Messe Frankfurt: A timeline of its rich history

Being around for 775 years, Messe Frankfurt has proven a lot with its international success and growing portfolio with 132 (and counting) trade fairs at over 40 locations in five continents, 29 subsidiaries and about 2,300 employees. But how exactly did we get to this point? Where did all begin? Let’s take a look back on some of the important years in Messe Frankfurt’s history.

1150 – The first documented Frankfurt trade fair occurred

1240 – The first highly official Frankfurt Autumn Trade Fair was approved and sealed in a letter by the Emperor Frederick II on July 11.

1330 – The Frankfurt Spring Fair received its privilege from Emperor Louis IV on
April 25. Afterwards, trade fairs were held twice a year – spring and autumn.

1851 and 1855 – The first World Exhibitions in London and Paris heralded the start of the new type of industrial technology exhibition respectively.

1907 – Construction of the Festhalle marked the creation of one of Europe’s largest exhibition halls. It is the cornerstone of Ausstellungs- und Messegesellschaft mbH, the company founded in that is now known as Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

1919 – Import Fair opened on October 1, after World War I was over. With more than 3,000 exhibitors over a total exhibition area of 16,500 square meters, the event was also a commercial success.

1920 – The “Frankfurt principle” saw its first systematic application with the Frankfurt Spring Fair and it became an important foundation for the success of Frankfurt’s international trade fairs. The company was also renamed Messeund-Ausstellungs-Gesellschaft mbH.

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1945 – 95% of the exhibition grounds had been destroyed.

1946 – On August 25, Mayor Kolb announced that “Frankfurt is going to be a trade fair city once again.” Reconstructing the trade fair was thought to help kick-start the rebirth of the entire city.

1948 – The Frankfurt Trade Fair, held from October 3-8, carried on the tradition of Frankfurt’s international trade fairs held from 1919 to 1929, and 1,771 exhibitors (46 were from outside Germany), played the role of pioneers at the first event.

1959 – Interstoff, a trade fair for apparel fabrics premieres and does the first ISH in 1960.

1971 – Home and household textiles received their own trade fair with Heimtextil, and the cancellation of the IAA in the same year led within a few short weeks to the development of Automechanika for automotive workshops and suppliers.

1980Musikmesse launches

1987 – The company held its first trade fair outside Germany, Interstoff Asia, in Hong Kong.

1990 – Tokyo is established as the company’s first foreign subsidiary.

1990 – The International Spring Fair was reorganized into the Premiere and Ambiente trade fairs.

1991Messe Frankfurt North America was established located in Atlanta, Georgia.

1998 – Messe Frankfurt North America moved to its new home in Parkwood. First Waste & Recycling Expo Canada

2000 – First Techtextil North America

2006 – First Texworld USA

2010 – First Apparelsourcing USA, First Home Textiles Sourcing Expo

2012 – First Texprocess Americas

2013Dennis Smith joined Messe Frankfurt North America as the new president

2015 – First Automechanika Chicago

2016 – First INA PAACE Automechanika Mexico City, Texworld USA celebrate its 10th year

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