From very early on, symposia and congress business were very important for the Cologne fairs. The Spring Fair in 1925, with which numerous congresses were already affiliated, was the first large trade fair. With growing success in the Fifties, Koelnmesse enlarged its congress facilities first with the Rhinesaal and then with the Auensaal. It became evident that the location of the Congress Centre in the direct vicinity of the actual fair grounds was a remarkable advantage. With the complete development of the fair grounds in 1977, the new Congress Centre East was also inaugurated. Since that time, Koelnmesse, as the fourth largest fairground in the world, has had two completely independent congress centres that can be used for every size of event, and since 1982 have been officially run as the Congress Centre East and West Koelnmesse. Koelnmesse now had congress centers which were independent of each other and could be used for all sizes of events, up to 2005 officially operating as Congress-Centrum East and West Koelnmesse.

With the turn of the millennium, Koelnmesse is presenting a master plan for the redesign of the entire exhibition centre grounds. In just 16 months of construction, in addition to four modern exhibition halls, the Congress-Centrum Nord will be built – as a replacement for the existing Rheinhallen with the Congress-Centrum West. This will be connected directly with the Congress-Centrum Ost and the 284,000 sq.m. gross exhibition area, via the covered Messeboulevard. The Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse, with its 41 individually-designed rooms, now has a total of 19,500 seats. Located close to the city centre, the Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse can be reached very quickly on all traffic routes: ten motorways lead directly to the site and its own ICE railway station Köln Messe/Deutz at the heart of the European rail network, with direct links to the international airports of Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels. Several hotels in all categories can be reached on foot by congress visitors.