Messe Düsseldorf suspends business activities in Russia

March 10, 2022
The host of the K2022 show has converted its largest hall into accommodations for refugees from Ukraine.

In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Messe Düsseldorf, the massive trade fairground, organizer and host of the K2022 show in Düsseldorf, Germany, has suspended its business activities in Russia until further notice — including the activities of its subsidiary, Messe Düsseldorf Moscow. The company also has converted the largest hall at its Düsseldorf venue into accommodations for refugees fleeing the fighting in Ukraine.

In a March 1 statement, Stephan Keller, lord mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf and chairman of the supervisory board of Messe Düsseldorf, said, “The whole city of Düsseldorf is thinking of the people in Ukraine. After we have already put the city partnership between Moscow and Düsseldorf on ice, it is only logical that Messe Düsseldorf, as a subsidiary of the city, also suspends its activities in Russia for the time being.”

Wolfram Diener, CEO and president of Messe Düsseldorf, added, “The current events contradict the mission and values of our company, which is to create international marketplaces for free, cross-border intercultural and economic exchange.”

In a press release, the venue said that with help from the German Red Cross and the Düsseldorf Fire Department, cots were set up within 269,000 square feet of the venue’s Hall 6, as well as partitions to divide the space into smaller rooms. Annika Mester, a spokeswoman with the lord mayor’s office of communication, said in an email that the first refugees from Ukraine arrived in the city Feb. 28. Work began on at Hall 6 on March 7, and the accommodations were occupied by late afternoon that day. Mester said that currently, 900 refugees are accommodated in Hall 6, and capacity will increase to 1,500.

Diener said, “We were very happy to accommodate the request from the Office for Migration and Integration of the City of Düsseldorf. On the day of construction, a large number of colleagues spontaneously lent a hand to make the accommodation possible as quickly as possible. Because we are moved by the fate of the people. And because we are deeply moved by the plight of the refugees. Receiving and accommodating them is a matter of course for us.”

Mester said accommodations for the refugees will not affect K2022 or any other trade shows scheduled at Messe Düsseldorf’s facilities.

“The accommodation of refugees on the Messe Düsseldorf site is planned until the end of April 2022. It will not affect K or other events,” Mester said. “The goal is to keep this as low as possible and to distribute the people to other accommodations or — as the refugees already have contacts in Düsseldorf — to accommodate them privately.”

One feature of Hall 6 is its large window front, which completely surrounds the hall and lets in plenty of daylight. “Thus, it was possible to accommodate a large number of arriving refugees within a very short time,” Mester said.

Messe Düsseldorf’s Hall 6 is equipped with changing rooms and 40 shower stalls, and external shower containers have been brought in to provide more capacity. The company’s catering partner is preparing meals for the refugees, and free Wi-Fi is also being provided.

More Ukraine coverage

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Machinery manufacturers step up to offer aid.

Volatility in the oil market could push resin prices higher.

3D printing companies suspend business in Russia.

FlexBlow shifts its strategy in light of the invasion.

Endeavor Business Media examines the effects on business from multiple angles.

About the Author

David Tillett | Associate Editor

Associate Editor David Tillett writes and edits for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He covers new products, industry news, patents and consumer and business equipment. He has more than 20 years of experience in daily newspaper, online and magazine journalism.