High-tech meets tradition: LIGNA set to celebrate its 50th anniversary from 26–30 May 2025

LIGNA will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2025

The woodworking community has a milestone celebration to look forward to next year, as LIGNA celebrates 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).

Tracing origins

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

From 28 May–-3 June 1975, LIGNA celebrated its premiere in Hannover as an independent 'International Trade Fair for Machinery and Equipment for the Woodworking Industry'. The event featured 720 exhibitors, with 50% from abroad, occupying 60,000sq.m.

Since then, LIGNA has evolved into an established and pioneering event within its sector, attracting both exhibitors and visitors. It's widely recognised as a heavy-weight in the capital goods industry within the international trade fair context.

Challenging conditions

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 timber industry's sales development in the coming weeks and months. It'll become an important pillar of the domestic industry economy, which is currently weakened by the slowdown in demand within the construction sector.”


LIGNA 1983

A truly unique trade fair

As stated by the LIGNA organisers, 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 crises with courage, shaping progress, and actively contributing to the future.

“LIGNA is a truly unique trade fair. Throughout its five decades, it's 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 organiser, 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 wouldn't 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'm not aware of any company in our industry that doesn't 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 and further information on LIGNA's history, see www.ligna.de.