HANNOVER MESSE - Home of Industrial Pioneers



Impressions from the exhibition stand

Once again, HARTING's straw hats were a coveted give-away at the HARTING stand.
Robotic hand with 3D-MID fingertips from HARTING
HARTING's automatic crimping machine with IoT monitoring of the crimp quality
The Han-Modular Flexbox for energy chains provides a stimulus for other application sectors.
HARTING employees in sporty yellow T-shirts attract attention at the Hannover Messe.
A HARTING employee presents the rear-mounting method for industrial connectors – an innovation for efficient switch cabinet construction.
An RJ45 connector that can be bent in all directions: here for testing on a HARTING Ethernet Switch.
Camera images are transmitted over a single-pair SPE cable.
A robotic colleague at the trade fair: autonomous assembly of small parts with RFID tracking from HARTING.
At the HARTING stand: The IoT demonstrators were attracting visitors to the stand.
Just give me a hand: HARTING trainees demonstrate how to assemble connectors.
An Arburg injection moulding machine with IoT condition monitoring from HARTING gets people's attention.
Adults are also getting excited about SIKU toy cars. Especially when HARTING's Smart Factory has packaged them so beautifully.
One connector with millions of possibilities for individualisation: Han-Modular with housing types and a selection of different contact inserts.

Hannover Messe and HARTING – a trustful partnership since 1947

The history of the HANNOVER MESSE began in 1947 during the post-war years. At that time, the occupiers of the American/British zone called on West Germany, despite its desolate economy, to regain its self-sufficiency and strengthen exports. The German Trade Fair Limited was then founded and the first export fair in Hannover was organized that same year.

Visitors rush to the first Hannover Messe in 1947

It was a direct, complete success! During the 21-day trade fair in Hannover, 1,300 companies were represented, including Wilhelm Harting and his company "Wilhelm Harting Mechanische Werkstätten", founded in 1945. A total of 1934 export contracts worth 31.6 million US dollars were concluded and around 770,000 visitors were registered at the first export fair in Hannover.

HARTING's first stand at the Hannover Messe

Two years after the start of the "Wilhelm Harting Mechanische Werkstätten" in Minden, Wilhelm Harting was looking for customers for his young company. The company was initially successful with electric fences, hotplates, energy-saving lamps and irons.

"He wanted to contact new customers," recalls Dietmar Harting, who accompanied his father, together with his brother Jürgen, during their childhood. The "Export Fair" was a great experience for the two boys. "There were ice cream, bananas and cake," says Dietmar Harting.

Wilhelm Harting, the company's founder, could not have known then that the third generation, his grandchildren Philip and Maresa Harting, would continue to run the company – a technology group with around 5,000 employees.

The Wilhelm Harting family visiting the Hannover Messe in 1950

Over 70 years of HARTING highlights at the Hannover Messe

A prototype of the HAN® connector at the HANNOVER MESSE

As a technology company, we were also at the HANNOVER MESSE during the years to follow. We demonstrated entrepreneurial foresight and a knack for anticipating technology trends and the needs of customers and markets. The production of medical equipment, tape recorders and jukeboxes dominated the next decade. The Han® connector, patented in 1956, and our subsequent connector innovations began a success story which brought us much attention at the trade fair. Fifteen years after the first industrial trade fair in Hannover, the exhibition stand had evolved significantly. The core business had changed from pasture fencing and useful household products to industrial connectors. To this day, we are the world market leader in the field of industrial connectors. A new era began with the globalisation trend starting at the end of the 1970s – the first step towards a global company.

The Han® industrial connector at HARTING's stand at the 1962 Hannover Messe.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits the HARTING stand

In 1995, the Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl appointed Dietmar Harting, at the time a member of the board of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) and Vice President of the European Electronic Component Manufactures Association (EECA), to the Council for Research, Technology and Innovation, which he founded. Until the end of Kohl's chancellorship in 1998, Dietmar Harting was a member of this top-class committee of experts. In the same year, the chancellor visited our HARTING stand at the HANNOVER MESSE for the first time.

Helmut Kohl, Margrit Harting and Dietmar Harting at the Hannover Messe in 1995

50th anniversary of the HANNOVER MESSE

Fifty years of the HANNOVER MESSE and fifty years of HARTING's participation: in a small ceremony, Margrit and Dietmar Harting were presented with a certificate by Prof. Dr. Goehrmann (left), the Chairman of Deutsche Messe AG. Among the well-wishers was Ernst Raue (right), head of the HANNOVER MESSE business division.

Fiftieth anniversary of the Hannover Messe together with HARTING

We have been using this forum for research, technology and industry as a communication platform for 50 years. We have presented many targeted innovative developments: Fieldbus components for decentralised automation technology and fibre-optic data transmission systems for industrial applications, the VS 3000 – a pioneering patch distribution system, the Han R23 – the first circular connector for industrial applications, the world-famous Han industrial connector production, Han Quintax – an industrial connector system for shielded data bus cables, and Han Drive and Han Modular connectors for motor connections.

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder visits the HARTING stand

Fifteen percent more visitors than the previous year at the HARTING stand for the 1998 HANNOVER MESSE. It was also a good sign that more than 20% of the guests that year came from abroad. Our focus is on the new products for industrial connectors, bus components and the latest fibre-optic data transmission systems. Three innovations were particularly attractive to visitors: the hybrid connector for bus systems for transmitting electrical and optical signals with integrated converters, the interlocking system, and the modular connectors for transmitting up to 2000 volts.

And even taking the internet and electronic media into account, these trade fairs continue to be the decisive marketplaces for presenting innovations and new products in business and science. We want to ensure that this will continue to be the case moving forward – with innovative exhibition stands that you can actually touch!

One topic dominated the opening of HANNOVER MESSE 2003: the Chancellor and his birthday cake. The fact that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder celebrated his 59th birthday on the first day of the trade fair was a welcome coincidence. It was a successful start since he began his annual tour of the trade fair at HARTING. But the highlight was the original Espelkamp marble cake, which Margrit Harting presented to the Chancellor. Decorated by Dietmar and Margrit Harting and Dr. Jochim Belz with exactly 59 candles all around, this sweet confection was a hit. To the delight of the many photographers, Schröder blew out the candles with one breath and thanked Margrit Harting for the happy start to his birthday. During the subsequent tour of our stand, Schröder emphasised: "It's fantastic how you, as a medium-sized company, have asserted yourselves and evolved over the decades"

Gerhard Schröder celebrates his birthday at the Hannover Messe and opens the HARTING stand

President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the HERMES AWARD 2016

A great mood at the HARTING stand: Margrit Harting, Maresa Harting-Hertz, Dietmar Harting, Philip Harting as well as Angela Merkel and Barack Obama have every reason to laugh – the day before we won the HERMES AWARD (the "Oscar for Engineers") for the second time since 2006.

"This trade fair will go down in HARTING's history": that's how every one of our employees feels by noon of the first day of the fair, even though no customer has been able to set foot on our trade fair stand until then.

Our colleagues felt this way because of what had happened in the past 24 hours. "It will probably take a few more days to process and appreciate this," Philip Harting admitted.

The excitement began many months before the fair.

After the United States of America had been chosen as the partner country for HANNOVER MESSE 2016, it became clear at the beginning of the year that it would be US President Barack Obama who, together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, would open the world-famous industrial show. The Chancellor's obligatory tour with the representative of the partner country, President Barack Obama, was thus the focus; this meant that there were special security measures for all participants and exhibitors.

President Obama and Chancellor Merkel at the Hermes Award Winner 2016

"Philip Harting summed up the emotions as follows: "We were tense and very excited.

Image removed.A few days before the trade fair, the indications were growing that Barack Obama would not only enter Hall 11, where our stand is located, but that HARTING had also been selected for his tour. And so on that Monday at half past ten, a friendly, relaxed and extremely impressive Barack Obama appeared together with Chancellor Angela Merkel at our stand. An indescribable moment. HARTING history was written here. The Harting family received the distinguished visitors. "We were prepared for everything! But not for the president's first question about our shoes, which of course everyone at our stand was wearing," laughs Margrit Harting. Only a few hours before Obama's visit, another exciting decision was made: The winner of the HERMES AWARD 2016. Within a few hours, the news was announced – we had won the HERMES AWARD again, exactly ten years after our first HERMES AWARD in 2006! During their visit, Obama and Merkel were also impressed by our HARTING MICA®, with which we won the prize. It's inconspicuous at first glance. Installed in the "Etos" concept vehicle from Rinspeed AG, it sums up the description "small but powerful". The HARTING MICA® is a modular platform consisting of open hardware and software that can be adapted quickly and cost-effectively to fit into many industrial applications. Operating in the "Etos" bright yellow sports car, the MICA® continuously records and transmits drive and engine data using sensors and RFID tags.


Hannover in April has been the most important trade fair appointment for us for more than seven decades. Throughout the approximately 1,600 square meters of the main stand and as partner in several joint stands, HARTING consistently presents itself as an innovative technology company. With our complete hardware and software solutions for all industrial connectivity applications, we have evolved into a solutions provider for the integrated industry (Industry 4.0).

Our commitment to the trade fair is not limited to a mere visual presence. The close sense of belonging is documented by Dietmar Harting's many years of commitment as Chairman of the Exhibitors' Advisory Board of the HANNOVER MESSE, as well as his involvement on the Construction and Investment Committee of the Deutsche Messe AG Hannover and the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Messe AG (and from 2002 as its Deputy Chairman). Dietmar Harting was honoured for these many commitments with the Lower Saxony Medal of Merit (2004) and the Trade Fair Gold Medal of Honour (2006). In 2019, his son Philip Harting was elected his successor as the new Chairman of the Board of AUMA (the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry).

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Infographic Hannover Messe

FAQ Hannover Messe

When is the Hannover-Messe?

Every year the Hannover Messe opens its gates for five workdays in spring usually in April. Due to the corona pandemic, there will be no Hannover Messe in 2020. The next date for Hannover Messe is April 12 - 16, 2021

How do I drive to Hannover Messe by car?

If you are coming from the north/south, take the A7 towards Hannover, then the A37 towards the Messe (trade fair). If you are coming from the west/east, take the A2 towards Hannover Input into your satnav: 30521 Hannover, 'Hermesallee' (name of road) or 'Messegelände' (meaning: trade fair grounds); a sufficient amount of paid parking is available and well signposted around the trade fair grounds. Charging stations for electric cars can be found at the parking facilities at Nord 4 (North 4) and Süd 32 (South 32).

What is the route to Hannover Messe with public transport (ÖPNV)

With S-Bahn (suburban railway), city train & bus

  • S4 line to Hannover Messe station
  • City train line 8 and 18 to NORD (North) entrance
  • City train line 6 and 16 to OST (EAST) entrance
  • The number 340 and 341 bus to SÜD (SOUTH) entrance
  • U-Bahn (subway) lines 8 and 18 to NORD (NORTH) entrance

Note: The tickets for the Hannover Messe do not give you free use of the public transport system.

Using the national rail services of Deutschen Bahn:

  • Destination station Hannover/Laatzen. Take the U-Bahn (subway) 8 / 18 and S-Bahn (suburban railway) S4 at the Central Station to get there

What is the route to the Hannover Messe from the Hannover Airport (HAJ)?

S-Bahn (suburban railway) line 5 towards Hannover Central Station. From there continue with the U-Bahn (subway) line 8. The journey takes about 1 hour. Take the bus shuttle which runs during the time of the trade fair between the airport Terminal C and the trade fair grounds (WEST). The journey takes about 45 minutes.

How do I get tickets for Hannover Messe?

Paid tickets to the Hannover Messe can be purchased online in the ticket shop of the Hannover Messe or at the box office. Exhibitors of the Hannover Messe are frequently offering free tickets. We are looking forward to giving some away soon.

Where can I find a hall plan & fairground map of the Hannover Messe?

You will be able to find an overview of the Hannover Messe with a fairground map and the allocation of halls according to topics right here very soon.

How many visitors and exhibitors does the Hannover Messe have?

With over 200,000 visitors and more than 6,500 exhibitors annually (as of 2019), Hannover Messe is the largest industrial trade fair in the world. The percentage of foreign visitors is about 40%.