On 1 October in Cologne, the delegates of the Operations Focus Meeting initiated by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) voted on trade fair companies’ best solutions and projects designed to enhance travel management and hotel conditions at trade fair locations, and thereby benefit exhibitors. The UFI award is presented on a different theme each year.

In addition to Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, the other finalists were Amsterdam RAI and Messe Frankfurt GmbH. With nearly 62 percent of the votes, the Düsseldorf-based trade fair organiser’s FairFairs Hotel initiative was the clear winner. According to the UFI delegates, the initiative positions the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Center as a preferred destination for international trade fair visitors.

Initiated decisively by the trade fair drupa and developed by Messe Düsseldorf and the German hotel and restaurant association DEHOGA, the FairFairs Hotel quality seal has offered exhibitors and hotels a unique service in Germany since 1 March 2004. The initiative aims to create better transparency between trade fair visitors and hotels and guarantee preferential treatment during trade fairs.
Exhibitors can benefit from a wide range of hotel room options in all categories, preferred booking opportunities and a special booking portal since 2006. Fair payment conditions, clear pricing structures, special check-out options and other attractive services are also part of the package.

At the same time, the quality seal makes North Rhine-Westphalia an even more appealing trade fair venue by highlighting the guaranteed and transparent room rates. Hotels can enjoy the advantages of this innovative marketing tool free of charge and gain a competitive advantage.

Over 180 hotels with 16,000 allotted rooms in the greater Düsseldorf area currently participate in this initiative, having grown from just 14 hotels at the outset. Exhibitors’ reactions have been positive, as increased bookings and a representative survey of the service have shown.

“It’s no secret among our visitors that we will do anything to give them the best possible service. The fact that we won this award for the FairFairs Hotel initiative proves yet again how important it is for hotels to work with trade fair companies at trade fair locations. Trade fair visitors are hotel guests, and it’s important to consider that when setting room rates,” remarks Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, on the internationally highly-regarded award.

FairFairs Hotel was the result of and the solution to disagreements and visitor complaints about hotel conditions during global No. 1 fairs staged in Düsseldorf such as drupa, MEDICA and INTERPACK. Hotel conditions were increasingly a matter of debate in the news in 2004 and sparked discussions among individual trade associations on how trade fairs are bound up with German trade fair venues.