• Messe Essen
  • 05. - 08. Oct. 2023


Join SPIEL ’22, the leading Games Fair open to the public

Meet your partners in business, licence, authors, and around 100,000 gamers from all over the world



The International Games Event SPIEL in Essen can look back on an impressive history. Over the last 39 years it has continuously grown, setting new standards. Visitors, media and retailers of SPIEL highly appreciate the chance to get a complete overview over the game industry and to receive immediate feedback from the consumers’ side at the same time. Exhibitors consider SPIEL to be the highlight of the year and a perfect occasion for introducing new products to the market. For your information, we have compiled all relevant SPIEL data.


Facts and figures:

SPIEL maintained its position as the world’s largest and most important presentation platform for games during the Corona pandemic and once again set standards in the trade fair landscape. In 2020 the purely digital event recorded an impressive 148,000 individual visitors on the specially created SPIEL.digital platform. The following year saw a successful fresh start at the Essen Exhibition Center. As the first convention to return to the Essen Exhibition Center after the Covid break, SPIEL ’21 thrilled exhibitors and visitors alike with 620 exhibitors from 41 nations, 96,300 visitors and more than 1,000 new game releases despite many travel restrictions. Many exhibitors reported record sales during the convention. Hermann Hutter, Chairman of the German Association “Interessengemeinschaft Spieleverlage e.V.,” which brings together the leading German game publishers, stated, “This convention was an exceptionally good balance of safety measures and just the right number of visitors. All visitors were very disciplined – it was the perfect experience to see the joy and enthusiasm when trying out the new releases. Every member of our association felt comfortable and enjoyed the fact that enthusiastic international convention visitors and gamers came all the way to Essen to literally soak up all the new game releases.”

Due to last year’s remarkable success, many national and international exhibitors have already confirmed that they wish to further increase their presence at SPIEL ’22.


SPlEL’s high publicity level:

All exhibitors benefit from the wide publicity that SPIEL provides. They have realized that this International Games Event represents an ideal platform for public relations. Compared to other events all exhibitors agree that one of the special things about the Essen SPIEL is the overwhelming coverage in domestic and foreign media. During the four days of the International Games Event hundreds of journalists, along with their teams, report on nearly everything that comes their way in Essen.



New Releases Show for the media and retailers – a cost-free service:

An increasing number of publishers gain profile by introducing their new products on the occasion of Essen SPIEL. The Friedhelm Merz Verlag has created a cost-free “New Releases Show” where journalists and retailers get first-hand information on the latest games innovations.


Sales very much desired!:

All exhibitors are permitted to sell their products. This means that SPIEL offers an incredible opportunity to present small, high-risk productions and to offload their initial circulation to consumers, the trade, or to a major manufacturer via licensing.


Enormous appeal to visitors:

In 2021, 96,300 game enthusiasts, retailers, educators and representatives of public institutions from Germany and abroad flocked to the Essen exhibition halls to find out about the novelties of the year. The exhibitors’ booths were literally besieged on all four days of the fair shortly after the halls opened.

And so, at the end of the fair, the exhibitors once again reported excellent sales and orders as well as numerous licensing deals with other European countries, the USA and Asia.



The whole range of the game industry displayed at SPIEL:

All kinds of products are presented at Essen: from family, adult, children and parlour games to strategy, mail, adventure, fantasy and science fiction games. Comics, toys and electronic games; but also books dealing with games and toys, complete the SPIEL experience.


The idea of the SPIEL:

The secret of this fair’s success remains the basic idea that goes back to 1983: the idea of inviting the consumer and gamer to play new games and toys and make up his/her own mind about the quality of the individual game. Thus, the direct impact of a new product can easily be perceived and represents a perfect means of measuring its general appeal. As there are also many retailers and key accounts, the obvious interest in new releases also has a direct impact on the decisions this group of people has to make, as to which new game should better be put on the retailers’ order list.




The International Games Event SPIEL provides an extensive list of fringe events. Almost all exhibitors hold bigger or smaller competitions which attract players as well as the attention of journalists. There are, e.g., V.I.P. tables where famous game inventors sign their games, countless introductory game rounds, championships and tournaments, exhibitions, live role-playing games, large-scale games, and much more. Numerous associations inform on classics such as Chess, Go or Backgammon.



After the great success in 2019, the EDUCATORS’ DAY will again take place in 2022 as part of SPIEL ’22, which is aimed at educators, teachers and interested individuals who would like to integrate games into their everyday professional life. On Friday, 7.10.22, top-class scientific discussion panels invite to a lively exchange, lectures round off the program. On this day, educators will have access to the New Releases Show in order to inform themselves about the new games of the year. Take advantage of this cost-free platform as an exhibitor and put your educational games in focus.


Prices • Registration • Contact

Booth prices:

Thanks to the option of booking inexpensive “10 sqm-mini-booths”, the Essen SPIEL also enjoys the presence of inventor booths, small publishers and toy manufacturers in addition to the large publishing companies. All exhibitors are free to sell their products on the fair. Apart from the special “10 sqm-mini-booth” prices, the price for booths bigger than 10 sqm is calculated per sqm.

Prototype Gallery/Artist Alley:

We offer tables in the so-called “Prototype Gallery” to game authors who want to present their prototypes to publishers and the public. Please note that selling is not permitted here.

Illustrators, artists and comic artists can present themselves for a small fee at “Artist Alley” and create art for the visitors. Selling to the public is permitted.


To make your reservation, please contact Friedhelm Merz Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Bismarckallee 8, 53173 Bonn, Germany, by phone: +49/228/342273, or send us your full company name, address and contact details to info@merz-verlag.com.

Any more questions?:

For further information and help/assistance please contact Friedhelm Merz Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 53173 Bonn, Germany, Bismarckallee 8, by phone: +49/228/342273 or e-mail: info@merz-verlag.com.

Yours sincerely
Friedhelm Merz Verlag


What others think. Some interesting links regarding SPIEL:

Here you find a report and impressions from an exhibitor from Asia who exhibited the first time at SPIEL in 2015.
​In this video Nigel, Paul and Dan introduce you to Essen SPIEL 2015 and explain why it’s the greatest board gaming event in the world!