Toy market news

Spielwarenmesse eG takes over the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL in Essen while retaining its orientation

  • Character of the world's largest end consumer fair in the industry is retained
  • Dominique Metzler continues as director

Spielwarenmesse eG takes over the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL event in Essen on 1 January 2022. The Nuremberg trade fair and marketing services provider thus becomes the new owner of the biggest public fair for board games in the world. SPIEL will continue to be held at the Essen exhibition centre and organised from Bonn by Dominique Metzler, its director of many years’ standing, and her highly experienced team. Florian Hess, Member of the Executive Board of Spielwarenmesse eG, serves as an additional director.

SPIEL has a history stretching back nearly 40 years. The event has developed from a small gathering of players in 1983 to what is today the largest consumer fair in the world for board, card and role-playing games. Traditionally, new national and international games products are introduced to a broad audience at the Essen exhibition centre in the autumn. Every year the event has some 200,000 visitorsand the numbers have been growing.
"It was important to me that the unique profile of SPIEL be maintained in the future," says Dominique Metzler, who together with Rosemarie Geu has successfully expanded and established her family business over the past decades. "With Spielwarenmesse eG and its experience with leading world fairs, I am very happy to have found a partner who will continue and develop this successful fair in my spirit for the next decades. My team and I are very much looking forward to working together."
The pandemic has once again accelerated the popularity of games. In 2020, the German games market alone grew by 21 per cent. The trend is also visible at the Spielwarenmesse in the B2B segment. The International Game Inventors' Fair (Internationale Spieleerfindermesse) will be integrated into the Spielwarenmesse and the games segment will be further strengthened. The Nurembergers promise an equally cautious approach to the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, but as an independent fair that will remain in its original form.
As a cooperative, Spielwarenmesse eG already operates "from the industry for the industry". Numerous game publishers are among the member companies. As Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson for the Executive Board, is keen to stress, “In the Spielwarenmesse and the SPIEL games fair we have two entirely different concepts, but those concepts intersect powerfully in terms of subject matter, creating plenty of synergies. With SPIEL, we are expanding our responsibilities in the business area for games, without changing the typical character of the fair.

Its survival has been ensured and visitors to Essen can continue to try games out and play to their hearts’ content.