The International Match Days will finally be under new management at the beginning of February: As the long-standing managing director Dominique Metzler announced, she will be leaving active business on January 31, 2023. But she doesn't want to let go completely. 

"After around 40 years, it's time to say goodbye, dear SPIELer. Because on January 31.01.2023, XNUMX I will be retiring as managing director of Friedhelm Merz Verlag and thus from active business,” writes Dominique Metzler on Facebook. She would be available in the background in an advisory capacity until the end of the year.

"Thanks to all the many people - exhibitors, media professionals and visitors - that I have had the opportunity to get to know over the years," said Metzler. “It was you who always made SPIEL something very special. It was a great time with you. I will miss you!!!!"

What now follows for Metzler? Especially a lot of travel. She is looking forward "like Bolle" to the Vanlife project, which she will tackle this year.

Games fair in Essen under new management

We have Dominique Metzler to thank for the fact that the Essen Games Fair has become a successful format. Last year came almost 150.000 fans from all over the world for SPIEL'22 in the Ruhr metropolis, in the years before the corona pandemic there were also significantly more.

Since 1996, Metzler has been at the helm of the Friedhelm Merz Verlag, which organizes the International Match Days. She experienced the development of the games fair up close like no other - and at the same time witnessed some oddities. Over the decades, SPIEL in Essen has developed from what was supposedly a small game meeting place into the world's leading trade fair that it is today. Metzler made public appearances for SPIEL and became the "face of the fair".

It was announced months ago that Dominique Metzler would be leaving her post. The takeover of Friedhelm Merz Verlag by Spielwarenmesse eG was a first step towards succession planning. At the same time, Florian Hess took up a position in management. The indications became even more concrete when the former Asmodee Germany boss Carol Rapp took up an additional position in the management for the international game days in mid-November. Already at this point indicated further personnel changes in the executive floor - that's exactly what Dominique Metzler had now officially confirmed with her message.  

In any case, one thing is clear: an era ends at the International Match Days in Essen. 

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