Hannover Messe 2024 Key Themes & What to Expect

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By Ryan Martin | 2Q 2024 | IN-7301

Hannover Messe returns to Hannover, Germany, April 22 to 26 for its 77th installment with nearly 4,000 exhibitors and 15 halls of floorspace. These stats are about the same as last year, when the site welcomed 130,000 visitors, up from 75,000 in 2022. The 2024 theme is “energizing a sustainable industry” with specific topics falling into one of four areas: industrial manufacturing & automation, digitalization, energy solutions, and innovative materials & components. This ABI Insight provides an orientation of the event with expectations for what to expect and how best to prepare for a productive show.

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The Largest Manufacturing Event in Europe


The 77th installment of Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany, returns April 22 to 26, 2024. The event will have nearly 4,000 exhibitors and 15 halls of floorspace. These stats are similar to what we experienced in 2023, when the site welcomed 130,000 visitors, an increase from 75,000 in 2022, but still below the peak of 215,000 in 2019.

This year’s theme is “energizing a sustainable industry.” Specific topics will fall into one of four areas: 1) industrial manufacturing & automation; 2) digitalization; 3) energy solutions; and 4) innovative materials & components



Two-thirds of the 15 halls are dedicated to industrial manufacturing & automation  (Halls 5-9, 11) and digital manufacturing (Halls 14-17) with a commensurate number of exhibitors. The largest booths among incumbents will be Siemens, Beckhoff, Bosch, Festo, ifm, Phoenix Contact, SEW-EURODRIVE, SAP, and Schneider Electric.

Interestingly, hyperscalers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft will each be in a different hall this year (Halls 15-17, respectively). AWS will again have the most co-exhibitors (32 companies—four more than last year), followed by Microsoft (14—two more than last year), and then Google (9—the same as last year). SAP is also a notable mention with 13 co-exhibitors in contrast to others with large booths that have none.

My hunch is that AWS, Google, and SAP will show how they are a key conduit for point applications across the ecosystem. Google will highlight Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities with mixed appeal; and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) like Tulip will leverage their hyperscaler partners to obtain new conversations beyond what is achieved in an independent booth, of which it also has its own.

A small or mid-size ISV is smart to partner with a hyperscaler for a mega show like Hannover Messe, given the large footprint of these booths. Longer-standing companies like General Electric (GE) or PTC, which are in the AWS and Microsoft booths, respectively, would benefit from a dedicated space to demonstrate more of what is new, versus only innovation enabled by AWS or Microsoft. The missing piece is a connectivity networking specialist like Nokia or Ericsson. These companies have an opportunity to show industry representatives how private wireless fits into the picture with meaningful demonstrations that build on the capabilities of hyperscale ecosystem partners.

The Problems Looking to Be Solved


Innovative solutions demonstrated at Hannover Messe will generally be practical, ranging from intuitive planning software and next-generation virtual Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to digital platforms that speed time to value by promoting collaboration. Key problems looking to be solved include creating safer operating environments for workers, how to produce products more efficiently, and identifying “what good looks like” when it comes to sustainability.

There will also be strong undertones of AI in nearly every corner of the show. Here, too, the focus will be practical AI such as code-cleaning, document writing, and applied machine vision, but also expect prominent examples of how AI can be used to speed more forward-looking applications such as photorealistic scene creation for Three-Dimensional (3D) models/simulations. Generative AI will be the talk of the town, but the most needed near-term applications are akin to the latter, which deal with making multivariate data not only universally acceptable, but optimized. This means that if you are evaluating generative AI solutions, be wary of over promising with internal stakeholders and be cautious regarding supplier promises. Avoid vendor lock-in during the early stages of this market by prioritizing interoperability, accuracy, and the ecosystem of applications to which generative AI applies.

Finally, fidelity will improve across the board in that there will be a lot of incremental innovation; companies showing they came through on what they said they were going to do with a little more polish than the year before. Robotics programming will be shown to be easier, collaborative experiences will be more common and attainable, and the many domains that make up industrial automation (drives, motors, platforms, etc.) will demonstrate the priority placed on driving flexibility in their journey to a lot-size-of-one future. Recognizing the high risk of greenwashing, the most modern offerings will have a sustainability angle, ranging from industrial hardware to immersive engineering software and digital twins.