drupa 2008, Solving a Complex Puzzle: An Interview with Werner M. Dornscheidt
Werner Matthias Dornscheidt has been board chairman of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH since January 2004. With a degree in hotel and business management, Dornscheidt has held various positions since 1979 at Düsseldorf Messegesellschaft, NOWEA International, and other convention companies. He served as deputy general manager of Messe Düsseldorf International from 1990 to 1999; and, as chairman of the management board, ran Leipziger Messe GmbH from 1999 to 2003.
Q: There are already indications that drupa 2008 will surpass the record-breaking drupa event back in 2000. In what respects?
Dornscheidt: drupa’s history goes back over 50 years, and since the closing date for exhibitor applications on October 31, 2006, it has been clear that drupa 2008 will be the largest yet. The exhibition grounds are totally booked up, with some 170,000 square meters of show space and 1,800 exhibitors. There isn’t even one square meter of space left in the newly built Hall 8b, next to Hall 8a at the north end of the convention grounds. For an idea of the total show space, just imagine an area the size of about 40 soccer fields. What’s more, we are expecting 400,000 visitors, over 50 percent of them from outside Germany.
Q: When will the final number of exhibitors be known?
Dornscheidt: We know right now that the current figure of 1,800 will increase, partly because a lot of exhibitors are combined in applications from the Ministries of Economic Affairs of individual countries. They won’t be listed as separate exhibitors until the building layouts have been finalized. We can’t announce the actual number until September 2007 because of the planning and allocation process.
Q: Why was there such a long period of time between the early application deadline and the final notification for exhibitors that they had been accepted?
Dornscheidt: The procedures I just mentioned illustrate one of the core competencies of the Messe Düsseldorf organization: superior service. We are currently conducting stand information meetings with exhibitors, both here in Düsseldorf and around the world, in the customers’ own countries. After all, each and every exhibitor deserves optimum service and the best show space in line with his needs. We take time for these personal interviews. It’s like putting together the pieces of a complex puzzle: finding the right hall and the right environment for individual companies, some of which of course are competitors.