Third-party fairs and rental business: tradition since 1919

Published on 10/10/2016 by
Flüchtlinge in der Schweizer Mustermesse (MCH Group)

Right back during the founding phase of the Sample Fair, our exhibition halls were hired out to interested event organisers for the first time, and from the 1920s onwards this was a regular occurrence. Today, our infrastructure in Basel, Lausanne and Zurich is used by around a hundred fairs and exhibitions of our own or organised by third parties, plus some thirty congresses and more than a thousand miscellaneous events.

It was back in 1919, when the Swiss Sample Fair was still in the process of being set up, that our exhibition halls were rented out for the first time, to the Federal Welfare Office, which used them as temporary accommodation for needy Swiss from abroad. They were used again later for humanitarian and social purposes – for instance during the Second World War as temporary accommodation for refugees (photo) and for activities made necessary by the war.

Starting in the 1920s, the fair management also rented out the halls to interested organisers during the time they were not needed for the annual sample fair. Examples of this are the commercial exhibition for the Swiss catering trade held on the Sample Fair grounds in 1921 and a horticultural exhibition in 1924. These were followed in 1926 and 1927 by the first-ever international exhibitions dealing with inland navigation, hydro-electric power and office equipment.

Today, the MCH Group's locations in Basel, Lausanne and Zurich are home every year to around a hundred fairs and exhibitions of our own or organised by third parties, plus thirty congresses and more than a thousand miscellaneous events, with a total of approximately 2.5 million visitors.

Photo: Staatsarchiv Basel Stadt/Privatarchiv MCH Group

Published under:

Write a comment