International Hardware Fair 2024: Strong appearance and a return to the old venue date - FASTENER EUROPE MAGAZINE
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International Hardware Fair 2024: Strong appearance and a return to the old venue date

·      Leading global trade fair impresses 38,000 trade visitors from 133 countries
·      Over 90 percent share of foreign exhibitors
·      Dynamic atmosphere in the exhibition halls
·      Industry demonstrates its innovative power
·      New schedule for 2026 confirmed

The EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair, which was staged in Cologne from 3 to 6 March 2024, once again proved to be the place-to-be as well as the central business and communication platform for the global hardware industry. After the special edition in the autumn of 2022, the leading global trade fair returned to its regular venue date in March this year. More than 3,200 exhibitors from 54 countries presented the current trends and new products in the tools and accessories, industrial supply, fixing and fastening technology, building supplies and home improvement sections. In spite of diverse public transport strikes, 38,000 trade visitors from 133 countries made their way to Cologne. The next edition of the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair Cologne is scheduled to take place from 3 to 6 March 2026.

After four successful trade fair days, the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair closed its doors on Wednesday, 6 March 2024. After making a strong appearance, the trade fair impressively confirmed its position as the number one event of the hardware industry. The event particularly displayed further growth with regards to its internationality: 92 percent of the exhibiting companies and over 70 percent of the trade visitors came from abroad. The high quality of the visitors and the first-class supporting and event programme, which offered plenty of opportunity for a professional exchange, were equally impressive. The personal encounters at the exhibition stands led to the development and expansion of business partnerships and to successful business transactions.

"We are highly satisfied with the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair 2024. Our supporting programme went down very well and all of the exhibiting companies praised the excellent quality of the visitors," stated Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. "The trade fair underpinned its relevance as the key meeting point for industry trends and product innovations not least with formats like the popular EISENaward. The positive response and the return of many companies confirm that the March date fits in perfectly with the innovation cycle of the industry," Frese continued.

Thomas Dammann, Chief Executive Director of the Central Association of the Hardware Trade e.V. (ZHH), emphasised the significance of the trade fair for the specialised trade: "In times of scarce resources and the current challenges, the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair 2024 gave the specialised trade and B2B sector a very comprehensive overview of the European and international market for the tools and hardware industry. For the specialised trade it primarily served as a platform for new products, personal contacts and the consolidation of partnerships without failing to keep an eye on the trends and new suppliers. As the most important networking platform of the hardware industry, the trade fair convinced once again and has the potential to grow even further in terms of the diversity of its exhibitors - not only at international, but also at European level."

The EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair is the global display window of the tool industry. But it is not only a display window for high-quality products, the most innovative minds and creative ideas also come together here to shape the future of our industry," Stefan Horst, Chief Operating Officer of the German Tool Manufacturers Association, commented.

Sustainability, multifunctionality and digitalization are on trend
The EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair served as an important trend barometer for the hardware industry in 2024 again. As such, there was an increased focus on among others the theme sustainability. Manufacturers are increasingly relying on renewable energies for their production and optimising their supply chains as well as paying attention to the recycling of packaging and old tools. Beyond this a trend towards multifunctional tools is recognizable. Current new products such as multifunctional pliers, rotating multi-purpose ladders or mini chain saws are suitable for a host of different applications. The theme digitalization was also present in the exhibition halls - from the digital features of spirit levels and protractors to "intelligent" compressors with a WiFi connection, through to the smart door cylinder.

EISENaward 2024 selects three winners
Trends and innovations were also the focus of the EISENaward 2024 powered by ZHH. The coveted prize was presented at the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair for the seventh time already, once again in cooperation with the ZHH. A star-studded jury selected this year's three prize winners from among the more than 50 products submitted and the winners were presented with their awards during the festive award ceremony. All ten nominated products were showcased to the trade audience in a special area.

The winners included among others the VersaMAG of the company C. & E. FEIN. The permanent magnet with a vice enables the toolless tightening of parts on magnetic surfaces and ensures a secure grip in a wide range of work situations. The new cardboard cartridge by Pronova Dichtstoffe was a further prize winner. In contrast to conventional plastic cartridges the body of the cartridge totally comprises of paper so that the plastic waste is reduced by 80 percent. A further winner was the company HAZET with its torque screwdrivers 6004CT and 6005CT. These convince among others with a large digital numeric display, a unique free running mechanism as well as a left/right and fixed changeable "ratchet function".

New schedule for 2026
In 2026 the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair Cologne will be held from 3 to 6 March, at the fair grounds of Koelnmesse again. The new exhibition dates are accompanied by a new schedule: Instead of running as previously from Sunday to Wednesday, in future the leading global trade fair will be staged from Tuesday until Friday. The EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair is thus accommodating the wishes of the industry for a stronger focus on the business days.

The EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair in figures
Over 3,200 companies from 54 countries, 92 percent of whom came from abroad, participated in the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair Cologne 2024. Taking estimates for the last day of the trade fair into account, 38,000 visitors from 133 countries attended the EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair. The international share of trade visitors was 70 percent. 

Koelnmesse – industry trade fairs for the hardware sector: As a top international trade fair organizer, Koelnmesse is the global market leader in organizing events for the hardware/ironware segment. It hosts the leading international event EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne at its trade fair grounds in Cologne, where Asia-Pacific Sourcing also showcases products, innovations and trends for homes and gardens from the Far East. In addition to the events at its Cologne headquarters, Koelnmesse is expanding its portfolio internationally in key markets: The China International Hardware Show in Shanghai, the International Hardware Fair Italy in Bergamo and the International Hardware Fair India in New Delhi are bespoke events and leading trade fairs for the region with international participation. They create the foundation for sustainable, international business for their participants and bring together supply and demand within the sector with a carefully targeted approach: 

Koelnmesse celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2024. 100 years in which Koelnmesse has brought people and markets together worldwide. 100 years in which it has constantly reinvented itself with a visionary zest for the future. Further information can be found from