Wolfram N Diener becomes new president & CEO at Messe Düsseldorf

Erhard Wienkamp elected managing director

Wolfram Diener (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Andreas Wiese)
Wolfram Diener (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Andreas Wiese)

On 4 December 2019, the shareholders’ meeting of Messe Düsseldorf, presided over by the Chairman, Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel, appointed Wolfram N Diener (55) as the new president and chief executive officer and Erhard Wienkamp (61) as the new managing director, Operative Trade Fair Business, Messe Düsseldorf. The shareholders’ meeting was followed with the recommendation of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf. In his new position, Diener succeeds Werner M Dornscheidt (65), who will retire at the end of June 2020, after almost 17 years at the helm of the Düsseldorf trade fair company. Diener will take up his post on 1 July 2020. Wienkamp will succeed Hans Werner Reinhard (49), who left the company on 30 September 2019, as operative managing director on 1 January 2020.

“Markets are shifting and the world is becoming more international, more digital and complex. With their many years of trade fair experience worldwide, Wolfram N. Diener and Erhard Wienkamp are the ideal torchbearers to lead Messe Düsseldorf into the future. They stand for both renewal and continuity,” Dornscheidt said.

The Board of Management at Messe Düsseldorf has become leaner as a result of the personnel changes. Alongside Diener as president and chief executive officer, Wienkamp will be the only managing director, Operative Trade Fair Business, Messe Düsseldorf. Bernhard J Stempfle, responsible for finance and technology, completes the management team. Geisel welcomed this restructuring and said, “Messe Düsseldorf will have a streamlined, powerful, and above all, an expert management team that will give the company the necessary agility to face the future in these times of digitalization, global challenges and growing responsibility.” Geisel believes this guarantees the strategic positioning of the trade fair, thus providing continuity both in terms of addressing customers and generating a positive economic impact for the state capital.

Diener will continue to be responsible for the operational projects he has managed since joining the company in 2018 – the global portfolio of health and medical technologies with the trade fairs Medica, CompaMed and RehaCare International; the global portfolio of metals and flow technologies with the trade fairs GIFA, ThermProcess, NewCast, Valve World Expo, METEC, wire, and Tube. He will also handle the portfolio of beauty with the trade fairs Beauty Düsseldorf and Top Hair – Die Messe; the portfolio of glass technologies with the trade fairs glasstec and tasc; the portfolio of occupational safety and health with A+A – Safety, Security and Health at Work, as well as the portfolio of caravanning and outdoor with Caravan Salon Düsseldorf and TourNatur.

In addition, he will be responsible for the global portfolio of plastics and rubber with the world-leading trade fair, K and also for the departments of international business, corporate communications, protocol and events, human resources, legal and insurance, internal auditing as well as affiliates and subsidiaries.

A graduate of business administration, Diener was responsible for the Asian trade fair operations of Messe Frankfurt from the end of the 1990s as managing director. In 2001, he joined the management at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. After various management positions with Asian trade fair and congress companies, he successfully worked as a member of the management board at UBM Asia in Hong Kong until 2018.

Erhard Wienkamp elected managing director

Erhard Wienkamp (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Andreas Wiese)
Erhard Wienkamp (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Andreas Wiese)

Wienkamp takes over the projects of Hans Werner Reinhard as managing director of Operative Trade Fair Business – the global portfolio of processing and packaging with the world’s leading trade fair, interpack; the portfolio of wine and spirits with ProWein, the portfolio of print technologies with drupa; the portfolio of retail and retail technologies with EuroShop and EuroCIS as well as the portfolio of boating and watersport events with boot Düsseldorf. He also takes on the departments of corporate strategic development and market research. An executive director at Messe Düsseldorf since 2002, Wienkamp will continue to be responsible for partner and guest events, official participation, special events, and international trade fair management.

An economics graduate, Wienkamp joined Messe Düsseldorf in 1993 after working in the Foreign Trade Department of the Federation of German and Foreign Trade (Bundesverband des Deutschen Groß- und Außenhandels) in Bonn and the German-Argentinian Chamber of Commerce in Buenos Aires. As project director at Messe Düsseldorf, he was initially responsible for the leading international trade fairs K and interpack, among others, later heading up the foreign division. “For more than 25 years, I have been a driving force behind the development of Messe Düsseldorf. I am delighted to be able to use my national and international trade fair experience as a managing director of Operative Trade Fair Business for the company,” Wienkamp said.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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