The fast Centre of Germany
The Free State of Thuringia is at the centre of one of Germany’s biggest ever infrastructure development projects.Over €10bn is being invested in the Deutsche Einheit Nr 8 (German Unity No.8) project to build a high-speedrail connection between Berlin and Nuremberg.
With high-speed rail services at Erfurtstation, an ICE hub, and the long-dist -ance road network in all directions being connected to motorway junctions across the Free State, there is no disputing the appeal of Thuringia as a top location for trade shows and conferences. This will be a major boost for Erfurt Messe.
As a commercial location it is characterised by its wide diversity of industries, which can be grouped into five main areas of competence: mechanical and plant engineering, the media and creative industries, horticulture and food products, microsystems technology and optoelectronics, and logistics. Approximately 13,000 firms are based in Erfurt, proving the city’s credentials as an attractive business location. Combined with one of Germany’s most modern transport networks including convenient regional airports, Thuringia is currently in the process of establishing itself as an economic centre in Eastern Germany.
As the state capital of Thuringia, Erfurt benefits from innovative development concepts, recognised scientific and research facilities as well as centres of high-tech industry which form the backdrop for successful events. Favourable transport links and the ambience exuded by the city create ideal conditions for events in the second-largest trade fair centre the new German states have to offer.
In a survey conducted by the Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM, a German think tank), which ranked Germany’s 50 most populous cities according to their dynamism as reflected by development during the period 2006–2011, Erfurt came in 6th place with 55.6 points, well ahead of Berlin and Hamburg.
Erfurt was granted the right to hold fairs in 1331 by Kaiser Ludwig IV. During the 14th and 15th centuries and with a population of approx. 20,000, the city experienced its economic, political and cultural peak becoming a trading site of European renown. The late 15th century saw the city’s economic power wane as key trade routes were relocated to Leipzig which was also awarded the right to stage trade fairs. Not until 1950 did the trade fair tradition manage to reawaken in the form of the “Internationale Gartenbauausstellung”. Thanks to the new Messe Erfurt facility opened 666 years after the trade fair licence was first granted, this modern location has been rewarded with new dynamic development.