3 / 6 March 2024

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Press Release


+++ 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 digitalisation 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 recognisable. 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 digitalisation 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.

DIY Boulevard: Innovations by the metre
In collaboration with the German Association of Home & Garden Manufacturers e.V. (HHG), the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair presented the very popular DIY Boulevard again this year. With 58 participating companies and measuring 255 metres in length, the presentation area was fully booked long before the start of the event. The manufacturers had the opportunity to present their products on-site in a POS-like environment. In this way, the trade audience experienced an authentic presentation of goods.

EISENforum with a diversified programme
As the central event stage of the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair, the EISENforum once again served as a platform for an industry-relevant exchange of knowledge. Inspiring lectures alternated with exciting panel discussions and distinctions. The presentation programme on the second day of the fair that was curated by the digital expert, Michael Atug, held plenty of renowned speakers in store. The BME Buyers Day organised by the German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME) on the third day of the fair provided valuable insights into the latest developments and strategic approaches of the procurement sector.

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.

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Press Release


From 3 to 6 March 2024, EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair will once again showcase the most innovative ideas in the industry. Over 3,000 companies from 51 countries will present their innovations in the areas of tools, accessories, fixing and fastening technology, and building and DIY supplies in the Cologne exhibition halls. As an international platform for industry exchange, the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is an important trend barometer for the skilled trades and DIY. A glimpse at the current product solutions reveals which topics and innovations are especially worth paying attention to in Cologne.

Tools for the transition: New solutions for sustainable construction
Given the heightened emphasis on climate change, sustainability continues to be a top priority for the hardware industry in the development of new products. For many companies, this begins with their in-house production processes. Manufacturers are adopting measures such as the increased use of renewable energy, streamlining supply chains and recycling of packaging materials and used tools. At the same time, the demands of the energy transition require new solutions. New tools are being specifically developed to simplify the work of professionals in the rapidly expanding solar market. This includes the installation and maintenance of photovoltaic systems, securing them on different roof structures and stripping solar cables. In addition, new anchoring solutions are making the insulation of exterior walls easier by eliminating thermal bridging.

All-in-one: Multifunctional applications
The creativity and innovation of the hardware industry are also reflected in the ongoing optimisation of existing products. Tools and equipment are constantly being enhanced to expand their range of applications, whether it is screwing, cutting, drilling or milling. The latest innovations for professionals now combine various design and functional elements – they include multifunctional pliers, rotating multipurpose ladders, dry and wet drills, and mini circular saws that handle diverse materials. Even screws are being optimised for broader applications and provide reliable grip on a variety of surfaces. Furthermore, the power supply on construction sites has also become multifunctional, with the ability to charge various tools using a single power source.

Increased speed: Better handling
Time is money, especially on construction sites. New products in the hardware industry are designed to improve handling and accelerate work processes, such as systems enabling rapid attachment changes for angle grinders and drills. Drill stands can now be set up and adjusted quickly and flexibly without anchors, while special tools facilitate the quick repair of threads. Other examples of time-saving innovations in the industry include levelling systems with movable plate bases to quickly compensate for floor irregularities and ladder holder sets for roof racks with easy-to-use quick release fasteners.

Everything in view: Improved work organisation
When it comes to working quickly, efficient organisation of tools and accessories is crucial. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the right components immediately at hand. To address this, increasingly sophisticated case and storage systems for transporting tools and small parts are being introduced to the market. Modular designs provide convenient access to tools by combining boxes of different sizes. Sorting systems with intuitive mechanisms are even available for small parts like bits. In addition, new ergonomic tool belts enable quick and easy access. Tool backpacks with a dedicated laptop compartment offer real added value for both manual and mental work, while transport boxes with fireproof cushioning make mobile power sources even safer.

Working smarter: Enhanced precision with digital features
Just like in other areas of life, the hardware industry is significantly influenced by the ongoing digitalisation. The integration of digital features makes it possible to optimise as well as facilitate applications. Traditional analog tools, such as levels and protractors, are now digitally enhanced for greater precision. Smart compressors equipped with WIFI connectivity allow real-time monitoring of operating parameters and timely service alerts. In the area of home construction, sensors and new software simplify planning and control, such as mounting and fastening systems for solar panels. For renovation projects, online tools are used to provide homeowners with recommendations and support. There are also new smart door cylinders for the home on the market that allow convenient app-based access using Bluetooth 5.2 technology.

Press Release


Leading companies from home and abroad confirm their participation at the leading global trade fair for the hardware industry

Cologne, 20th June 2023 – The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne 2024 has already experienced a very good response from the hardware industry during the first months of the registration period. The early bird promotion is a complete success not only internationally with exhibiting companies from 45 countries and a foreign share of 87 percent. Numerous German companies have also already confirmed their participation. Until June 30, 2023, exhibiting companies can secure their stand area at the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair at reduced conditions.

The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is back in its old rhythm: the exhibition will once again open its doors at the usual time, from March 3 – 6, 2024. The start signal has already been given with the early bird promotion.

“The preliminary result of the early bird phase for the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair 2024 gives us plenty of reasons to be extremely positive. We are pleased at the strong interest from abroad and at many German returnees who took a break from the special event in 2022. The high demand confirms the importance of the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair as the most important global platform for the presentation of new products, services, and technologies as well as for maintaining business relationships from the hardware segment. We are very optimistic that we will achieve the planned exhibition area of 165,000 m2 in a total of six exhibition halls,” according to Matthias Becker, Director of the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne.

DIY Boulevard und EISEN Award
The early bird phase already reflects the great interest in the DIY Boulevard: 45 companies have already applied for the presentation area. With the DIY Boulevard, the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair, in cooperation with the Haus & Garten (HHG) manufacturer association, provides companies with the possibility to present their products in an environment close to POS. This means that trade visitors experience an authentic presentation of goods.

The coveted “EISEN Award powered by ZHH” 2024 will also be presented live again. In cooperation with the central association for the hardware trade (ZHH), the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair will embark on a search for outstanding new ideas, inventions, and solutions from the industry. There will also once again be a special area in which the nominated products are presented to the trade public during the trade fair.

Promoting young companies
The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is part of the program established by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) for promoting participation of new, innovative companies in leading international trade fairs in Germany. The exhibition in this way hopes to promote the next generation in trades and industry. Eligible for sponsorship are freelance companies from industry, the trades, or technology-oriented companies that are based in Germany and have existed for no more than ten years. Supported is participation in a pavilion. A share of 60 percent of the expenses for the stand rental fees and construction eligible for support will be assumed.

Lead+Meet brings exhibiting companies and visitors together precisely
Exhibiting companies of the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair 2024 can for the first time use the app of the special event to address important visitor groups in a targeted fashion. Lead+Meet is a digital feature that efficiently, simply, and individually brings together exhibitors and visitors on the fair grounds with personalized push messages that are issued via the improved trade fair app. Lead+Meet enables exhibitors to directly address their most important visitor target groups at the trade fair and invite them to their stand. When purchasing tickets, visitors provide various individual information such as product interests, industry, or country of origin. On the basis of this voluntary information, exhibitors identify the visitors appropriate to their offering. When entering the exhibition hall, the visitors receive a push message with an invitation to the trade fair stand directly on their smartphone via the trade fair app when they have actively selected this option. Via the new indoor navigation in the hall plan of the app, visitors can then quickly and easily find the direct route to the stand. Supply and demand are in this way brought together optimally.

Press Release

Successful relaunch for the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR in Cologne

+++ Around 25,000 visitors from 125 countries +++ Industry celebrates the trade fair’s relaunch after pandemic-related cancellations +++ Over 70 per cent of trade visitors travelled from outside Germany +++ Exhibitors praise high-quality contacts +++ Event’s results exceeded expectations 

After more than four years, the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022 has celebrated a successful comeback in Cologne. Around 1,400 exhibitors from 50 countries took advantage of the opportunity to present their products and innovations to the entire hardware industry again. The spectrum of products presented ranged from tools and accessories to building and DIY supplies all the way through to fasteners, fixings and fittings.

After four successful days of trade fair activity, the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022 has closed its doors in Cologne. With around 25,000 trade visitors from 125 countries, the event returned after a 4.5-year enforced break and immediately confirmed its importance as the number one trade fair for the international hardware industry.

“The sense of relief at finally being able to meet face to face again after such a long time and do business in person could be clearly felt among all our exhibitors and trade visitors throughout the entire trade fair,” said Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “You had the feeling that a big family was getting together again after a long time apart.”

“The trade fair was a success, especially in the context of the ongoing travel restrictions in Asia, the acute energy and raw materials crisis, and the geopolitical situation in many countries. The feedback from our exhibitors about the business contacts they’ve made is positive across the board. Clearly, companies made a strategic decision to attend the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR – the decision makers were here,” commented Oliver Frese.

EISEN Award 2022 powered by ZHH
The coveted EISEN Award was presented once again at the first EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR after the pandemic. This time, Koelnmesse partnered with the German hardware trade association Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel (ZHH). From the more than 50 innovative products submitted, the expert jury selected the three prize winners of the EISEN Award 2022 powered by ZHH.

DIY Boulevard 2022
In cooperation with the manufacturers’ association Haus & Garten, Koelnmesse presented its 56 DIY suppliers with an exhibition area covering a total length of 272 metres, which had been fully booked long before the opening of the event. The DIY Boulevard offered manufacturers the unique experience of being able to design the POS in line with their branding with an authentic display of their merchandise as well as the chance to make direct contact with end customers.

eCommerce area
The digital transformation does not stop at the hardware industry. The EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR has followed this development closely. With the eCommerce area, it provided the ideal platform for both finding and showcasing digital solutions. The spectrum of products and services ranged from shop systems and electronic payment systems to data storage and processing all the way through to search engine optimisation.

The next EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne will be held from 3 to 6 March 2024.


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