particularly versatile, which doesn’t mean that it just chases the latest trends and fashions. On the contrary: over the decades the exhibition has been highly innovative and repeatedly set trends itself, maintaining its leading position for almost 100 years.

The SMM is just as successful, having started nearly 60 years ago, and now regularly requiring two extra halls.

It was originally intended as an event by engineers for engineers, but now covers all areas of the maritime industry. So the highlights of the SMM 2018 included presentations explaining how ships can be repaired at sea by drones, using spare parts from the 3D printer on board.

An unusual concept is also behind the success of GET Nord. The trade fair for building technology celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2018. Wiring, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning were first combined in one exhibition in Hamburg in 2008, in order to showcase interdisciplinary system solutions. It is a unique combination in northern Europe to this day, because the different trades normally segregate themselves from one another, although combining them for building technology makes sense, as can be seen by the more than 500 exhibitors from 15 countries and around 40,000 visitors.

Hanging light bulbs at a trade fair booth at the GET Nord trade show
The GET Nord celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2018.

Also promising are three new events created in 2018 by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, will have its premiere from September 11 to 13, 2019, extending HMC’s maritime portfolio and responding to strong demand, especially in the booming cruise market.

Visitors testing therapy beds at a trade fair booth at the therapie exhibition
Professionals from the physio-, ergo- and sport therapy sectors can get information and additional training at the therapie exhibition.

A good six weeks later, in October 2019, it will be followed by therapie Hamburg, a trade fair and congress for physiotherapists, masseurs and medical swimming instructors in north Germany. It is being organized in cooperation with Leipziger Messe, which already hosts a fair on this topic in its own exhibition center. The third new event on the exhibition grounds is the Hamburg Open planned for January 2020 – a mixture of trade fair and a get-together for the German broadcasting and media technology sector.

For the HMC these are significant challenges, because three expo launches within four months are anything but normal everyday business.