From market hall to world-leading trade show
5/16/2018 Experts Know-how

From market hall to world-leading trade show

30 years of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE in Nuremberg! FENSTERBAU FRONTALE began in July 1949 with just 41 exhibitors in 900 square meters of space.

The number 30 as balloons in red against red background

FENSTERBAU FRONTALE began in July 1949 with just 41 exhibitors in 900 square meters of space. Visitors of the “Machinery, Tool and Materials Show” crowded into the Mosbach Market Hall in Baden. In the post-war years, tradesmen urgently needed new equipment and materials for the reconstruction of Germany. The Glazier Trade Association of Württemberg/Baden responded to the demand and promptly organized its own show. The effort was led by Friedrich Schlick, the 29-year-old Managing Director of the association in northern Baden.

After several venue changes, he changed the name of the show to “Trade Show for the Glazier Trade and Related Professions” in 1953. The trade show was first called FENSTERBAU (“window construction”) in 1968. To accommodate the increased demand from exhibitors and visitors, FENSTERBAU moved from Karlsruhe to Nuremberg in 1988. Up to his retirement in 1992, Friedrich Schlick transformed the exhibition from a small, regional trade show to what is now the world’s largest exhibition for windows, doors and facades.

Thirty years later, Elke Harreiss is the Exhibition Director of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE. She has been involved with this project for the last ten exhibitions. “My first work day at NürnbergMesse was April 1, 2000. And so I joined the FENSTERBAU FRONTALE team just in time to handle the invoicing”, Harreiss said with a laugh. “I those days, invoices were still printed on perforated triplicate forms with a dot matrix printer. And I drew up my first floor plan by hand. The first big change happened in 2008, after NürnbergMesse built two new halls, which we took as an occasion to rework the hall allocation for FENSTERBAU FRONTALE… but then on a PC already! Today, more than 800 exhibitors from 40 countries rent more than 64,000 square meters of stand space. And quite of few of them have been exhibiting with us in Nuremberg for 30 years now!”

To make sure they keep coming, Harreiss and her team always keep a close eye on the market and continue to adapt the exhibition to the needs of the industry. In the anniversary year of 2018, for example, a lecture forum was held for the first time as part of the exhibition; interested persons could also follow it via live-stream. But there was plenty of celebration too: “30 Years of FENSTERBAU FRONTALE in Nuremberg!” were celebrated in the Exhibition Centre on Friday evening.


Picture Stefanie Haug

Stefanie Haug

Portrait of Jasmin McNally

Jasmin McNally