Our history

Our history


Foundation of the company

The company was founded in 1982 in Remshalden near Stuttgart under the name MESAGO Messe und Ausstellungsorganisationsgesellschaft mbH and managed by Klaus Hilligardt. At the outset, the company had four employees. Its first event, Haus-Energietechnik, which focused on energy technology, was staged at the exhibition grounds in Sindelfingen.


Premiere of SMT ES&S Hybrid

SMT ES&S Hybrid, today known as SMTconnect, was launched in Sindelfingen in 1987. The event has gone on to become Europe’s leading exhibition and congress for system integration in micro electronics. As a gathering for industry experts, the former SMT Hybrid Packaging showcases the entire range of assembly and connection technologies.


Joseph Rath becomes President

In 1988, Joseph Rath joined Mesago as President. Together with founder Klaus M. Hilligardt, he managed the company, which at that time had seven employees.

That same year, Mesago relocated from Remshalden to its new facilities in Stuttgart’s Rotebühlstrasse, directly across from Feuersee lake.

EMV opens its doors

In 1988, Mesago initiated EMV, Europe’s leading exhibition and congress for electromagnetic compatibility, in Karlsruhe.

The event was held every two years until 1996 and after that, annually. Since 2004, EMV has been staged alternately at the exhibition grounds in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart.

From 2020: EMV is now taking place in the change between Cologne and Stuttgart.


SPS IPC Drives demonstrates its potential

In 1990, what is now the leading exhibition in electrical automation technology opened its doors in Sindelfingen under the names “Europe SPS/PC ‘90” and “Drives ‘90”.

The venue was changed to Nuremberg in 1997. Until 2018 it was known as SPS IPC Drives and offers a comprehensive market overview of all components, right through to complete systems and integrated automation solutions.


Mesago becomes part of the Messe Frankfurt Group

In 2002, Mesago joined the global network of the Messe Frankfurt Group, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main.

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress, and event organizer with its own exhibition grounds. Its wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel, and food services.

Acquisition of PCIM

In 2002, PCIM was integrated into the Mesago portfolio. The top international power electronics event, consisting of an exhibition and conference, has provided experts with an outstanding platform for dialogue and networking since 1979. Today, under the name PCIM Europe, it continues to be known as the summit meeting of the power electronic industry in Nuremberg.

That same year, PCIM hit the international stage, with the foundation of PCIM Asia in Shanghai, China.


President Klaus M. Hilligardt hands over to Joseph Rath

In 2005, Klaus M. Hilligardt left the company and handed over management of Mesago to Joseph Rath.


Johann Thoma joins the board

In April 2007, Johann Thoma joined the Board of Management of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH and its subsidiaries Mesago Messemanagement GmbH and Mesago PCIM GmbH.

The business administration graduate had headed up the HR unit of the Messe Frankfurt Group from early 2000 and had also been a member of the board at Accente Gastronomie Service GmbH, which likewise belongs to the Messe Frankfurt Group, since 2004.


"SPS goes international"

SPS IPC Drives Italia

In the 20th year since its inception, SPS IPC Drives, the leading exhibition in electrical automation technology, moved into international territory:

Industrial Automation Fair Guangzhou (SIAF Guangzhou for short) and SPS/IPC/DRIVES Italia, made their debuts as two new sister events. Mesago Messe Frankfurt’s aim was to establish the successful concept of the automation exhibition abroad.

More information on the company: 61 employees

Joseph Rath leaves the company

In 2010, the long-standing President of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH and Mesago Messemanagement GmbH, Joseph Rath, left the company. In the preceding years, he had increasingly focused on foreign operations at Mesago and helped the SPS events in China (SIAF internationalization project, Guangzhou) and Italy take their first steps.


Mesago integrates new PARKEN exhibition into its portfolio


Since 2011, Mesago has been responsible for organizing and holding PARKEN, Germany’s only exhibition dedicated to parking space management and collaborates closely with the German parking association (Bundesverband Parken e.V.) as the event’s conceptual sponsor. Every two years since 1997, PARKEN has provided a comprehensive overview of current trends, issues, and products relating to stationary traffic and is considered a must-attend event in the industry.

A conference of the Germany parking association is held alongside the exhibition.

Petra Haarburger joins the Board of Management

Petra Haarburger joins the Board of Management

Petra Haarburger joined the Board of Management of Mesago Messe Frankfurt and its subsidiaries Mesago Messemanagement and Mesago PCIM in 2011.

The economics graduate joined Mesago in 2009 and was responsible for international brand management until taking up her position on the Board of Management.


Must-see event launched in Frankfurt am Main: formnext


November 2015 marked the premiere of formnext in Frankfurt am Main. With its unique combination of additive manufacturing and conventional technologies, the leading international exhibition in this field presents the next generation of intelligent industrial manufacturing. It focuses on efficiently implementing product ideas – from initial designs all the way to series production.

The supporting program focuses on the latest trends and issues in Additive Manufacturing along with effective ways of integrating it into process chains in industrial production.

SPS IPC Drives continues its success story in India and China

Smart Industry Solutions India

SPS Automation India was launched as an international sister event in 2015 and continues the successful concept of the world-renowned SPS IPC Drives exhibition in the automation market of India. The new event is held in cooperation with Messe Frankfurt India. In 2017, it was renamed Smart Industry Solutions India. The venue is Mumbai.

Smart Industry Solutions Shanghai

That same year, SPS IPC Drives also raised its profile in China and established Smart Industry Solutions in Shanghai.


Management Board of Mesago with new dual leadership

Martin M. Roschkowski new president of Mesago

As of February 1, 2016, new President Martin M. Roschkowski took over the helm from Johann Thoma at both Mesago Messe Frankfurt and at its subsidiaries Mesago Messemanagement/Mesago PCIM, managing the company jointly with Petra Haarburger. The electrical engineering graduate has technical background knowledge and many years of sales experience in a management role. In his earlier function, Roschkowski was responsible for exhibitions in Germany and abroad as an exhibitor.

Following nine years in charge of Mesago, Johann Thoma returned to his old domain on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.


Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Change of company name

The merger of Mesago subsidiaries Mesago Messemanagement GmbH and Mesago PCIM GmbH into Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH became legally effective as of June 1, 2017.
All events are now integrated into the portfolio of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

Further information: 140 employees



SMT Hybrid Packaging evolves into SMTconnect


SMTconnect has two main goals: tapping into growth potential and reaching new target groups. It does so by focusing on contract manufacturing of electronic assemblies and systems. While companies are already working in this area, stronger efforts are currently being made to promote it. Meanwhile, SMTconnect's fresh, contemporary image is designed to appeal to younger generations, as well.


Happy Heslach, another example of Mesago's social involvement


Mesago joins Gebrüder Schmid Zentrum, Mütterzentrum Süd, and a great many citizens of Stuttgart in celebrating the fall festival Happy Heslach at one of the city's multigeneration homes. People of all ages are invited to come and enjoy the golden season. The event's multicultural entertainment program offers plenty to see and hear, along with a vibrant marketplace featuring various delicacies and autumnal products – a number of which are made and sold by Mesago volunteers in cooperation with GSZ and Mütterzentrum Süd. The proceeds benefit GSZ Stuttgart.


SPS IPC Drives becomes SPS


On November 30, 2018, SPS IPC Drives shortens its name to SPS (Smart Production Solutions). The trade show's original name consisted of three separate components, namely programmable logic controllers (German: speicherprogrammierbare Steuerungen), industrial PCs, and electric drive systems. These days, however, SPS covers a much broader range of solutions for forward-thinking automation. It also reflects the industry's digital transformation and the technical advancements achieved in recent years, which is a key part of how the event maintains its relevance and professional atmosphere.



SIAF celebrates 10 years of success

SPS Industrial Automation Fair Guangzhou

The 10th SPS Industrial Automation Fair (SIAF) Guangzhou takes place on March 10-12. Established as the first SPS brand in 2010, the rise of SIAF has been an impressive one: The event has grown from 317 exhibitors, 16,715 attendees, and 5,200 square meters in 2009 to 724 exhibitors, 84,133 attendees, and around 17,000 square meters in 2019.



The leading trade show for smart and digital automation celebrated its thirtieth edition. Start-ups and global market leaders alike used the platform in Nuremberg to showcase their products and solutions to expert exhibition visitors.


Mesago's first digital platform: Power & Beyond


Together with ngn - new generation network, a subsidiary of the Vogel Communication Group, Mesago created a content platform on power electronics. Delivering content on power electronics 365 days a year and staying connected to the industry are the main goals of Power & Beyond - The Platform for Power Electronics. This creates a bridge between the "live event", PCIM Europe, and the digital world.




The corona pandemic created new challenges for the trade show industry. Physical events were cancelled, postponed or rethought. Mesago expanded its digital and hybrid events as well as other communication formats.


Servparc digital, EMV goes digital, PCIM Europe digital days, SMTconnect goes digital, Formnext connect and SPS connect took place this year as digital formats. Mesago set up its own webcast studio in which various digital formats were produced in-house.

EMV goes digital in March


EMV goes digital took place over five days as a digital format and brought together around 1,000 active users, 29% of whom were from abroad. An important component, analog to the face-to-face event in Stuttgart, were the workshops, in which speakers offered interactive and practical solutions to questions from the field of electromagnetic compatibility. In particular, the workshop "Practical solutions to immunity problems" by Sven König, development engineer at Langer EMV-Technik GmbH, was very popular.



Successful debut of Formnext + PM South China.


The debut of Formnext + PM South China at Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center, was held physically on Sept. 11, 2021. The first edition of the show, attracted 199 exhibitors and 9,330 visitors. After three days of bustling activity at a 15,000 square meter exhibition center, the first Formnext + PM South China ended with great enthusiasm and solidified its place as one of the region's leading trade shows for additive manufacturing, powder metallurgy, design, software and processing technologies.


Formnext 2021


In its seventh year as a trade show, Formnext 2021 welcomed the global AM community and, after last year's digital-only event, continued last year's very successful development. With numerous world premieres along the entire process chain, Formnext impressively presented the ever-growing fields of application and the enormous future potential of additive manufacturing from November 16 - 19, 2021 in Frankfurt am Main. It also presented important answers to urgent industrial issues of the future such as decentralized production, secure process chains, efficiency and sustainability. The entire industry was euphoric and incredibly happy to be able to meet and exchange ideas in person again.

Leading Additive Manufacturing Trade and Media Organizations Unite, Launch of Formnext USA Chicago in Spring 2025


Mesago Messe Frankfurt the organizers of Formnext and Messe Frankfurt North America announced a strategic partnership with AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and Gardner Business Media. The new show created an  event in the United States dedicated to all aspects of industrial additive manufacturing.


Sound on. Power on. The first PCIM podcast starts


The first episode of the PCIM Europe podcast "Sound on. Power on." on the topic of "Future Trends in Power Electronics" started: Guests include Dr. Frede Blaabjerg from the Danish Aalborg University, Professor of Power Electronic Systems, a real expert in the field of Energy Technology. With Prof. Dr. Marco Jung from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, the PCIM has also gained another power electronics expert as a moderator.



SMT Insights on air: compact, digital, focused


SMT Insights on air, the digital side event of SMTconnect, puts the future of electronics manufacturing in the spotlight. In short presentations, national and international experts from the industry will provide possible answers to the question "Where is the journey heading?" The first edition of the event series focused on the topic of sustainability.

Premiere - PCIM Europe Open Days


On 14.02.2022, the PCIM Europe Open Days celebrated their premiere. They combined live moderation from the Mesago studio, pre-recorded videos interviews with internal experts as well as subsequent live question  sessions on each video.

SPS Industry News – new offer for our customers


SPS Industry News offers exciting news and articles on current automation topics. A large part of this is made up of recorded presentations from the "SPS on air", the digital supplement or livestream from the SPS trade fair in Nuremberg. In the future, interested companies will be able to place paid technical articles in the Industry News sector of the website and Mesago will generate a high reach via its channels.



Industrial Automation: Mesago Brand SPS expands to the USA


The world's central trade fair platform for the industrial automation industry is the SPS - Smart Production Solutions, organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt. In view of its international success this leading trade event will now also gain a foothold in the US market. The SPS brand will be premiering in the region as the "Automation Sector powered by SPS" as part of IMTS 2024, before a stand-alone trade show is held in Atlanta in 2025.