When we addressed you from here last year, the COVID-19 pandemic still had the world in a stranglehold, and we thought that the future could only get better. That was a tragic miscalculation. With its brutal attack on Ukraine, Russia rocked the foundations of the world order in early 2022, causing unfathomable suffering for millions of people and horrifying devastation in Ukraine while inflicting fear and uncertainty upon many countries around the world. We condemn this assault on international law in the strongest terms, and express our urgent hope that the war in Ukraine will be terminated rapidly. Our thoughts are with the innocent victims of this war.
Being able to meet up with others was definitely one of the greatest desires people had in 2021, the year under report.
This is another reason we chose “Encounters” as a heading for this Annual Report –since being able to meet up with others was definitely one of the greatest desires people had in 2021, the year under report. Making encounters possible is the core of our business as trade fair and congress organisers; it is what we do best and enjoy doing the most.
We are deeply convinced that face-to-face encounters are indispensable for mutual understanding and finding solutions together, and that every exchange of business and expert information is at the same time a form of cultural interaction. Trade fairs and congresses are places which promote international encounters – places where solutions for complex problems are conceived and discussed across all borders.
This did happen at Hamburg Messe und Congress – even in 2021 – if with some restrictions. A total of 29 events, six of them digital and two hybrid, were made possible during the year under report. The vaccination centre, open for eight months and welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors – counting staff – inadvertently turned into a record-breaking event.
We are especially proud at having mustered the courage to premiere PHOTOPIA Hamburg in the midst of the pandemic, under the theme of “Share Your Vision”. We went to great lengths for this innovative live event for the international imaging industry, for example by arranging 350 shipping containers to form an impressive backdrop. With its varied programme comprising elements of art, culture and personal experience, PHOTOPIA Hamburg instantly thrilled the exhibiting companies, the industry audience and countless visitors whose great passion is photography and video filming.
Another great success was celebrated by the ITS World Congress on smart mobility, which, according to the organiser, had never welcomed more visitors in its 35-year history. This was yet more proof that modern mobility must be given a prominent and permanent place on the agenda of Hamburg, which heads the list of German cities in terms of digitalised mobility. We are working on making this a reality.
Another factor which made the mobility congress a very special event in the eyes of Hamburg Messe und Congress was the ITS opening event, which took place in the freshly renovated Hall 1 of the CCH. The CCH – Congress Center Hamburg had been closed in early 2017 to undergo comprehensive revitalisation and modernisation. It was partially opened for the ITS opening event in October 2021 before being fully handed over to Hamburg Messe und Congress by Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher.
With the new congress building, well established trade fairs, newly developed event formats and a growing range of digital options for state-of-the-art hybrid events, we believe we are extremely well positioned to face future challenges, and we are looking forward to 2022 and the years beyond it.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to our employees for their unwavering commitment and willingness to give their best during the two years of pandemic we have now put behind us. Furthermore, we would like to thank our partner and the Supervisory Board for their cooperation in a great spirit of solidarity, their advice and their strong support during this exceptional time.
Now we are looking forward to a well-filled calendar of events, top-flight congresses and crowded exhibition halls at events focused on a broad range of topics, all of which fascinate and connect people. As a platform focused on networking and innovation, we now, more than ever, provide the “ideal connection” after a two-year pandemic! In this report you will learn more about our plans, our activities and what we have in mind. Enjoy watching, scrolling and reading!
Bernd Aufderheide Uwe Fischer
We are especially proud of having mustered the courage to stage PHOTOPIA Hamburg as a premiere in the midst of the pandemic.
The progressive heating of the earth makes climate protection one of the most urgent concerns of our time. And while sustainability not only calls for ecological responsibility but also for economic and social action, utilising resources carefully and minimising CO2 emissions are goals whose urgency puts them at the top of our current agenda. Climate change is an important cause in the trade fair and congress business, as elsewhere. Companies like HMC will only be able to attract and retain customers in future if they demonstrate their active commitment to climate protection and sustainability. In addition, health protection has attained new importance since the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is where you can find the numbers, facts and figures from the unusual business year 2021.