Three of us - motion control tech editor Joe Ogando, design News publisher Joan Kelly and myself - are headed to the Hanover Fair toward the end of next week. The April 16-20 extravanganza features 6,000 exhibitors from 60 countries, but we've yet to hear about many new product introductions. But invariably, we will.
Below is a brief history at Hannover Fair turns 70. It's pretty interesting. What also makes the Hannover Fair different is its political awareness and statements on social issues like climate change (also, see below…source: Hannover Fair press release). Can you imagine CES talking abouit politics or global warming!? Germans are not afraid to speak their minds.
First, the history…from Sardines to Steel.
(Hannover, Germany) — 18 August 1947 is a landmark date in the history of Europe's post-war business culture. On that day 60 years ago the first "Hannover Export Fair" was born, which subsequently entered the annals of history as the "Sardine Sandwich Show" (because each one of the 700,000 visitors was welcomed at the door with a sardine sandwich). This event laid the foundation stone for today's HANNOVER MESSE, and consequently for the great success story that the Hannover Exhibition Centre has become.
Second, the politics….
Now as in earlier years, the Fair is influenced by political developments. Before German reunification the dominant factor influencing events was East–West relations. Now it is the growing impact of globalization. For decades HANNOVER MESSE ignored the existence of the Iron Curtain and forged political and economic alliances that outlasted the Cold War. Following reunification, attention turned to the markets of Eastern Europe. In the years before that, newly established EU member countries such as Portugal and Greece took their first steps inside a united Europe through the presence of their exhibiting companies at HANNOVER MESSE. And Austria was chosen as the official HANNOVER MESSE Partner Country in the year before it joined the EU.
And third, the politiics….
Topical Issues: Climate Change and Product Piracy
Today the HANNOVER MESSE agenda is shaped by the international debate about issues such as the growing demand for energy, the export or retention of manufacturing jobs, protection against product piracy and the shortage of young skilled workers to fill the vacancies in industry. Mindful of its role, Deutsche Messe consciously gives these problems a high-profile platform and invites discussion and answers in forums such as the World Energy Dialogue, congresses on a vast range of themes and a whole series of impressive special displays.