Germany's oldest foreign trade fair company IMAG is turning 70 years old
Pioneers Leading with Tradition
On December 7, 2016 Germany's oldest foreign trade fair company will be celebrating its 70th birthday. IMAG, a subsidiary of Messe München, has already been involved in more than 5,000 international trade fairs and exhibitions since its founding in 1946. It is currently experiencing strong growth in Iran and is opening up the African continent with new trade fairs in Kenya and Nigeria.
When IMAG was established, the German economy had to rebuild itself and did not yet focus on exporting its goods. Even then, though, IMAG was a pioneer for foreign trade fairs. It initially organized joint stands and trade fairs of German companies. Among them were large industrial exhibitions like TECHNOGERMA as well as contributions to five EXPOs. Today, IMAG also organizes its own trade fairs, for which IMAG holds a trademark.
Organizing trade fairs, taking up different roles
Today, IMAG is still an official organizer of joint stands. At the request of associations, various state and federal ministries support German companies at selected foreign trade fairs. These companies present themselves under one umbrella, such as "Made in Germany" as a country pavilion. On behalf of the ministries, IMAG is responsible for the entire organization of this participation.
However, the main activities of IMAG meanwhile lie in the organization and operation of entire trade fairs or trade fair participations abroad. Since 2003, for example, IMAG has been the European co-organizer of the world's largest automobile fair: Auto Shanghai. For several years, IMAG has been organizing the participation of German companies at the Chinese machine tool trade fair CIMT. In 2015, there were about 200 exhibitors on almost 9,000 square meters.
Trade fairs for which IMAG itself is the organizer include IranConMin (since 1994), analytica Vietnam (since 2009) and ConMin West Africa in Nigeria (start: 2017). Peter Bergleiter, Managing Director of IMAG, says: "We are and have always been pioneers and go with our trade fairs where markets start to become interesting for international companies."
IMAG is primarily active in countries where there is no subsidiary of Messe München. IMAG is currently active in 13 countries: Algeria, China, India, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The trade fair topics are building and construction machinery, environmental technology and analysis, as well as automotive and production machines.
"We advise companies, no matter what size, in the selection of foreign trade markets. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are sometimes unsure when dealing with foreign cultures and are therefore grateful if they are accompanied by experts," says Bergleiter. "Particularly abroad, it is important to establish personal contacts with potential customers, dealers and sales partners."
IMAG supports Messe München abroad
Since 1981, IMAG has been a subsidiary of Messe München and has a number of different responsibilities. "For example, we recognize new market opportunities abroad at an early stage in order to quickly enter the markets with the appropriate format," says Bergleiter. "We have set up the foreign business of Messe München in India and China in a consultative and preparatory manner."
IMAG has also prepared the purchase of the Russian construction machinery trade fair CTT. Since 2005, IMAG has been the partner of today's fifth-largest construction machinery trade fair, which had previously still been held on discarded airport grounds.
The contacts generated over the years abroad also benefit the events in Munich, such as in the form of delegation trips and trade fair participation.
A journey in pictures can be found at: www.imag.de/en/70years.
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