Interest Generated for Rockford Region at Hannover Messe Trade Fair

For the first time, ten economic development organizations and companies from Illinois came together in Hannover, Germany to represent the state at Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology from April 24 – 28.

Hannover Group Booth Photo smThe Rockford Region was represented at the State of Illinois Department of Commerce in the Illinois Investment Pavilion by Dennis McCarthy, Director of National Business Development with the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and John Saunders, Principal and Chris Anderson, Designer both from Larson & Darby Group.

“Twenty-seven years ago Larson & Darby participated in the Hannover Messe and that visit resulted in our being able to establish three new client relationships; two of those companies remain our clients to this date! We feel that the networking opportunities were fantastic at this year’s event and by working with Dennis McCarthy we feel that there is great potential for future investments by European companies in the Rockford Area- future investments that we believe will benefit both our area and Larson & Darby! We are excited about the joint contacts that RAEDC and Larson & Darby made in Hannover and we are looking forward to following up with the companies that showed an interest in what our region has to offer!”

During the four day trade fair McCarthy had one-on-one meetings with 43 companies to present the strengths and assets of the Rockford Region for investment opportunities. These meetings facilitated the ability to discuss the more than $1.5 billion current investments being made in the area, the proximity to major highways, the accessibility of four class-one railroads, and the availability of our highly-skilled workforce.

“Hannover Messe provided the opportunity to promote the Rockford Region to the world. The trade fair allowed for discussions and meetings that foster positive relationships between the area and potential investors,” said Dennis McCarthy of the RAEDC, “The streamlined application process for Foreign Trade Zone #176 makes the option of foreign direct investments in the area even more attractive.”

The ability to participate in an event of this magnitude was made possible through funding generated through the RAEDC’s Leadership Council 2015 Emerging Opportunities Fund (EOF). The EOF is designed for discretionary investment in mutually agreed-upon, forward-thinking initiatives that will leverage positive change for economic development of the Rockford Region. The 2015 investment was made to Business Attraction Marketing which included opportunities for promoting the Rockford Region to site selectors and developers in the Chicago-land area, Wisconsin and other key markets, such as exhibiting at trade shows and promoting the region through advertising in relevant publications and online.

Participation in trade shows such as this are critical to promoting the area as a region of opportunity. Through events such as Hannover Messe, the RAEDC and our economic development partners cultivate opportunities to support the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan, which includes five key areas of focus;
• Trailblaze
• Inspire Action
• Align
• Seed
• Serve

The U.S. was the official partner country for Hannover Messe 2016 from April 24 – 28, which hosted 190,000 visitors and 5,200 exhibitors from 75 countries. Hannover Messe, with its keynote theme of “Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions” was opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barak Obama. This was the first time a US President has opened the industrial technology trade fair.

Started in 1947 with international support the company “Deutsche Messe- und Ausstellungs-AG” was born – and with it, came the “Hannover Export Fair 1947”. 736,000 visitors from 53 countries flocked to the 21 day fair which generated US$32 million in signed export contracts. In 1961 the name changed to Hannover-Messe.