Koelnmesse celebrates 100th anniversary

To mark its 100th anniversary, Koelnmesse is hosting a grand opening ceremony for Europe’s most cutting-edge event and congress centre: Confex. The technologically and environmentally groundbreaking new building creates new opportunities for innovative event formats in the region. After almost three years of construction, a core element of the one-billion-euro investment programme Koelnmesse 3.0 is launching on schedule.

“For 100 years, Koelnmesse has been a centre for ideas and innovations from all over the world. Confex will secure this special position for the next generation,” says NRW Minister-President Hendrik Wüst on the occasion of the opening. “It was the wish of former Mayor of Cologne and Koelnmesse founder, Konrad Adenauer, that the trade fair should grow into a place of encounter – a place that contributes to understanding between nations, between Germany and neighbouring European countries. That is truly a success."

The centrepiece of the Confex building, with a total size of 20,500 square metres, is the Confex Hall. This hall can be divided into three sections and has space for 4,300 people. There are also two conference levels with 22 rooms, which can be used for a wide array of event formats thanks to the variety of sizes ranging from 27 to 205 square metres. The surrounding entrances to the Confex Hall are directly joined to the foyer, which is bathed in light and offers ample space for receptions, relaxed breaks, presentations and side events. The foyer leads directly onto the 5,600 square metre open-air terrace, the Confex Plaza. As part of one of the world’s largest exhibition centres, Confex is connected to additional, functionally flexible spaces, meaning that additional capacity can be added as necessary.

“With the new opening, Koelnmesse is closing a gap that has existed in our trade fair infrastructure for quite some time. As an especially attractive venue for congresses and hybrid events for over 6,000 guests, Confex will draw entirely new events and target groups to Cologne.

“Completion of the new Confex, a location for trade fairs, congresses and events, creates a facility that provides decisive support to Koelnmesse as it positions its events in the future trade fair world,” says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH.

The new venue is enjoying market success right from the start: Koelncongress, Koelnmesse subsidiary and marketer of Confex, already has bookings and requests until the end of 2029. “Confex will already host its first events in summer 2024. Many of the organisers are coming to Cologne for the first time,” says Koelncongress General Manager Ralf Nüsser.

For 100 years, Koelnmesse has been a lively hub for innovation, trade and international cooperation. The starting shot for establishment of the trade fair came from Konrad Adenauer in 1924. He laid the foundations for its internationally recognised success story. “Confex is a new milestone on this path that has brought companies, people and nations together for ten decades,” Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse emphasises. “Welcome to a world where innovation meets tradition!”