LIGNA celebrates its 50th anniversary

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High-tech and tradition from 1975 to 2025

Hannover.The woodworking community has a milestone birthday coming up: LIGNA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2025. During the height of the oil crisis in 1975 the world’s leading trade fair for the woodworking and wood processing industry emerged from HANNOVER MESSE, where it had its home for many years as the continuously growing “Woodworking Machinery Group Show” under the auspices of the then Fachgemeinschaft Holzbearbeitungsmaschinen im VDMA e. V. (Woodworking Machinery Association).

LIGNA’s origins date back to 1950, when it was the first “Woodworking Machinery Group Show” at the “German Industrial Trade Fair in Hanover”, covering 2,780 square meters. In 1955, the area increased to 8,000 square meters, and by 1965, 22,500 square meters were already occupied.

From May 28 to June 3, 1975, LIGNA celebrated its premiere in Hanover as an independent “International Trade Fair for Machinery and Equipment for the Woodworking Industry”. The event featured 720 exhibitors, with 50 percent from abroad, occupying 60,000 square meters. Since then, LIGNA has evolved into an established and pioneering event within its sector, attracting both exhibitors and visitors. It is widely recognized as a heavyweight in the capital goods industry within the international trade fair context.

The general conditions for LIGNA’s anniversary year 2025 are notably challenging. The industry is grappling with economic difficulties such as a decline in orders due to stagnation in the construction sector, diminishing sales, cost pressures, short-time work, a shortage of skilled workers, job cuts, and the implementation of new legal regulations for supply chains and the circular economy. Throughout history, LIGNA has been described as a steadfast anchor in tumultuous times, serving as an economic barometer. This resilience was evident in 1985 when, faced with a similar situation, the closing announcement included a quote that resonates with the current state of the industry: “Due to the innovations presented, LIGNA HANNOVER 1985 will have a lasting impact on the sales development of the timber industry in the coming weeks and months. It will become an important pillar of the domestic industry economy, currently weakened by the slowdown in demand in the construction sector.”

As stated by the LIGNA organizers, Deutsche Messe AG in Hanover, and VDMA Holzbearbeitungsmaschinen e. V. in Frankfurt am Main, LIGNA continues to embody two key aspects shortly before its 50th anniversary: the technological innovative strength of the entire industry and a robust sense of community spirit. In tandem with the exhibiting companies, LIGNA undergoes constant evolution, navigating through crises with courage, shaping progress, and actively contributing to the future.

“LIGNA is a truly unique trade fair. Throughout its five decades, it has consistently succeeded in bringing together all industry topics under one roof while still providing each with its distinct space. The collective enthusiasm of industry participants for innovation and performance is unparalleled. The shared commitment to shaping technological progress and, in turn, ensuring business growth, stability, and prosperity is what motivates everyone involved. As the organizer, being able to witness and contribute to this spirit fills us with pride to be part of such a remarkable community”, says Stephanie Wagner, Head of LIGNA at Deutsche Messe AG.

“The success of German manufacturers of machines and tools for the wood industry would not have been possible without LIGNA. Becoming a world market leader requires being at the forefront of technology and showcasing this leadership on a global scale. I am not aware of any company in our industry that does not consider the next LIGNA date as the most crucial milestone in its innovation calendar. LIGNA is an inseparable part of our success story,” says Dr. Bernhard Dirr, Managing Director of VDMA Woodworking Machinery in Frankfurt am Main.

For a compact overview of the past five decades, you can find more information in the LIGNA history on www.ligna.de

About LIGNA

The world’s leading trade fair for the woodworking and wood processing industry is jointly organized by Deutsche Messe and VDMA Woodworking Machinery. It showcases the entire range of products and services for the primary and secondary industries – tools, machines and systems for custom and mass production, surface technology, wood-based panel production, sawmill technology, energy from wood, machine components and automation technology, as well as machines and systems for forestry technology.

For more information on LIGNA, visit www.ligna.de

Editorial contact:

Silke Gathmann
Phone: +49-511-89 31027
E-mail: silke.gathmann@messe.de

Further press releases and photos available here: https://www.ligna.de/en/press/

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