Offenbach opens its doors

About us

With around 6,000 trade visitors from around the world, ILM is the world’s leading trade fair for innovative and high-quality leather goods, bags, luggage and accessories. The fair provides the most important platform for the industry. Twice a year, market leaders and global players, innovative startups and rising designers meet here to present their latest collections to an international trade audience.

Teaser aufenthalt

In the heart of the Rhine-Main region

Situated in the economically dynamic Rhine-Main region, the city of Offenbach is international and cosmopolitan. What event planners, exhibitors and visitors appreciate most about the city is its modern and creative flair. Offenbach has many facets that make it a welcoming and exciting location for a wide variety of events.

Whether you travel here by car, train, public transport or plane, getting to and around Offenbach is easy and the trade fair is located a short distance from almost anywhere you will need to go. Many hotels are nearby and easily reached by foot. The restaurant scene in Nordend is just around the corner as well as the newly established Harbor District on the riverside. Architectural highlights include the impressive Büsing-Palais and Isenburger Castle.

At the heart of the international industry since 1949

Our history

Historie 1949 Ausstellungsvorbereitungen

1949 – first leather goods fair

A few weeks after the election of the first German Bundestag, the trade fair, which at that time was still known as the "Leather Goods Industry and Marshall Plan", was launched as an exhibition to highlight recent achievements. The goal was to express gratitude for the European Reconstruction Program (ERP) of the USA. The first edition of the fair hosted a total of 55 exhibitors and was held in the Offenbach Theater on Goethestr., the premises of today’s Capitol.

Historie 1950 Pressekonferenz

1950 – foundation of the trade fair company

On January 28, 1950, the event was opened under the new name of “Offenbach Leather Goods Trade Fair” and hosted 155 exhibitors. In March 1950, Dr. Karl Kranka finally notarized the foundation of the trade fair company. Meanwhile, even as the West-East conflict fueled fears, it also sparked a new pleasure for travel and consumption. As a result, Germans began to need new luggage. The pent-up demand boosted the business of luggage manufacturers, which the fair kept up with at a breath-taking pace. The third edition of the new fair grew rapidly to include 318 exhibitors.

Historie 1960 Messe im Theater

1960 – major expansion of the fair

Adoption of the current name “ILM” set the stage for the growing international relevance of the fair. For the 28th edition in 1963, the longitudinal building of Hall 1 was extended. After the expansion, Messe Offenbach had an area of 9,000 square meters. In 1963, this area hosted 414 exhibitors, 79 of whom came from abroad. Due to the high number of exhibitor requests, there was still a great need for more space. Thus, another expansion took place several years after.

Historie 1970 Ausstellerstand

1970 – years of crisis

In the 1970s, the leather goods industry faced a crisis caused by competitive pressure from new producers in low-wage countries. The demand from retail and consumers for inexpensive imported articles continued to grow.

In October 1975, the "Intertrend" was introduced. It served as date to premiere the upcoming spring fashion season and brought a new, positive dynamic to the fair – attracting high participation of exhibitors from Germany and abroad.

Historie 1980 Offenbacher Modeforum

1980 – Offenbach Fashion Forum

In April 1981, Messe Offenbach left its own halls to invite guests to the first Offenbach Fashion Forum at the hotel Kempinski-Gravenbruch. The test run was convincing. Almost one year later, the Offenbach Fashion Forum was held as a three-day event in April at the Messe Offenbach exhibition grounds. The Offenbach Fashion Forum was able to establish itself as an independent event for season openings and first orders.

Historie 1990 Jubilaeum

1990 – new wind from the USA

The 1990s began with a fresh new wind from the USA. For the first time, 22 exhibitors from America appeared in Offenbach. Since then, there has been a flexible fifth hall reserved specifically for US American exhibitors. In the same year, hall 3 was rebuilt. In 1995, since there are at least two fairs each year, the 100th ILM was held. Due to the huge success, a new concept for the halls of the Offenbach fair was developed, creating optimal conditions for the inclusion of new fairs and events.

Historie 2000 50 Jahre

2000 – 50 years of ILM

The 50th anniversary in 2000 saw some restructuring. The decision was made to transform the trade fair into a limited liability company. Additionally, further expansion work was planned. The industry continued to grow, and the ILM had retained its international reputation in the ranks of illustrious cities such as Milan or Paris. A representative entrance and the expansion of the first floor made the fair more interesting for guest events. The ILM looks back on a total of 72 years of fair history. We look forward to celebrating many more successful years with our exhibitors and visitors.

Zitat Hama
“There is no substitute for in-person conversation with our partners. The ILM platform offers us the possibility to get a better feeling for the current trade situation.”

Leonhard Roßkopf

Key Account Manager, Lederwaren Hama

Zitat Braun Büffel
“For us, ILM is Europe’s most important ordering fair for leather goods. It’s the meeting place for exhibitors and visitors with the cumulative expertise of our trade.”

Christiane Brunk

Managing Director, Braun Büffel

Zitat Briccola
“I’ve enjoyed coming to ILM for 30 years, because it’s the central meeting hub for the industry.”

Pietro Briccola

Managing Director, Bric’s

We are ILM –
we are here for you!

Support

  • Team KH

    Karo Helinski

    Social Media & Press
    Tel. +49 69 82 97 55-23
    kh@messe-offenbach.de

  • Team USB

    Ulla Salonen-Band

    Head of Exhibitor Service ILM
    Tel. +49 69 82 97 55-20
    usb@messe-offenbach.de

  • Team TG

    Tamara Gerber

    Visitor Service
    Tel. +49 69 82 97 55-14
    tg@messe-offenbach.de

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