Reed: Olaf Freier succeeds Michael Köhler as Event Director

For seven years, he’s been one of the brains behind the materials trade fairs ALUMINIUM and Composites Europe. Now Michael Köhler (36) will move to Reed Exhibitions USA as the new vice president. His successor will be Olaf Freier (48) who also has many years of experience as trade fair planner.

Olaf Freier is to be the new event director of materials trade fairs

Michael Köhler will be responsible for developing and advancing the company’s portfolio of industrial shows. Among them are ALUMINUM USA and IEX USA, both of which will launch this year as spin-offs of their “German parent events”.


“Michael Köhler has contributed a great deal to the global success of ALUMINIUM and Composites Europe, two events he’s been supporting since 2008, when he was the project manager”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH. As the brand manager in charge of ALUMINIUM’s worldwide operations, he’s generated key impulses in the company’s strategy of going global. Most recently, Köhler was also in charge of HYBRID Expo, the biennial parallel event of Composites Europe in Stuttgart.


On 1 August 2015, Olaf Freier (photo), who’s held leadership positions in the exhibition business for 17 years and served as the managing director of HINTE Messe und Ausstellungs-GmbH since 2004, will become the new event director of Reed Exhibitions Deutschland’s materials trade fairs. In this role, Olaf Freier will also oversee the global activities of ALUMINIUM, which in addition to the leading international trade fair in Düsseldorf include events in Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, São Paulo and Detroit.


“With Olaf Freier, our team is gaining a skilful, internationally experienced and agile trade fair executive”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel. At HINTE GmbH, he’s been responsible for the trade fair and congress segment, which included taking existing events abroad and expanding the company’s international portfolio. Freier made critical contributions to developing INTERGEO into the leading international trade fair for the industries it covers and helped to create two spin-off events: INTERGEO Eurasia in South Eastern Europe and GEOSummit in Switzerland.

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