Munich keeps event business running

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Munich keeps event business running

CMW investigates how the Locations of Messe München are opening up safely again for its guest events.


As Germany is able to host major events and tradeshow again in selected destinations, we look at how the Locations Messe München have been preparing for event action again and how their venues and showgrounds have integrated their rebooted offer to dovetail with a holistic, city-wide approach to handling visitors safely and securely.

The Bavarian state government’s decision back on 26 May to allow tradefairs to be held again from 1 September, subject to certain health and safety regulations, has seen several events take place already, including the Search Marketing Expo – SMX and the AllFacebook Marketing Conference – AFBMC at the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München, as well as FABRIC DAYS at the MOC Veranstaltungscenter München.

Munich and the Locations of Messe München demonstrated how it is possible to hold tradefairs and events even in these difficult times and with strict adherence to health guidelines and setting new levels of customer care and safety.

The ICM venue prepared well for the restart, with its two new Studios set up for running completely virtual or hybrid event formats since June. The facilities are ideal for panel discussions, product presentations and broadcast solutions. Messe München’s own completely digital IFAT event was enhanced by the studios’ capabilities and a press conference held there for the IAA was streamed live as a hybrid event with on-site speakers.

The SMX Munich and the Allfacebook Marketing Conference Summer Edition 2020 also used the new opportunities offered at the ICM to the full and organisers staged their event in hybrid form for the first time on 1 and 2 September.

The two conferences ran successfully in parallel with accompanying – although smaller than usual – exhibitions that were a mix of in-person and digital events.

Sandra Finlay, managing director of Rising Media, organiser of SMX and AFBMC, said she was “delighted” the events were among the first permitted to take place after the long break and on the very first date allowed in Bavaria.

Rising Media’s events spread out across six large halls at the ICM which made it easy to implement the hygiene guidelines for everyone and those participants who joined online, were plugged seamlessly into proceedings thanks to the full technical capabilities at the ICM.


The MOC Veranstaltungscenter, another of the Messe’s event locations, has also opened its doors to exhibitions again. One of Europe’s leading textile tradefairs, MUNICH FABRIC START which usually opens up the new season twice a year alongside a portfolio of international manufacturers and, with around 1,000 exhibitors, was not able to run in its usual format due to the pandemic, so organisers developed a highly streamlined, business-focused format called FABRIC DAYS designed to help get the sector back in business.

Sebastian Klinder, managing director of MUNICH FABRIC START, said: “With FABRIC DAYS, 1-3 September, we organised a tradefair focusing on the essentials and enabling 300 German and European exhibitors to present their new fabrics and additionals for the Autumn/Winter 21/22 season in approximately 700 collections.”

“Thanks to the many years of successful co-operation with the team at Messe München, we were able to develop a Covid-19-compliant business event that still offered the textile industry the usual professional and inspiring working atmosphere despite the current challenges,” Klinder noted.

Claudia Mynott, marketing and communications director of MUNICH FABRIC START Exhibition GmbH, told CMW

“All hygiene and safety measures that we took were very well applied by exhibitors and visitors. This shows that together we were able to make it possible to organise and hold physical events and fairs in this exceptional situation”.

TrendSet at Messe München

The opening trend continued for international interiors tradefair TrendSet, which came back to the Exhibition grounds at Messe München, 12-14 September, with 600 exhibitors across six halls.

Tatjana Pannier, managing director of TrendSet, said she had always been confident that TrendSet Summer 2020 would take place and that more than half of the exhibitors from the previous year had taken part, including top brands. “We were delighted,” she added, noting that TrendSet was held in accordance with the applicable hygiene standards and subject to the hygiene concept of Messe München.

These tradefairs were all able to go ahead because the national ban imposed on major events by the Federal Government and the States on 17 June, which will continue to be in force until end of the year 2020, does not relate to tradefairs, but explicitly to events where it is not possible to trace contacts and comply with hygiene regulations. These include festivals, major sporting events with spectators and major concerts.

The Locations of Messe München continue to monitor developments in connection with Covid-19 closely on a daily basis. The health of its visitors, exhibitors and employees remains its top priority.

Messe München and other Bavarian tradefair companies’ safety and hygiene concept have now been officially ratified by the Bavarian state government.

The health and safety concept is, essentially, based on three pillars:

  • Social distancing
  • Hygiene
  • Traceability of all participants

The most important points include the general rule of observing 1.5 metres distance over the whole fairground. Where this distance cannot be maintained, and generally indoors, a mask is mandatory. The traceability of all participants is guaranteed by pre-registration and the admission system.

Further information can be found on the Messe München website under the following links:

So, it is clear there are plenty of safeguards, top-notch facilities and flexibility for staging events at the Locations of Messe München and management has completed a project designed to collate the learnings from the virtual events held during the last few months. They have published a White Paper (Digital Events Lessons Learned from Messe München) on  how to create effective programmes and it can be accessed here.

The White Paper illustrates how the team at Messe München navigated the storm, and implemented a range of experiences through the Summer (IFAT Impact, ISPO Re.Start, IAA Concept Release, ‘Let’s Talk’ by automatica, to name a few) and learned a lot of lessons along the way. They are lessons the team wishes to share more broadly with the industry.

The White Paper walks the reader through the answers to frequently asked questions and the logistics of holding such events.


If you would like to find out more about best practices for your own event and the numerous event possibilities offered by the Locations of Messe München, please contact their Sales Team. They look forward to providing you with comprehensive advice and support for your future events in Covid-19 times and to showing you why Munich is one of the most beautiful and safest cities in Germany.

Phone: +49 (0)89 949 20631


Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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