For exactly 50 years, trade fairs have been held in Düsseldorf at the exhibition centre in Stockum, which was designed according to the latest findings of the trade fair industry at the time. When it was commissioned in September 1971, the Düsseldorf site was considered the most modern and pioneering trade fair venue in Europe. For the city of Düsseldorf, the new building was an essential step towards becoming a trade fair venue with a worldwide reputation.
When the gates of the K plastics trade fair closed on the evening of 23 September 1971, the new Düsseldorf exhibition centre in Stockum had completed its first week of operation and thus passed its acid test with flying colours. The Düsseldorf trade fairs were able to grow on the new site, as desired by the exhibiting industries. This was an essential prerequisite for the subsequent success story of Messe Düsseldorf, which was then still called Nordwestdeutsche Ausstellungs-Gesellschaft (NOWEA).
"Here in Stockum, NOWEA was able to expand its trade fairs into the world-leading fairs we have today. This new exhibition site not only offered considerably more space than the old halls on Fischerstraße. The development of the site also ensured optimal transport connections, and the concept of the site was unique in Europe and had a corresponding impact far beyond Düsseldorf," explains Wolfram N. Diener, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe Düsseldorf.