Monday, April 12, 2021

Interview - Eugen Egetenmeir (Messe München GmbH)

bauma is an excellent platform offering access to global markets

EUGEN EGETENMEIR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MESSE MÜNCHEN GmbH responded to SHRIKANT RAO’s queries on MMI’s lasting imprimatur across the world over 50 years of its glorious existence as an exhibitions organiser – and the overwhelming success of its much celebrated brand and international flagship event – bauma  


Messe München celebrates 50 years this year as an organiser and umbrella body for the hosting of international exhibition events – and indeed as a globally recognised institution. In retrospect how do you assess this space in time in terms of growth and delivery of your objectives?

We are looking at an impressive history at this year’s anniversary. What began with just 20 employees in Munich in 1964 is now a successful, globally active network of fairs and exhibitions with about 800 employees. It took only five decades for the company to go from establishing its event portfolio in the early years to becoming an international group of companies and one of the leading organisers of trade fairs and exhibitions in the world. We are very proud of this success story and will continue it with great passion in the years to come.


What are the key challenges you face as an exhibition organiser in a fast changing and technologically evolving world?

The strong internationalisation of our business demands new formats and platforms. It is therefore part of our long-term corporate strategy to open up new foreign markets with promising growth potential. Success in these regions again is having a positive feedback effect for our trade shows in Munich – our high reputation abroad reflects well on the leading fairs at our home location. The number of exhibitors and visitors from markets where we have trade shows abroad are increasing noticeably. We are, thus, investing in a global strategy that lives on an international network of exhibitors and visitors alike.


Give us an understanding of the current size of your business, the growth rate and the performance of the various exhibitions at the home base in Munich? Are you looking at expansions of your facilities within Munich?   

Messe München International had its most successful fiscal year in the company's history in 2013. Group sales were EUR 353 million, setting a new record and surpassing planned results by EUR 26.9 million. For the first time ever the company has, thus, moved into second place in the ranking of German organisers of trade shows and exhibitions. In 2013 we welcomed 2.3 million visitors and 36,400 exhibitors at Messe München, one of the biggest and most modern fairgrounds in the world with 180,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space and 425,000 sqm of outdoor exhibition space. Our portfolio of events comprises 14 of the world’s leading fairs. Among them are record-breaking events such as bauma, IFAT, electronica und productronica most of which also have spin-offs in India. With some of our trade fairs we continuously hit our capacity limits. We therefore have decided to build two new halls in 2016 in order to extend the indoor exhibition space to 200,000 sqm. To sum it up: Messe München is looking at an impressive history but even more so it is ready to grow and invest in the future.


Tell us about Messe München’s ambitions to extend its global footprint? What are the new areas of exhibition business you are looking to explore?  

We are already very successfully transferring our established trade-show brands to the growth markets of China and India. Since recently we also have spin-offs in South Africa and Turkey. The success of the premieres in these countries and the tangible demand for exhibition space in these regions confirm that we are taking the right steps in investing in these demanding and pulsating markets. The spin-off event bauma Africa in Johannesburg, for example, was the first time ever in the history of Messe München that a successful Munich-based event was taken to the African continent. It was an immediate success, exceeding our expectations by far. IFAT India in Mumbai or Seismic Safety in Turkey are other examples of recent successful premieres in young and growing markets.


From a Messe München perspective what is your assessment of India as a growth zone/area of business opportunity and as an exhibition destination?

India is one of the markets in which Messe München has already invested at an early stage, anticipating its global significance. In 2007 Messe München reinforced its commitment to the subcontinent with the foundation of our subsidiary MMI India. Since then the successful establishment of several spin-offs of major trade shows have proven the growing importance of the Indian market to our company. ep India was the first fair held in Bangalore in 2008. By now there are eight fairs on the Indian agenda – among others Indian Ceramics, electronica India or IFAT India– and there is a team of 40 employees and representatives to assure the success of these events. Further growth potential is continuously explored just as with all other regions. The best example is bC India in November 2014 which will move from Mumbai to Delhi then due to the significantly better infrastructure and local fair grounds.


What is the future global exhibitions outlook?  

Markets are fast moving, dynamic and more and more international. Accordingly, we will continue investing in a corporate strategy that is based on global thinking and acting, expanding our position as one of the world’s leading trade fair companies. Based on our decades of knowledge of the markets we will continue to seize business opportunities with corporate management that is oriented to efficiency and growth.


Briefly give us a sense of what bauma has come to mean for Germany – and to the world – and the challenges you face in building the brand further?

bauma is simply the show to be. bauma is the most important trade fair worldwide for the construction machinery industry - it is simply the biggest show on earth. What is it exactly that makes bauma unique? First of all, the special bauma atmosphere: bauma is huge, it is overwhelming, enormously busy, international, simply an unforgettable event - and it is always a successful business. For leading companies and all international market players it is a must to attend bauma. The show attracts top decision-makers and a huge number of buyers and experts of the industry from all over the globe. It is an excellent international contact platform and offers access to global growth markets.


Give us an understanding of the effect the global economic slowdown has had on the conduct of bauma in Munich, and in various other places, and the counter strategies you have adopted to keep the exhibitions business rolling?

bauma as the global leading show did not face any negative impact because of the slowdown in some markets. All in all, the construction equipment manufacturering sector is extremely reliable and the success of bauma in 2013 proved that this sector – against all odds – is really strong. Some regions or countries for sure face difficulties. Others, notably the BRIC countries, are planning huge infrastructure projects. Infrastructure and building projects will always play a big role in the country’s budgets and that augurs well for exhibitions such as bauma.


Briefly tell us how bauma events in China, India and South Africa have shaped up? Could you expand on your strategy to market each country at different venues?

Over the last years, Messe München International has built up global competence in the organisation of international trade fairs for construction machinery. The successful concept behind bauma has been transferred to different countries, taking into account the needs of those regional markets. Since 2002, Messe München has been organising the extremely successful bauma China in Shanghai, which in 2012 took up the whole area of 300,000 square meters of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) for the first time. Also regarding the exhibitor numbers as well as the visitor numbers, bauma China broke all records: All in all, 2,718 exhibitors and around 180,000 visitors attended the last show in November 2012. Together with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Messe München organizes bC India which had a successful premiere in 2011. The second edition already covered 150,000 square meters (2011: 80,000 square meters) and was attended by 710exhibitors (2011: 508 exhibitors) and more than 28,000 visitors (2011: 24,823 visitors). And last but not least, Messe München expanded its international network for the construction machinery sector with the launch of a new event in South Africa. The first bauma Africa entered the African market with a bang, taking up 60,000 square meters of exhibition space (gross) – 40,100 square meters net – which makes it the biggest industry event for the sector in Africa. 14,700 registered trade visitors from more than 110 countries and 754 exhibitors came to the premiere of bauma Africa, which took place at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg in 2013.


It’s a measure of the importance the parent body of bauma attaches to India that you have set up an independent subsidiary for India. What is the feedback obtained from Munich of the two editions of bC India and what are the prospects you see for the exhibition in India going forward?

The strategy of Messe München International is to expand in emerging markets. Therefore it was of highest importance to establish brands like bauma in China, India or Africa. Our target is to grow in regional markets and thereby strengthen the relationship with our worldwide costumers. We want to offer our exhibitors and visitors the same experience and business platform, irrespective of whether they visit our show in Munich, Johannesburg, Shanghai or New Delhi.


Tell us of the advantage bauma has secured in the India market through its tie up with an American partner? How are you looking to build on it?

AEM has a strong expertise in the North and South American market which is also highly interesting for the Indian and South African market. It’s a typical win-win situation for all bodies involved – organisers as well as exhibitors and visitors – as there is multiplied brand recognition with brands bauma and Conexpo.


What are your plans to further raise your profile in India? What are your expectations from New Delhi to enable a smooth doing business environment in India?

bC India still being a very ‘young’ event in India is now making a step towards Delhi, the Indian capital. Here, gigantic infrastructure projects are decided by the government. Furthermore, Delhi is the place where international corporations have their headquarters and thereby is a very attractive area to hold one of the most important trade fairs for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles in India. The short distance to Greater Noida will attract new potential clients, governmental representatives and new decision makers. Moreover, the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida is considered India's most modern trade-fair centre. The closeness to the government, the new venue and the climate will definitely help to increase the value of this show and continue this story of success.


What are the lessons India, an emerging country in the exhibition space, can draw from the conduct of bauma Munich and from editions in countries like China. What does India need to do to fully utilise its potential?

More professional and state-of -the-art exhibition centers in India would help the exhibition industry in general expanding in India. In addition it would help us – as an organiser – to host events at conducive venues, well connected and with all benefits for exhibitors and visitors.


What is your outlook for the brand bC India in the coming future?

Looking at the exhibition scenario in India we are looking forward to further strengthen the brand recognition of THE BAUMA CONEXPO SHOW – bC India – and attract more exhibitors and visitors from all across the country, covering all regions.




  • Group sales: EUR 353 million
  • Visitors: 2.3 million
  • Exhibitors: 36,400
  • Indoor exhibition space: 180,000 m²
  • Outdoor exhibition space:425,000 m²

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)