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History of GHM and its trade fairs

Ludwig Erhard at Internationale Handwerksmesse in 1955

1948: The "Verein für Handwerks-Ausstellungen und Messen e.V." ("Association of Skilled Craft Exhibitions and Trade Fairs") was founded in Munich on October 15th 1948. According to its articles of association, its purpose is "to organise, within the scope permitted by law, exhibitions and trade fairs or involvement in such events both in Germany and abroad so as to promote the skilled crafts."


1949: The Munich "Handwerksmesse" was the first trade fair to be organised by the Association of Skilled Craft Exhibitions and Trade Fairs. In 1950 it was renamed "Deutsche Handwerksmesse" and in 1962 it was finally given its present-day title of "Internationale Handwerksmesse" (IHM).


1955: Organisation of the International Trade Fair for Dry Cleaning and Dyeing. The patron of this exhibition was Ludwig Erhard, Federal Minister of Trade and Commerce. 184 companies were represented in three halls. According to a contemporary newspaper article, the approx. 25,000 visitors were especially interested not just in the new cleaning and ironing machines but also the daily fashion shows. Here, dry-cleaned and impregnated rainwear was subjected to a tough weather test by being exposed to artificial drizzle.


1968: The "Verein für Handwerks-Ausstellungen und Messen" was renamed  GHM ("Gesellschaft für Handwerksausstellungen und –messen")




IFH, 1978

1974: The trade fair ROOF + WALL was held for the first time in Munich. In 2008 the leading sector-based trade fairs for roofers and for carpenters (timber construction) were merged under the new name of ROOF + TIMBER INTERNATIONAL.

1976: GHM started to extend its trade fair portfolio outside its home base of Munich with the IKM (Capital Goods Trade Fair for SMEs) in Düsseldorf, and the IFH (Capital Goods Trade Fair for Building Technology) in Nuremberg. GHM organises the IFH every two years on behalf of its sponsor associations -  the Trade Association for HVAC Baden-Württemberg and the Trade Association for HVAC Bavaria.


1977: iba - the world's leading trade fair for bakers and confectioners - was held on its own for the first time in Munich.


1978: Heim+Handwerk was newly developed by GHM. This annual consumer exhibition is traditionally held in Munich at the end of November / beginning of December.



Roof and Timber, 1986

1980: eltec (trade fair for electrical engineering and energy technology) was held for the first time. As of 2005, the eltec cycle was changed from one to two years, and from this time onwards it was only held at the Nuremberg trade fair centre. NürnbergMesse and GHM are the co-organisers.


1984: The international trade fair for paint, design and structural preservation was held for the first time. FARBE, AUSBAU & FASSADE was then held every three years, alternating between Cologne and Munich.


1986: The first trade fair for timber construction was held in Munich. This event for carpenters was originally held every other year, alternating between Lake Constance and the Isar. This did not change until 2008 when the leading trade fairs for roofers and carpenters merged. Since then, DACH+HOLZ International has been organised by GHM every two years in Stuttgart and Cologne.



Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Internationale Handwerksmesse, 2017

2007: GHM acquired the optics trade fair opti and organised it for the first time in January 2008 in the trade fair halls of Munich. This annual event has since developed from being a national trade fair to become one of the leading international platforms for the sector.

2009: Having taken on responsibility for organising iba outside Munich as well, GHM finally took the decision - supported by the trade fair advisory board and the fair's sponsor, the Central Association of German Bakers - to hold the fair in Munich on a regular basis- after 60 years of alternating locations.



as of: 24.08.2019