Trade shows and events in Dortmund picking up speed

A hot summer of events awaits – top-class highlights eagerly anticipated

The event professionals at Messe Dortmund and the Westfalenhalle are gearing up for a strong upswing in trade shows – with numerous own-brand exhibitions and third-party hostings – plus an entire event offering also featuring a large number of musical mega-events. Following two years of enforced downtime during Covid, when only a few physical exhibitions and live events were permitted, the desire and the need for face-to-face encounters are now greater than ever. For exhibitors, trade visitors and members of the public, the dropping of restrictions finally brings a welcome opportunity to re-establish contacts and get up to speed again. Culture vultures and music fans can look forward to great entertainment with straightforward travel options and a relaxed time at the venue.

Dortmund, 22 April 2022 – The German Comic Con kicks things off on 23 and 24 April with entertainment for the whole family. Shortly after this, BOE connect LIVE will follow under the banner of 'Fascination. Inspiration. Innovation.', attracting trade visitors in the event sector to Dortmund on 4 and 5 May. Packaging and logistics professionals will be noting two major diary dates on 18 and 19 May: EMPACK, the nationwide packaging industry trade show, and LOGISTICS & DISTRIBUTION, the regional trade show for intralogistics and material flows.

JAGD & HUND in June ... and the 'SPIEL DOCH!' board games show moves to Dortmund

The Hund & Katz show will be open to the public from 27 to 29 May, turning Messe Dortmund into a huge paradise for cat and dog lovers. In the middle of the year, JAGD & HUND, Europe's largest hunting show, will re-start between 7 and 12 June. Almost simultaneously, the hot topic of online security will be the subject of the Cyber Security Fairevent. Three top-class trade shows SOLIDS, RECYCLING-TECHNIK and PUMPS & VALVES will follow on seamlessly between 22 and 23 June. The SPIEL DOCH! show for board games and card games is moving from to Dortmund from nearby Duisburg, opening its doors to the general public for the first time at Messe Dortmund between 1 and 3 July. The non-computer games show is aimed particularly at families and casual players. The focus of the three-day show will include this year's innovations as well as popular classics, and from 2023 onwards SPIEL DOCH! will be a standard feature of the spring calendar in Dortmund. 

In August, two events will focus on the important matter of sustainability: The 'Nachhaltige Beschaffung' trade day on sustainable procurement will be held on 25 August, followed the next day by FAIR FRIENDS, Germany's largest sustainability show.

No restrictions: face coverings and visitor limits no longer compulsory

Even though maximum visitor numbers and the compulsory wearing of face coverings have been consigned to history along with Germany's '3G' rule (vaccinated, tested or recovered) and even stricter '2G' requirements, Westfalenhallen Unternehmensgruppe – which owns and operates the Messe Dortmund and Westfalenhalle complex – is keeping certain key basic hygiene protection measures in place, retaining maximum fresh-air ventilation and disinfectant dispensers throughout the event area. The 63,000 sqm of space in nine halls and the extensive 80,000 sqm open-air area also offer ideal space capacities for applying social distancing rules to best effect, and minimising the risk of infection. Chief show organiser Sabine Loos said, “We are appealing to our exhibitors' and visitors' sense of responsibility to continue to observe recommended social distancing. Beyond that, however, we are not planning any restrictions.”

Travelling to Dortmund is also becoming less complicated for international guests now that the German government has significantly eased entry requirements to Germany: No country anywhere in the world is classified as a Covid risk area any more, and quarantine and registration obligations are almost entirely eliminated. Travellers from other EU countries need only carry proof of full vaccination plus a negative Covid rapid test result (max. 48 hours old) or certificate of convalescence from Covid (max. 90 days old). As far as vaccines are concerned, Germany accepts all vaccines licensed in the EU, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

Longer-term trade show plans including two superb new shows

From 15 to 17 September, InterTabac, the world's largest trade show for tobacco products and smoking accessories, and InterSupply, which focuses on the corresponding manufacturing processes, are expecting to crack a new visitor record following the record-breaking 13,800 trade visitors who attended the twin shows last time in 2019. Having been cancelled twice due to Covid, the twin shows are set for a big comeback this autumn/fall with a greatly expanded supporting programme.

INTERLOOK will open its doors at Messe Dortmund on 3 and 4 September 2022 – since its inception, this ophthalmic optics trade show in the heart of North Rhine Westphalia has brought together exhibitors and trade visitors, offering a compact overview of the key trends, ideas and innovations in the world of ophthalmic optics. The vaporist community is set to convene at Messe Dortmund on 5 and 6 November for VapersCom 2022 which will showcase innovations in the e-cigarette and vaping segment.

Also, be sure to note two amazing trade show débuts in your diary, the first one being STRUCTURES INTERNATIONAL – the new show for temporary structures, industrial and storage tents and event marquees plus associated fixtures and fittings – between 8 and 10 November. 

Secondly, Dortmund will be welcoming trade visitors and interested consumers to VertiFarm – the first, and only, show focusing exclusively on Vertical Farming & New Food Systems and acting as a new platform for tomorrow's cultivation methods – between 27 and 29 September.

Enjoying great music and doing great business!

As far as concerts go, the Howard Carpendale 50th anniversary show, André Rieu and the Große Schlagerfestival.XXL presented by Florian Silbereisen in May, legendary band KISS and Udo Lindenberg in June are certainly among the early summer highlights for the fans who have had to do without live events for so long. Another highlight is the European Darts Championship, where the best players on the European circuit will be competing in the Westfalenhalle from 27 to 30 October. The legendary Backstreet Boys, one of the world's most successful boy bands, will also be back on tour in Germany and are scheduled to be on stage in Dortmund on 4 November.

Sabine Loos, Managing Director of Westfalenhallen Unternehmensgruppe which owns and operates the venue complex, is looking forward to the large number of upcoming events, saying, “Expectations are high everywhere you look. There is much to suggest that the quality of visitors will be very high, especially to the trade shows. This is because project enquiries have been piling up, and the resumption of trade shows can now help relieve some of the pressure. Experts are predicting that exhibitors and visitors who choose to make use of these shows now will find it relatively easy to tap into new business potential at present.”