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VDKF joins Chillventa advisory board

GERMANY: Past differences have finally been forgotten it seems, with news that the German contractors association VDKF has joined the advisory board of the Chillventa exhibition.

The VDKF now joins the board of associations, manufacturers, suppliers and training establishments that steer the biennial refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump exhibition, which next takes place in Nuremberg in October 2024.

“Chillventa is the most important trade fair for the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry. We are regularly represented as exhibitors at Chillventa and are also involved in the content of the lecture programme,” said VDKF managing director Norbert Hengstermann. “As the most important trade association for Chillventa’s core target group – the owners and employees of refrigeration and air conditioning specialist companies – we can now contribute our specialist expertise even better to the trade fair advisory board.”

His opposite number Elke Harreiß, head of the Chillventa department at exhibition organiser NürnbergMesse, commented: “We are pleased that we can now continue and deepen the close cooperation we already have with the VDKF in the trade fair advisory board. The VDKF knows first-hand through its members which topics particularly concern the refrigeration and air conditioning trade and will therefore certainly enrich the discussions and work in the trade fair advisory board.”

Despite the conciliatory words, it was a very different story back in 2006 when the VDKF owned the IKK exhibition. IKK was the forerunner to Chillventa and the same exhibition in all but name. It was an annual event which alternated between Nuremberg and Essen and was also organised by the NürnbergMesse. 

By 2006, the exhibition had grown successfully to become the major international event, as Chillventa is today. However, there had been growing disquiet from a number of influential exhibitors who preferred a biennial format centred on Nuremberg. 

NürnbergMesse sided with what became a breakaway group and for a while the industry faced the prospect of two shows in Germany in 2008 within a week or so of each other. The case eventually went legal with the VDKF and NürnbergMesse eventually settling out of court. IKK died and Chillventa took over the role as the major European refrigeration and air conditioning show. 

Such was the falling out, it was not until 2014 that the VDKF appeared on the Chillventa exhibitor list. Now, the VDKF, through current MD Norbert Hengstermann, will once again advise on this major international event.

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