The Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) will soon be opening its doors. MANN+HUMMEL will be there once again with its exhibition stand like so many times before – a tradition dating back to the first IAA held in Frankfurt 62 years ago. It is interesting to see how we have changed the way we present ourselves at this trade fair since those days. Read on to find out how it all began…
The first IAA took place in 1897 at the Hotel Bristol in Berlin, with a grand total of eight motor vehicles exhibited. Of course MANN+HUMMEL did not attend the trade fair back then as our company was only founded in 1941. There were also no component suppliers at the IAA in those days.
Many subsequent IAAs were organised in Berlin, even during the First and Second World Wars. After the war, there was an IAA-style exhibition in Hanover.
The first appearance of MANN+HUMMEL at the IAA
Then in 1951, MANN+HUMMEL featured the first MANN+HUMMEL exhibition stand at the IAA in Frankfurt. It was a stylish stand with top-class, glossy exhibition booth walls. It stood on the first floor gallery of the Festival Hall, which offered a fantastic view over the new car models exhibited on the ground floor.
However, with increasing numbers of exhibitors and car models, it was necessary to move to the ground floor of the same hall in 1967. Here, we had a new, two-tier stand, at the front of which we erected platforms to exhibit an ‘attractive selection of new series filter models, as well as a range of cartridges’.
Three people built the exhibition stand for the IAA themselves
In 1985, the trade fair was completely reorganised. Extensive reconstruction and new building work took place at the exhibition site, so we had to move to the newly built Hall 4 along with other supplier companies.
Our customers and exhibition team voiced a number of concerns: ‘It’s just not the same!’, they exclaimed. In their view, this austere, clinical-looking new hall lacked the ambiance of the old domed building.
Our promotional team, comprised of two people from the publicity department (now Corporate Communications) and an in-house carpenter built the stand themselves.
A layout plan and parts list was drawn up and priced. This itemised how many walls, shelves, cabinets, screws, carpet tiles, logos, etc. were needed. The equipment was stored in the basement before being prepared, packed up, taken to Frankfurt in a truck and set up.
The exhibition stand in 1985 was entirely decked out in green. It had green walls, green platforms and a light green carpet. Back then, we were still called FILTERWERK MANN & HUMMEL GMBH, and the stand carried the MANN-FILTER logo.
In 1987, the design was changed. I had just joined the department and my colleagues were busy with a dry run setting up the new stand in the basement. They wanted to show it to the Management Board and sales team before it was exhibited in Frankfurt. It was completely white with green supports. They were not entirely sure if it looked good, or whether other would like it. It was all white ‘like in a hospital’. It was a risky style choice.
In fact, it did look good, and the exhibition stands were made to look even more stylish in subsequent years.
Style and Design at IAA
In 1993, we appointed our first trade fair construction company. We no longer built the stand ourselves; instead it was designed and built by the construction company.The company had already improved our stand for the Automechanika trade fair the previous year, and it proved a real hit in Hall 5. The exhibits were photographed in a special style, and were displayed on exhibition boards to generate maximum impact. Products were also presented on special pillars. During this time we were called MANN+HUMMEL Automobiltechnik.
Our stand had a bar offering cocktails sporting the company colours, which were named after our various products.
At that time, we still did our own catering for the trade fairs. I took a small delivery van to the wholesaler in Stuttgart where I made the necessary purchases: ham sausage, meat salad, mustard, chipolatas, champagne, wine, beer, and sparkling mineral water – the van was packed to the roof!We had our own company cutlery and crockery, which was first washed and then stored in the kitchen at the exhibition stand.
Our hostesses were the wife and sister-in-law of a colleague from Corporate Communications. During the trade fair, they grated Spaetzle noodles, prepared a Swabian sausage salad and attended to all the needs of customers and the exhibition team.
Nowadays, a catering firm does all of those tasks and provides hostesses in the service area.
At every subsequent IAA, there has been a new stand design, and each time it was possible to say that it looked even better than the last!
IAA – Hall 8
When the economic crisis struck in 2009, the trade fair had to reorganise its booths as many companies chose not to exhibit. This resulted in whole halls remaining unoccupied. After thinking long and hard over whether we should take part, we decided to attend but opted for a smaller exhibition stand. The trade fair offered us a booth in Hall 8. We thought this booth was ideal as it was close to the major German suppliers and a number of OEMs. We have been in Hall 8 ever since.
This year, the Frankfurt Motorshow 2013 will begin on the 12th of September for the trade visitors’ days. The trade fair will then be open for all visitors between the 14th and 22nd of September.
You can find us at stand F2.0 in Hall 8. We look forward to seeing you there!